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Digital Ecosystems

Shadow clouds become a business risk

In many places, increased security for the company is used to promote moving as much data and as many applications as possible to the cloud. Yet an increasingly easily accessible, risky shadow IT is rampant.

30 May. 2018
Shadow clouds become a business risk (Photo:AXXCON GmbH & Co. KG)

An Axxcon survey of 200 CEOs, CIOs, IT managers and security officers at companies with more than 500 employees reveals that many decision-makers see the trend towards extensive use of cloud-based solutions as a security risk. Some 55% of executives believe that unauthorized cloud applications are being used in their companies without the knowledge of IT staff, with 30% of participants estimating the number of such shadow IT services at more than ten. A potential explanation given by the study is the ease of decentralized procurement and implementation; it reports that setup is often so straightforward that no assistance from trained IT specialists is needed.

This is by no means mere conjecture, as the use of unauthorized cloud services had already led to concrete security incidents for 17% of respondents. However, 29% of companies do not even have an agreement between management and employee representatives to regulate the use of cloud services. By contrast, the IT Security 2018 study by eco has found at least a growing awareness of the most pressing security problems connected with ongoing industrial digitalization.