European enterprises continue using risky cloud services, study finds

Only 194 of the 2,501 cloud services surveyed meet enterprise security standards

Skyhigh Networks, a firm that aims to help companies monitor their use of cloud services, has found that the average European enterprise uses 588 cloud services, many of them posing security threats and legal compliance issues to the business.

The European Cloud Adoption and Risk Report, based on data from 40 companies spanning financial services, oil and gas, manufacturing, retail and utilities, found that only 194 of the 2,501 cloud services in use provide enterprise-grade security capabilities.

The risk of each cloud service is based on Skyhigh CloudTrust, which assigns a 1-to-10 risk rating based on more than 30 attributes across data risk, user risk, device risk, service risk, business risk and legal risk. Anything rated between seven and 10 is considered high risk.

Following recent data breaches, Yahoo Mail received a rating of seven, as did notetaking and archiving cloud service Evernote.

From a data privacy and data residency perspective, only one percent of the cloud services in use across the companies surveyed offered enterprise-grade security capabilities, while also storing data in Europe's jurisdictional boundaries.

Twenty-five of the top 30 cloud services in the collaboration, content sharing, and file sharing categories were based in countries where the privacy laws are less stringent compared to Europe, such as the United States, Russia and China.

Out of the ten most popular business cloud services used by enterprises in the UK, SAP ERP (enterprise resource planning) was the only one to store data within Europe's jurisdictional boundaries.

Meanwhile, much of the cloud adoption within European organisations occurs under the radar of the CIOs, according to Skyhigh Networks.

Skyhigh Networks CEO Rajiv Gupta said: "Too many employees are still unaware of the risks associated with some cloud services, and could even be jeopardising the overall security position of their organisation.

"Of the services that we analysed, 72 percent stored data in the US - which could have legal and compliance implications for certain organisations in Europe."

He added that IT needs to develop greater understanding of the cloud services in use and the risk they present, and play a leadership role in educating users and guiding the organisation to securely embrace the cloud.

According to Gupta, one CIO working for an undisclosed financial services company thought staff at his company were using 46 cloud services across the enterprise but a two-day analysis with SkyHigh Discover revealed that there were in fact 960 cloud services in use.

Charlie Howe, EMEA director of Skyhigh Networks, said: "The discrepancy between the perceived and actual number and risks of services in use at each organisation is worrying to say the least."

"CIOs need to get a better grip on this if they are to avoid the huge reputational and financial repercussions of poor data security."

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags YahooPersonal TechEvernoteapplicationsstoragesecuritySkyhigh Networkssoftware

More about EvernoteSAP AustraliaYahoo

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Sam Shead

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts