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Cloud adoption and risks

With faster time to market, massive economy of scale, and unparalleled agility, the cloud is entering enterprises at an unprecedented rate. As a result, hundreds of high risk cloud applications are commonly used across North American and European organizations, says a CipherCloud report. The report details the results of a comprehensive study of cloud usage and risks, compiled from enterprise users in North America and Europe.

‘Cloud Adoption & Risk Report in North America & Europe – 2014 Trends’ includes anonymised data of cloud user activity collected for the full 2014 calendar year, spanning thousands of cloud applications.

Key findings include:

The average global enterprise uses over 1,100 cloud applications: the study found widespread cloud adoption across North America and Europe. In the 2014 data, a typical North America enterprise used over 1,245 cloud applications while those in Europe used 981 applications on average.

86 percent of cloud applications used by enterprises are unsanctioned ‘Shadow IT’: the study found that enterprises vastly underestimate the extent of shadow IT cloud applications used by their organizations. Various media sources claim 10 percent to 50 percent of cloud apps are not visible to IT. The report states that on average 86 percent of cloud applications are unsanctioned. For example, a major US enterprise estimated 10-15 file sharing applications were in use, but discovered almost 70.

Publishing, social, and career clouds are 2014’s most risky cloud categories: CipherCloud’s research rated 52 percent of applications in publishing as high risk. Similarly, 42 percent in social and 40 percent in career clouds are rated as high risk. These three represent the highest risk across all cloud applications.

Europe is narrowing the gap of cloud adoption to North America: contrary to widespread beliefs that Europe lags North America significantly in cloud adoption, the CipherCloud research found that European enterprises leverage the cloud just as extensively as North America: an average European organization uses 80 percent as many cloud applications in 2014, distributed across similar application categories.

70 percent of US cloud applications used by European organizations are not ‘Safe Harbour’ approved: In the data set, CipherCloud found that only 9 percent of the clouds used by European enterprises were either based in Europe or in European-approved data transfer regions; 21 percent were US clouds and Safe Harbour approved. The rest, a whopping 70 percent, were US clouds without Safe Harbour certification.


•Date: 5th February 2015 • US/UK/World •Type: Article • Topic: Cloud computing

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