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November 03, 2014

Why Your Business Needs to Be Afraid of Its Own 'Shadow'

Your business is in the process of integrating several new bleeding-edge cloud applications into its core infrastructure. These applications are streamlining tasks for your employees and are helping drive revenues for your organization. But are you aware of the security risks they could be posing thanks to the amount of data they are harboring?

If not, your business could be in for a rude awakening. A new infographic from cloud application security firm Elastica highlights the growing threat of “shadow data,” which is sensitive information that is widely shared both inside and outside organizations, without the knowledge of IT teams. According to Elastica, the average enterprise end user now shares an average of 2,037 files in the cloud. About 185 of these files are broadly shared. And 20 percent of these files contain critical compliance-related data such as social security numbers, health records or payment card information.

Furthermore, just 5 percent of end users are responsible for 85 percent of the total risk exposure in a company, on average.

The problem with shadow data is that it creates a big disconnect between IT departments and end users. As Elastica points out in the infographic, IT teams often have no way of knowing what kind of sensitive information is being exposed. And there is often no way of knowing about the security of the information that is being distributed from external sources. A customer, for instance, could easily submit a file to an employee that contains malware. And if this file is not monitored, it could compromise the security of the entire organization.

The question is therefore simple: Does your business have the wherewithal to keep track of what files are being shared amongst its end users in the cloud? It’s time to reassess your security means. And Apex managed IT services in Norwalk, CT is one organization that can help you do so. Click here for more information. 

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