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Enterprise-readiness of business cloud services found lacking in Netskope research

Latest analysis of cloud and internet usage trends in the enterprise space by Netskope suggests the majority of the off-premise services businesses use are not fit for purpose from a security and data protection standpoint

While the business community’s adoption of cloud technologies continues apace, research suggests the majority of the off-premise services they are deploying are not fit for enterprise use.

That is according to IT security provider Netskope’s latest investigation into the cloud and web usage habits of millions of enterprise users worldwide, with its analysis confirming that cloud services account for 85% of all enterprise web traffic.

Its findings further revealed a 3.9% uptick in the average number of cloud services deployed per enterprise since the release of Netskope’s previous report in October 2018, which equates to a rise from 1,246 to 1,295.

Out of these services, the vast majority (96.3%) should not be considered enterprise-ready, as they fail to make the grade when bench-marked against the 50 assessment areas covered off by Netskope’s Cloud Confidence Index (CCI).

These criteria include the presence (or not) of data loss prevention policies within these services, encryption controls, and compliance certifications, resulting in each service being awarded a score of 0 to 100 accordingly.

Services that receive an overall score of 74 or higher are considered to be ill-appropriate for enterprise use.  

This is a concerning finding in isolation, said Netskope, but even more so when coupled with the fact that human resources (HR), marketing and business collaboration tools are the top three most keenly used cloud services in enterprises.

The average number of cloud-based marketing services used by enterprises stands at 120, of which 99% are not ready for enterprise use, and the same is true of the 100 or so HR apps organisations reportedly use as well.

According to Netskope, this means organisations relying on such applications could be putting both their customer and employee data at risk of exposure to security threats.

Jason Clark, chief strategy officer at Netskope, said the results highlight the need for organisations to make sure they have controls in place to safe-guard data being processed and transmitted by cloud applications.

“As today’s enterprises embrace digital transformation and increasingly replace traditional web use with cloud service use, it is imperative to assess whether proper controls are in place to secure all traffic,” he said.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to properly securing an enterprise as it embraces new tools and technologies, but a clear understanding of traffic and proper vigilance should be a requirement for all.”

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