Organizations continue to embrace the cloud with higher use of file sharing and adoption of even more cloud applications. In the second half of 2016, Symantec customers on average broadly shared more files in the cloud than ever before. At the same time, they are sharing data more responsibly. Research shows a significant reduction in the percentage of broadly shared files in the cloud that contain confidential or compliance related content. Organizations also continue to increase the number of cloud applications in use – both sanctioned applications and unsanctioned applications often referred to as Shadow IT.
More Data Sharing with Less Exposure
In the second half of 2016, on average customers are broadly sharing 25% of all files in cloud files sharing applications. The percentage of files broadly shared that contain sensitive data has decreased to an all-time low of 3%. To be classified as “broadly shared”, a file is shared to the public, to the entire organization, or to an external third party. In the past, it was typical to discover that 10% or more of broadly shared files contained sensitive data.
Compliance Data and Emails at Risk
We are still not out of the woods because while it looks like a lower percentage of files in cloud file sharing contain compliance data than before, a surprising percentage of files with Protected Health Information (PHI), Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and Payment Card Information (PCI) data that make it to the cloud are potentially exposed.
In file sharing applications PHI data leads the pack with 82% of all files at risk of exposure, followed by 43% of files containing PII and 42% of files containing PCI data. Email risk exposure is generally higher than file sharing exposure. 27% of emails and attachments are broadly shared and 8% of emails contain compliance related data.
More Shadow IT in Use
Organizations are using many more cloud applications than what is typically assumed by IT professionals. Shadow IT discovery research shows organizations use 928 different cloud applications on average. This is a 10% increase over the first half of 2016.
The Shadow Data Report for the second half of 2016 provides the latest insights into cloud adoption, usage, and threats to help organizations navigate their adoption of cloud applications and implementation of cloud security. The findings in this report are based on anonymized meta data analysis of over 20K cloud apps, 175M cloud documents, and 1.3B emails.
Get the full 2H 2016 Shadow Data Report here.