Survey: 71% of Organizations Using Unsanctioned Cloud Apps Photo by Kreg Steppe of Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Survey: 71% of Organizations Using Unsanctioned Cloud Apps

The majority of organizations plan to increase the number of cloud applications they use this year, but many of those will be unsanctioned apps, according to the latest survey results from OneLogin.

Cloud adoption is on the rise, but according to the results of a survey conducted by OneLogin, there are a lot of naughty end users out there. As 78 percent of organizations surveyed said they planned to increase the number of cloud apps they have in 2013, 71 percent admitted to using unsanctioned apps.

Rogue IT is, of course, nothing out of the ordinary, but it does present a great deal of security risk in this information age. Rogue cloud, specifically, has been making the lives of IT administrators difficult ever since the first cloud service was opened up for credit card billing. The survey clearly shows it's still a major problem for administrators.

According to OneLogin, the survey demonstrated that 2013 will be the tipping point for cloud adoption. The company, in collaboration with security consultancy flyingpenguin, surveyed 200 IT and business professionals within organizations of all sizes and across various industries. The results were interesting, but perhaps not entirely surprising.

The survey found that access to cloud applications is taking place through smartphones (80 percent), tablets (71 percent) and non-company computers (80 percent). However, there are several issues to deal with. Besides the previously mentioned use of shadow IT, 43 percent of respondents noted they manage their passwords on spreadsheets or sticky notes; 34 percent share their passwords with co-workers; and 20 percent find they are still able to log onto their work accounts even after they leave the company. Those are some serious process and security problems.

Additionally, 48 percent of respondents said they are still not able to sign into cloud applications using single sign-on; 72 percent have to provide external users with temporary access to the company's cloud applications; and 34 percent are using a different security model for cloud compared to on-premise IT.

"It is no secret that cloud apps need solutions added to improve their security, yet to see 20 percent of app users admit a breach by ex-employees is still a surprisingly high result," said Davi Ottenheimer, president of flyingpenguin, in a prepared statement. "The real story behind the 80 percent already using cloud apps is that 70 percent admit apps came without company approval. In 2013, organizations will need solutions flexible enough to support the 60 percent with more than four apps already in use, and scalable enough to keep up with the 35 percent who plan to add at least four new apps this year."

All of this sounds like a good channel partner opportunity to help customers consider the challenges and risks of improper cloud usage by providing consultative services related to process and end user behavior. Chances are, this problem is not going to get better until more businesses step forward to actively deal with it.

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