Executives Most Likely to Bend Cloud App Rules

By | Oct 16, 2013

Cloud computing-based applications go hand in hand with the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement. Since both professional and personal data is stored in the cloud, these apps are a major security consideration for IT professionals at midsize firms. C-suite executives are the most likely to use cloud-based apps, even when IT professionals try to enforce policies against their use, a new survey from SafeNet Labs finds.

Bending the Rules

The report, featured in BizTech2, revealed that the higher the position an employee had, the less concerned they were about security. More than 50 percent of respondents were concerned about the security of cloud-based apps. However, 64 percent said they store both their professional and personal data on them. General employees expressed more concern about security than those in higher ranks, and 60 percent said it would not be surprising if their boss continued to go against corporate security policies. Respondents used cloud-based file sharing, email and productivity services the most.

Acceptance of the Cloud

As BYOD continues to gain acceptance, midsize companies are realizing the benefits of cloud-based solutions that meet their productivity goals. Through them, employees can communicate in a simple, easy-to-use way that makes it possible for them to work from anywhere at any time. Workers can access the corporate data they need and collaborate with others through web conferencing, file sharing and email. Those are a few reasons why top-level executives are using cloud apps with enthusiasm.

IT professionals at midsize firms continue to have security and compliance concerns when it comes to approving cloud-based apps within their network. Security is a top consideration for them when selecting a file sharing service. In the face of the BYOD movement, it is critical for all employees to be aware of and educated about the importance of protecting corporate data. Cloud apps that are used in a secure manner can prevent breaches from occurring. After all, the benefits of using a cloud app fall by the wayside if there are too many security risks. A breach can cause serious damage by exposing sensitive data and client information. There is the risk of profit losses, no matter who is responsible for the breach. The time and money spent in order to recover from a security breach can be devastating for a growing firm that has limited resources to begin with.

Reducing Risks

Higher-level executives are most likely to break their company's cloud app usage rules, but cloud apps are valuable for employee productivity. This conflict increases security risks within a company. IT professionals are tasked with enforcing security and compliance policies to help reduce those risks. It is important for all employees to be educated about the role they play in securing corporate data.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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