Cloud services are now an integral part of corporate life. Companies use, on average, 1,154 cloud services ranging from enterprise-ready services procured by the IT department such as Office 365 to far lesser known and riskier services such as FreakShare. It’s not uncommon for sensitive corporate data to make its way to the cloud, with 15.8% of documents in file sharing services containing some form of sensitive content.
Our latest Cloud Adoption & Risk Report (download a copy here) examines the cloud usage of over 23 million users at companies spanning all major industries worldwide. Across more than 16,000 cloud services, they generate in excess of 2 billion events each day including logins, uploads, edits, shares, deletes, etc. We’ve analyzed this activity and distilled some important facts about how companies are using the cloud today. Here are 11 of the most interesting findings from the report.
15.8% of files in the cloud contain sensitive data
The most common type of sensitive content found in the cloud is confidential data (e.g. financial records, business plans, source code, trading algorithms, etc.) with 7.6% of documents in file sharing services containing this data. Next, 4.3% of documents contain personally identifiable information, 2.3% contain payment data such as credit card numbers, and 1.6% contain protected health information. Sensitive data uploaded to the cloud, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing, but we’ve found that data can be placed at risk if it’s misused internally or shared externally outside of policy.
1,156 files contain the word “password” in the filename
A common theme in recent data breaches is that cyber criminals use compromised passwords to execute attacks. In the Anthem breach, it’s been reported that passwords belonging to five IT employees were used to access sensitive patient data. While it’s recommended users store passwords in a safe place, such as a secure password vault, unencrypted Excel and Word documents uploaded to file sharing services are a poor place to store passwords.
1,753 Excel documents contain the word “salary” in the filename
Recent headline-making data breaches have also involved documents containing employee salaries, Social Security numbers, home addresses, and bank account numbers. Many of these files include the word “salary” or “salaries” in the filename, making it even easier for a cyber criminal to identify them. The average company has 6,097 files containing these keywords in the filename stored in cloud-based file sharing services, and 1,753 are Excel spreadsheets.