Employees using shadow IT for whistle-blowing

Wait until you hear what employees in Europe are using cloud services for, oh boy.

Blue Coat Systems has polled more than 3,000 workers in France, Germany and the UK, asking them about their cloud usage habits.

As it turns out, some employees use cloud services (Dropbox, Box, Office 365, Slack, LinkedIn, Facebook, Gmail, etc.) to store data before starting a new job, for corporate espionage, whistle-blowing and even ‘personal protection’.

Eight per cent of employees said they stored data to be later used for whistle-blowing, and those employees are most usually HR professionals (17 per cent).

This research highlights the behavioural traits of employees using cloud applications at work and the risks they expose their employers to through their behaviour,” commented Dr. Hugh Thompson, chief technology officer and SVP at Blue Coat Systems.

“Most significantly, the job areas that manage the most critical data, such as IT, financial and HR, use cloud applications the most. This sensitive data is often the jewels that hackers are after and want to exploit most. Shadow data, outside of corporate IT controls, clearly remains a major challenge for organisations and data shared on unsanctioned applications requires a proactive approach to ensure employee access is within the parameters of safe usage.”

Among the more legal reasons people use shadow IT is mostly collaboration (23 per cent), efficiency (17 per cent), and remote working (10 per cent).

Millennials are most likely to use shadow IT, with 30 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 25 per cent of 25-34 year olds reported sharing data this way.

Eighteen per cent of 45-54 year-olds, and 21 per cent of those aged 55+ reported doing the same.

Image Credit: Flickr / Adib Roy