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Malware can spread through cloud apps with great speed

There’s a good chance the cloud apps you use at work are laced with malware. Those are the findings of the latest report by cloud access security broker Netskope. In its February 2016 Netskope Cloud Report, the company says the usage of cloud apps in enterprises has never been this high – ever.

In Q4 of 2015, employees used on average 769 different cloud apps, representing a 26.5 per cent increase from the previous report.

But (there’s always a ‘but’) – 4.1 per cent of enterprises have sanctioned malware-infected cloud apps.

“Considering that unsanctioned apps represent the majority of an enterprise’s total cloud app footprint (at 95 per cent), report findings indicate IT may have an even larger scope of cloud app-based malware in enterprises than initially realised,” it says in the report.

Employees can spread malware through sync and share mechanisms, without actually knowing. As many people use different cloud apps to collaborate and work, malware can rapidly spread throughout an organisation.

"Employees are adopting cloud apps at an unprecedented rate, and organisations must prepare for the increasing security risks and challenges associated with the changing workplace," said Sanjay Beri, co-founder and CEO, Netskope. "Now more than ever, it's imperative that organisations have complete visibility into and real-time actionable control over their cloud app usage to better monitor and understand trends and vulnerabilities. It's only with this knowledge that IT can begin to protect against threats lurking in cloud apps, such as malware."

The report also suggests that Microsoft’s cloud apps are eclipsing those of Google, as well as that enterprise cloud apps aren’t prepared for the EU GDPR (general data protection regulation), something we’ve covered before.