Crowd Sprawl: an oft-overlooked threat to your data

The ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) is trend is sweeping offices around the world, showing no signs of slowing down. As BYOD is employee driven, companies must adapt quickly to this technology.

Since the BYOD phenomenon began, employees have been taking advantage of the cloud and the benefits of being able to share and access data more efficiently on both their personal and work devices. To date it is estimated that 89%[1] of IT departments enable BYOD in some form.

Cloud sprawl, is a term used to describe how organisational data is distributed across different cloud service applications.

Vanson Bourne recently completed a survey of 200 IT directors managing organisations with over 1,000 employees. The study found that 67%[2] of those questioned were concerned about cloud sprawl, mainly because of the speed and ease of cloud deployment and the fact that employees can purchase these services without the involvement of the IT department. The survey also deduced that 54% of organisations have no idea how many cloud services their employees currently use.

Consequently with cloud sprawl, the business risks both the privacy of, and control over its intellectual property, as it is scattered across multiple platforms throughout the world.

Each piece of data, wherever it is physically stored, would then be bound by not only the terms and conditions of the supplier, but also by the laws of the country in which the data is held. For example, if the data uploaded to the cloud from UK territory was stored in America – or was affiliated with an American supplier – then it would be subject to U.S. laws and regulations, increasing the risk of interception or disclosure.

It is almost impossible for businesses to stop employees from uploading documents to the cloud, and even if this is achieved, think of what it would do to company morale and productivity when documents are harder to access and collaborate on.

It is clear that the cloud and its benefits are here to stay, and in order to prevent data leakage, organisations need to develop an internal strategy to manage cloud sprawl. Utilising a personalised cloud solution is one way of utilising the benefits of the cloud, whilst also ensuring that data is efficiently organised and easily located.

Talk to us today for more advice on how to embrace BYOD in your workplace!