Study Examines Government Cloud Adoption and Shadow IT

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Top 20 Consumer Apps in the Enterprise

Today, many consumer applications are so useful, employees use them in their everyday work. This can cause headaches for IT if government data is stored in unsanctioned cloud services known as “shadow IT.” Attackers can also use these services as vehicles to exfiltrate data. For example, Skyhigh discovered attacks that targeted sensitive company IP, and then leveraged Twitter to exfiltrate the stolen data 140 characters at a time. Their security intelligence team also identified a novel attack that steals sensitive data by encoding the data into video files before uploading them to YouTube, where attackers can then download the information and decode it.

Federal, state and local governments are migrating to cloud services to take advantage of greater collaboration, agility and innovation at lower cost. However, despite clear benefits, 89 percent of IT professionals in government feel apprehension about migrating to the cloud.1 That being said, many public sector employees are less apprehensive and are adopting cloud services on their own, creating shadow IT. Under FITARA, U.S. federal CIOs have new obligations to not only oversee sanctioned cloud services procured by the agency, but also shadow IT, which has brought to light a great deal of uncertainty about how employees are using cloud services in government agencies.

To better understand these trends, Skyhigh Networks has published a "Cloud Adoption & Risk in Government Report." Findings were based on anonymized usage data for over 200,000 users in the public sector in the United States and Canada, rather than relying on surveys, which ask people to self-report their behavior.

1 Meritalk “The Fabric of Your Data: How to Manage Data in a Multi-Cloud, Multi-Vendor Environment”

 

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