Rogue cloud risk to firms - survey

2013-02-07 07:24
Internet. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Internet. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - While an overwhelming majority of South African enterprises have embraced internet cloud technology, a growing number are exposed to risk from rogue implementations, a survey has found.

A Symantec Global Survey has revealed that 90% of South African companies have moved a percentage of the data management to cloud systems, but some are experiencing increasing cost related to rogue implementations.

Rogue clouds are defined as company sensitive information stored on public cloud platforms that cannot be secured by a firm's IT department.

"By taking control of cloud deployments, companies can seize advantage of the flexibility and cost savings associated with the cloud, while minimising the data control and security risks linked with rogue cloud use," said Mark Smissen, business development manager for in Africa.

Services like Dropbox, Google's Drive and Microsoft's SkyDrive are becoming popular methods of sharing information and managers are increasingly using these platforms outside of company infrastructure to collaborate.


According to the survey, 59% of companies met cloud compliance requirements and legislation may force chief information officers (CIOs) to ensure that organisations have adequate measure in place to protect sensitive personal information.

"With the Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act's implementation coming soon, many CIOs may have to audit existing systems to ensure that the company complies with the new legislation," said Smissen.

The survey revealed that organisations where rogue cloud implementations were practiced reported a range of issues relating to data loss and theft of intellectual property.

Around 64% of companies use three different cloud storage services, leading to complications in IT management and 39% have experienced data loss, the survey found.

In SA, 46% of firms do not back up cloud data and 34% say that it would take in excess of two days to recover from a data loss in the cloud.

Cloud services companies are growing at an exponential rate and Symantec advised firms to implement policies that ensured their security and accountability for dealing with data.

"PoPI will affect virtually all businesses in South Africa, so it’s important that organisations have the necessary systems and processes in place to minimise risk and protect their information," Smissen said.

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