Hybrid Cloud: the solution to security implications presented by shadow IT?
Today’s organisations are slowly shifting away from on-premise data centres and IT resources, with 30.2 percent of computing workloads expected to run in the public cloud by 2018. Why? Because cloud services offer organisations increased security, mobility and scalability – when implemented correctly.
Despite the rapid uptake of cloud based approaches, and the emergence of the hybrid cloud, research has found that half of CIOs (53%) fail to see how cloud computing can save them money. A similar number (53%) are concerned about intellectual property being stored in a public cloud because of potential security breaches. Unfortunately, high profile data breaches – everything from the Heartbleed vulnerability to the more recent high profile case of the Xbox hack aren’t doing much for the cause.
In this article, Lee Nolan, Director Solution Sales at Insight debunks the myth; taking a look at how and why a failure to adopt hybrid IT services can leave your organisation open to threats.
The need for Hybrid IT
Hybrid cloud has been named as one of 2015’s biggest tech trends. Analyst house IDC said the move to Hybrid IT would be a major factor this year, with more than 65% of enterprise IT organisations set to commit before the end of 2015. While most IT decision makers understand that a solid IT infrastructure will help mitigate against security threats, there remains scepticism when it comes to the security of cloud services. With an anticipated 59 percent increase on security spend over the next year – IT decision makers perhaps have reason to be concerned.
But, as security has become an industry wide concern, the technology available to protect organisations against risk has become far more advanced. Hybrid IT systems, when implemented effectively, provide additional layers of security that can be scaled up and down by businesses depending on their adversity to risk. What organisations need to realise is that not investing in hybrid IT is counter-productive; creating Shadow IT issues as employees look to replace outdated IT/technology products with non-compliant services.
The issue of Shadow IT
The average employee uses 28 cloud services; with this acceleration of Shadow IT, it is clear that organisations are opening themselves up to threats by allowing employees to use non-compliant services.
Outside the workplace employees have constant access to high-quality digital services, having high, and sometimes unrealistic expectations of how these digital technologies should translate into the workplace. As a result, employees are increasingly adopting services, outside of the network – such as Skype, DropBox and WhatsApp – that are leaving the business wide open to security threats. In fact, the latest Skyhigh Networks report titled “Cloud Adoption & Risk Report Q2 2015” found:
- The average organisation now uses 1,083 cloud services, which is 46.7% higher than this quarter last year
- 90% or more of the cloud services in use by the average company are introduced by employees without the knowledge of the IT department
- Of the over 12,000 cloud services Skyhigh tracks in its registry, just 7% satisfy the security requirements of enterprises
In their bid for a digital first workplace, employees are increasingly finding services that help them do their job more efficiently. Unless organisations start investing in hybrid IT systems, which provide employees with the right tools, applications and services to do their job, the issue of Shadow IT is only going to worsen.