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Still Careless Users In The Cloud - Research Study

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In 2014, cloud computing was still shifting into the enterprise mainstream. Back then, Softchoice commissioned a study that discovered North American workers who use cloud apps displayed markedly more reckless technology habits and were more likely to put their employers’ networks and corporate data at risk.

Two years later, most organizations have gone from flirting with the cloud to wholesale adoption, yet despite their new level of cloud sophistication – not much has else changed! From lax password security to rogue IT behavior, North American workers are (Still) Careless Users in the Cloud.

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Still Careless Users In The Cloud - Research Study

  1. 1. 1(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD (Still) Careless users in the Cloud
  2. 2. 2(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD Introduction In 2014, cloud computing was still shifting into the enterprise mainstream. Tech-savvy employees were eager to adopt cloud-based apps into their professional lives, breeding new challenges for IT departments. Back then, Softchoice commissioned a study that discovered North American workers who use cloud apps displayed markedly more reckless technology habits and were more likely to put their employers’ networks and corporate data at risk. Two years later, most organizations have gone from flirting with the cloud to wholesale adoption, yet despite their new level of cloud sophistication – not much has else changed! From lax password security to rogue IT behavior, North American workers are (Still) Careless Users in the Cloud. Methodology Softchoice, a leading North American IT solutions and managed services provider, commissioned a study to understand people’s technology habits, and how having access to cloud-based applications has affected that behavior. 1,500 people across the U.S. and Canada, who use technology for their full- time job, were asked about their habits related to cloud application use, security, remote access, and device preferences, along with their perceptions of and compliance with IT guidelines.
  3. 3. 3(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD On average, North American employees use 2 devices for work. While desktops are still common, more nimble devices are stealing workday share: Devices used by employees for work Laptop 61% Tablet 27% Smartphone 51% Phablet 6% Wearable 2% Employee Profile: Devices 42% of tablet owners prefer using it for work over a desktop or laptop 16% of non-tablet owners plan to get one in the next year 14% of employees plan on getting a wearable in the next year
  4. 4. 4(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD Employee Profile: Cloud Apps Half of employees who use cloud-based apps for work have access to 3 or more IT-approved apps. Top reasons for using IT-approved cloud apps: 1. Specific job-related tasks 2. Collaboration with co-workers 3. File storage 4. Project management 5. Remote access Top reasons for not using IT-approved apps: 1. Poor user experience 2. I don’t trust it’s secure 3. Not compatible with all devices 4. It lacks specific features I need for work 5. It’s too slow x
  5. 5. 5(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD Gaps in training and policy making A significant number of employees are unaware of the risks of their careless technology habits. 58% of all employees have NOT been told the right way to download and use cloud apps 44% of all employees have NOT been told how to securely transfer and store private corporate data 39% of all employees have NOT been told the risks of downloading cloud apps without IT’s knowledge
  6. 6. 6(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD Employees behaving badly 1-in-5 keep passwords in plain sight, such as on a Post-It note 1-in-4 manage passwords in a doc that is not itself password protected 1-in-5 access work files from a device that is not password protected 1-in-5 lost employee devices is not password protected 1-in-3 cloud app users have downloaded one without letting IT know
  7. 7. 7(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD Access to the cloud amplifies the risk of employees’ careless behavior. Cloud app users are 2xmore likely to… …than employees who don’t use cloud-based apps. Careless users in the cloud Keep passwords on Post-It notes Store passwords on an unprotected shared drive Manage passwords in an unprotected document Access work files from an unprotected device Lose a device with access to work files
  8. 8. 8(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD Access to cloud apps creating IT headaches Employees who use cloud-based apps are 10x more likely to shun the IT approved program for an unsanctioned one they download themselves. Employees who use cloud-based apps are 4x more likely to access work files outside the office through a program IT doesn’t know about. 23% of cloud app users claim there is a popular app that a lot of employees use that IT doesn’t support (most popular: Dropbox and Google Docs).
  9. 9. 9(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD Shadow IT: Generation Breakdown Younger app users are more likely to go rogue than their more senior colleagues. Motivations for breaking the rules can also differ based on age. Motivation Millennials and Gen Xers say IT is too slow to approve their choice. Boomers say they didn’t know they had to notify IT at all. Downloads apps without letting IT know: 31% Millennials 30% Gen X 22% Baby Boomers
  10. 10. 10(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD Shadow IT: Generation Breakdown Younger app users are more likely to go rogue than their more senior colleagues. Motivations for breaking the rules can also differ based on age. Motivation Millennials say IT’s version doesn’t improve productivity, Gen Xers blame compatibility across devices, and Boomers say IT’s version offers a poor user experience. Downloads unsanctioned apps when IT offers an approved version: 23% Millennials 26% Gen X 13% Baby Boomers
  11. 11. 11(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD Shadow IT: Generation Breakdown Younger app users are more likely to go rogue than their more senior colleagues. Motivations for breaking the rules can also differ based on age. Accesses work files through an app IT doesn’t know about: 30% Millennials 27% Gen X 12% Baby Boomers
  12. 12. 12(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD R-E-S-P-E-C-T employees have it for I-T While employees don’t always follow the rules, most believe their IT department is doing a good job. 71% say IT works proactively to understand their business needs. 67% say IT provides an optimal level of tech support. Overall, cloud app users have a sunnier view of their IT teams (over non-users), as do Canadians (over Americans). “IT provides an optimal level of support.” 75% (app users) vs. 55% non-app users 81% (all Canadians) vs. 60% (all Americans)
  13. 13. 13(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD Sorry, not sorry, eh? Despite being more satisfied with their IT departments, Canadian cloud users are more likely to disobey IT than their American counterparts. “I downloaded an app without IT’s permission.” 33% vs. 24% “IT takes too long to approve things.” 46% vs. 22% “I downloaded an app even though IT offers a similar one.” 33% vs. 12% “I remotely access files via an unsanctioned app.” 39% vs. 12% “I access files from a device with no password.” 39% vs. 18% “I display passwords on Post-It notes.” 41% vs. 13%
  14. 14. 14(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD Recommendation: Prioritize training and communication Risky behavior and data vulnerabilities are almost guaranteed to persist without adequate education on the apps, platforms and IT tools employees use. Training – bolstered by regular communications and resources to reinforce the do’s and don’ts – will help employees to correct their bad user behavior, help them see the benefits of using the tools IT provides, and help them to understand the risks of shadow IT and why certain popular consumer apps don’t belong in the workplace.
  15. 15. 15(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD Recommendation: Address careless behavior at the source While employees gain a better understanding of IT through training and communications, IT also needs to better understand employee behaviors and preferences. They should assess what unsanctioned apps are being used in the organization’s environment and engage employees to identify the reasons why they stray from using sanctioned apps and IT-approved procurement processes. They can use shadow IT as a means to get closer to users, and be seen as a business enabler, by providing employees with a choice of enterprise-grade app options that meet employee needs around productivity, compatibility, and user experience.
  16. 16. 16(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD Recommendation: Manage the sprawl of apps and connected devices The number and variety of devices that employees use for work is on the rise. IT can take the hardware out of the equation by standardizing the ‘safe list’ of vetted apps on an identity management platform, as part of a broader Enterprise Mobility Management strategy. Employees can then access all of their apps in one location, using a single password. IT can consolidate cloud spend, monitor app use, and provision and deprovision users all from a single pane of glass – minimizing risk to the organization, while providing a user-friendly environment for all employees.
  17. 17. 17(STILL) CARELESS USERS IN THE CLOUD Ready to put an end to careless cloud use? Contact us today to learn more about how Softchoice makes it easier to source, implement and manage the right cloud solutions for your organization. Softchoice.com 1-800-268-7638 |

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