Number of cloud apps in the enterprise declines for first time – is IT fighting back?


The average number of cloud apps used per enterprise has declined for the first time, according to the latest data from Netskope.

This shift – which the company notes is “consolidation efforts from IT begin[ning] to take hold” – is exacerbated by the lack of enterprise-grade security in most cloud apps. 89.6% of apps used are not enterprise-ready, and 90% of data loss prevention violations occur in cloud storage apps.

The latter point is of most concern. Netskope identified violations by discovering content at rest in sanctioned cloud apps via their APIs, alongside inspecting content in-line in real-time as per enterprises’ DLP policies, all through the Netskope Active Platform.

The five cloud app categories with the highest volume of policy violations are cloud storage apps, webmail, finance and accounting, social and CRM. In the instance of cloud storage, the action most likely to cause a violation is download, followed by login and upload. Personally identifiable information (PII) appears 27% of the time, followed by payment card information (24%) and what Netskope categorises as confidential or top secret documents.

The average number of apps used by enterprises has declined from 511 in Netskope’s last quarterly report, to 483 this time round.

“With so many cloud apps in the enterprise lacking the capabilities required for safe enablement, it is imperative that IT possess a holistic view of cloud app usage to inform proactive policies that reduce the risk of losing sensitive data,” said Sanjay Beri, Netskope CEO and founder. “More than just knowing where violations occur, it’s important to know how they are occurring and what steps can be taken to mitigate such behaviours.”

The most recent report, which CloudTech examined back in April, showed more than 15% of European organisations use more than 1000 cloud apps, with Google Drive, Facebook, and Twitter the most popular.