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The risks associated with shadow IT have exploded in size over the last couple of years. A survey of ten million users with personal devices connected to enterprise systems found nearly 160,000 different apps being used, a 30 times increase over the number of apps found to be used in 2014. The average number of apps used at any one enterprise among all companies surveyed was 733. More than a quarter of those apps were classified as high risk and 58 percent as medium risk.
The report was conducted by the company CloudLock and used a risk evaluation metric called Cloud Application Risk Index (CARI). Each app was scored on factors like community trust ratings, past breaches, and application threat intelligence.
Interestingly, while healthcare has seen a spike in recently reported breaches, that industry reported the lowest number of third party apps connecting to the network (138 on average), while industries like retail and manufacturing had more than 2000 different apps having access to the network. The report found that “in industries with more tech-savvy users, applications are abundant and increasing in use at faster rates.”
Kaya Firat, CloudLock director of customer insights and analytics, said that “the shift to the cloud creates a new, virtual security perimeter that includes third-party apps granted access to corporate systems. Today, most employees leverage a wide variety of apps to get their jobs done efficiently, unwittingly exposing corporate data and systems to malware and the possibility of data theft.”