Cloud traffic is dominating enterprise networks

Google cloud services
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Cloud services now account for 85 percent of all enterprise web traffic according to Netskope's recently released 2019 Netskope Cloud Report which signals a need for organizations to adopt a holistic approach to securing both the cloud and web.

Netskope also found that the average number of cloud services per enterprise increased by 3.9 percent to 1,295 cloud services compared to 1,246 in the firm's previous report from October 2018.

When it came to departments using the most cloud services, marketing was at the top of the list followed by HR and collaboration cloud services were the most widely used across departments. However, this widespread use of cloud services does open organizations to exposure of both customer and employee data.

Netskope's report found that the top policy violations differ for enterprise cloud services and traditional web traffic. DLP policy violations, cloud activity policy violations and anomalous activity violations were the top three policy violations detected in enterprise cloud services while acceptable use policy violations, malicious site violations and malware detections were the top infractions for traditional web traffic.

Rise in cloud services 

The report also highlighted how cloud storage and collaboration apps comprise the majority of the top 20 cloud services list with consumer-focused social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube also featured prominently on the list. This is a signal that more enterprises are allowing their employees to use corporate networks for personal use.

Multiple instances of cloud service usage across an organization are helping to drive the heavy use of cloud services in the enterprise. Personal use of popular services, the use of app instances by individual departments or teams and the use of app instances with third-parties like business partners and customers are all factors that impact the number of instances being used.

Chief Strategy Officer at Netskope, Jason Clark stressed the need for enterprises to put proper controls in place to secure all traffic flowing into and out of an organization, saying:

“As today’s enterprises embrace digital transformation and increasingly replace traditional web use with cloud service use, it is imperative to assess whether proper controls are in place to secure all traffic. While most tools are focusing on traditional web traffic, this significant shift to cloud usage is what’s causing security teams to go blind. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to properly securing an enterprise as it embraces new tools and technologies, but a clear understanding of traffic and proper vigilance should be a requirement for all.”

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.