Rapid cloud migration not being matched by adoption of adequate security measures, warns report
There looks to be a clear victor in the European office software battle, with Microsoft Office 365 use soaring at the expense of Google’s G Suite, according to a new survey of 20,000 organisations across the EMEA region conducted by Bitglass.
The company’s second Cloud Adoption Report, published today, found that European cloud adoption has increased 27 percent since 2016, with Office 365 and Amazon Web Services (AWS) use both notably outstripping global averages.
The boom was led by the heavily regulated finance and healthcare sectors, in which use of Office 365 has nearly doubled since 2016.
According to Silicon Valley-based cloud security specialist Bitglass, Office 365 was being used by 65 percent of respondents, up from 43 percent in 2016, while G Suite was being used by 19.2 percent; down from 22 percent in 2016.
Google says that more than four million organizations are paying G Suite customers.
But despite household names like Airbus, Nielsen and Verizon adopting the suite, the report shows that Microsoft is further securing its dominance in the European market.
Adoption of AWS across the EMEA region meanwhile rose to 21.8 percent, against 13.8 percent globally.
“[This is] indicative of the growing use of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platforms as a means of pushing compute and storage to the cloud from premises servers. Many firms in EMEA are also early adopters, willing to try new methods of custom app deployment like AWS that seem promising and are growing rapidly,” Bitglass said.
Cloud Reach Greater Than Cloud Grasp?
The report found that a majority of EMEA organisations lack basic security tools, with only 47 percent of organisations analysed having a single sign-on tool in use, for example. (SSO seeks to reduce the risk of compromised credentials that comes with falling password hygiene, as user IDs and passwords proliferate across multiple systems, as well as improve IT monitoring).
Rich Campagna, CMO at Bitglass said: “The results of this survey reinforce what we found in our 2016 study – organisations in EMEA are embracing cloud productivity apps but still lack the security tools necessary to protect data. In cloud-first environments, security must evolve to protect data on many more endpoints and in many more applications.”
Bitglass’s Steve Armstrong, the company’s regional director for UK&I, told Computer Business Review in an emailed statement: “It’s time for organisations to use tools that allow them to fill the security gaps that put data and users at risk.”
He noted: “Typically, this involves addressing three key concerns: shadow IT, mobile devices, and data access. Fortunately, specialised solutions termed cloud access security brokers (CASBs) have quickly emerged as the security tools of choice for today’s business world. CASBs grant thorough visibility through activity logs that detail all data access, as well as shadow IT discovery that reveals the unmanaged applications used by employees. The solutions also provide identity and access management capabilities that authenticate users and govern data access by a variety of factors. Features like data loss prevention (DLP) and encryption offer robust data security, while advanced threat protection (ATP) can defend against zero-day malware.”