Visits to high risk apps and websites increase 161 percent

endpoint security

There's been a huge shift to remote working this year, but new data shows that there has also been a 161 percent increase in visits to high-risk apps and websites as personal use of managed devices has nearly doubled.

The study from cloud security company Netskope finds that 64 percent of workers are now remote. Along with this increase in remote work has come an 80 percent increase in the use of collaboration apps as remote workers seek to remain connected with their colleagues

The total number of cloud apps being used in the average enterprise has also increased to over 7,000 in the largest of organizations.

As employees become more accustomed to remote work, the lines are blurred between business and personal use, as people are much more likely to use their devices for personal reasons and engage in risky activities. Notably, Netskope Threat Labs has found a 600 percent increase in the amount of traffic to websites hosting adult content, and that seven percent of all users have uploaded sensitive corporate data to personal instances of cloud apps -- putting this data at risk of inappropriate use and theft.

Clearly cybercriminals have noted the shift too as 63 percent of malware was delivered over cloud applications -- a four point increase from the end of 2019. The top cloud apps and services from which Netskope blocked malware downloads are, Microsoft Office 365 OneDrive for Business, Sharepoint, Box, Google Drive and Amazon S3.

"The abrupt shift to remote work in 2020 sent a shockwave through organizations, as people found work and personal lives blended unlike ever before," says Ray Canzanese, threat research director at Netskope. "While many companies rose to the challenge to embrace cloud-based collaboration tools, we also found increased risk as employees used work devices for personal reasons. Organizations must tackle this problem head-on by prioritizing threat protection and ensuring safe cloud and web access through methods like strong authentication and access controls, data and threat protection, as well as zero-trust network access to private apps in data centers and public cloud services. Enacting measures like this will reduce exposure of apps, cloud-enabled threats, unintentional data movement, and limit network lateral movement."

You can get the full report from the Netskope site.

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