Cloud users ‘still lack basic security’, report warns

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European businesses that are migrating their processes and data to the cloud are often failing to take basic security precautions to protect themselves from breaches.

This is according to a new report from Bitglass, which found that companies in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region have been enthusiastic adopters of cloud technology, with five out of six firms (84 per cent) now deploying at least one cloud application. This marks a 27 per cent increase since 2016, the last time Bitglass ran a similar study.

However, it also found that less than half of companies (47 per cent) deploy single sign-on (SSO), which the company described as the most basic cloud security tool.

Chief marketing officer at Bitglass Rich Campagna 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."

Sectors where SSO is more widely used include education, where almost two-thirds of organisations (64 per cent) use this technology. Biotech (54 per cent), healthcare (53.7 per cent) and finance (53.5 per cent) are also industries where a majority of businesses take this basic cloud security precaution.

Overall, the study found that the most widely-adopted cloud application is Microsoft's Office 365, which was used by 65 per cent of organisations across the EMEA region. This was an increase of 51 per cent compared with 2016, with this option being more than three times as popular as Google's competing G Suite offering.

Meanwhile, usage of Amazon Web Services tools is significantly higher in EMEA than the rest of the world. Globally, eight per cent of organisations deploy these tools, but this rises to 21.8 per cent of EMEA firms.

Government organisations lead the way with AWS usage, with a 41.6 per cent adoption rate. Utilities was the laggard in this category, with just 5.3 per cent adoption.