Netskope Uncovers 161% Increase in Visits to High-Risk Apps and Websites While Remote Work Surges

Aug. 4, 2020 Santa Clara, Calif.

Netskope Cloud and Threat Report reveals massive shift in user behavior and increased risk as personal use of managed devices becomes ubiquitous

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 4, 2020 — Netskope, the leading security cloud, today announced the release of the August 2020 Netskope Cloud and Threat Report, which analyzes the most interesting trends on enterprise cloud service and app use, web and cloud-enabled threats, and cloud data migrations and transfers. Based on anonymized data from millions of global users, the report found there was a 148% rise in remote workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic—which resulted in a 161% increase in visits to high-risk apps and websites, as personal use of managed devices nearly doubled.

“The abrupt shift to remote work in 2020 sent a shockwave through organizations, as people found work and personal lives blended unlike ever before,” said 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.”

Key Findings

Based on anonymized data collected from the Netskope Security Cloud platform across millions of users from January 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020, key findings of the report include: 

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated remote work by more than doubling the number of people working outside the office, as 64% of workers are now remote. Along with this increase in remote work came an 80% increase in the use of collaboration apps as remote workers seek to remain connected with their colleagues, and the total number of cloud apps being used in the average enterprise increased to over 7,000 in the largest enterprises.

Personal use of devices increased by 97% and use of risky apps and websites increased by 161%. As employees become more accustomed to remote work, the lines are blurred between business and personal use, as employees are much more likely to use their devices for personal reasons and engage in risky activities. Notably, Netskope Threat Labs found that there is a 600% increase in the amount of traffic to websites hosting adult content, and that 7% of all users uploaded sensitive corporate data to personal instances of cloud apps—putting this data at risk of inappropriate use and theft. The top 5 most common types of sensitive data being uploaded to personal instances are:

  1. Protected Health Information (PHI)
  2. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) 
  3. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  4. Source Code
  5. Company Confidential Information

Cybercriminals’ adoption of the cloud as an attack vector continues to grow, with cloud phishing and cloud malware delivery uncovered as the two most common techniques. In 2020, 63% 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 were:

  1. Microsoft Office 365 OneDrive for Business
  2. Sharepoint
  3. Box
  4. Google Drive
  5. Amazon S3

The Netskope Cloud and Threat Report is produced by Netskope Threat Labs, a team composed of the industry’s foremost cloud threat and malware researchers who discover and analyze the latest cloud threats affecting enterprises.

Get the full report here.

Acerca de Netskope

The Netskope security cloud provides unrivaled visibility and real-time data and threat protection when accessing cloud services, websites, and private apps from anywhere, on any device. Only Netskope understands the cloud and delivers data-centric security from one of the world’s largest and fastest security networks, empowering the largest organizations in the world with the right balance of protection and speed they need to enable business velocity and secure their digital transformation journey. Reimagine your perimeter with Netskope.