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Press Release

Netskope Report: Rise in Cloud App Data Sharing Exposes Enterprises to Greater Risk

For Every Upload to Box, Dropbox and Other Cloud Storage Apps, There Are Three Shares

  • More than one in five cloud apps now enables sharing of data, files, content and links
  • On average, 508 cloud apps are in use per enterprise, yet 88 percent are not enterprise-ready
  • Marketers drive enterprise cloud app adoption, followed by HR, collaboration, storage and finance

LOS ALTOS, Calif. – July 31, 2014 – Netskope, the leader in cloud app analytics and policy enforcement, today announced findings from its July 2014 Netskope Cloud Report™, a quarterly report that monitors cloud app usage trends. The report revealed increasing rates of data sharing across a diverse range of cloud apps, from storage to business intelligence to HR. One out of every five cloud apps now allows users to share and collaborate on content, which includes files, links and videos. Additionally, the report found that for every one upload to a cloud storage app, there are three shares on average.

Based on aggregated, anonymized data from the Netskope Active Platform,™ the report’s findings are based on tens of billions of cloud app events seen across millions of users between April and June of 2014. Enterprises are continuing to adopt cloud apps at a fast pace, with an average of 508 apps per organization in Q2. Additionally, 88 percent of apps are not enterprise ready, scoring a “medium” or below in the Netskope Cloud Confidence Index™ — and 74 percent of total usage occurs in those higher risk apps.

“There’s been a considerable increase in usage of apps that include sharing functionality — many of which are unsanctioned,” said Sanjay Beri, CEO and founder Netskope. “This goes beyond traditional cloud storage apps; more and more, employees are sharing sensitive data through these apps and introducing new security and compliance challenges to enterprises. The good news here is that IT is increasingly aware of this phenomenon and taking steps to effectively monitor all apps being used in the network to neutralize these issues.”

What Are Apps Doing Wrong?

Enterprise-ready apps typically have defined administrative and/or access rights, strong security features, and established business continuity plans and procedures in the case of technology failure or natural disaster. However, many apps in use in enterprises lack sufficient safeguards, putting data at risk. According to data from the Netskope Active Platform, 77 percent of total app usage occurred in apps stored in multi-tenant environments. Additionally, more than one in five apps used did not have a published disaster recovery plan, exposing organizations to an even greater level of risk.

With most of the usage occurring in non-enterprise-ready apps, IT must look at app usage in the context of the user, content, location, activity, and device type to create the most effective security programs and policies for their needs in order to mitigate risk and encourage confidence in cloud app use.

Which Cloud Apps are Most Popular?

The report identified the top 20 apps used by enterprises based on distinct app sessions.

Cloud AppCategory
1Google DriveStorage
3Google GmailWebmail
5Amazon CloudDriveStorage
9Microsoft Office 365Collaboration
10Salesforce.comCRM and SFA
12LivePersonCall Center
14Cisco WebexCollaboration
20Constant ContactMarketing

Marketing Leads the Pack for App Usage

The report found that of all categories measured marketing had by far the highest instance of app usage, with an average of 61 apps in use per enterprise organization. That total is 1.5 times higher than the next highest total on the list, suggesting an increasing intersection between marketing and IT as marketers seek increasingly analytical methods to measure and drive campaigns.

Top Cloud App Activities and Violations

The top overall activities in cloud apps included “view,” “edit,” “download,” “create” and “upload.” The highest number of activities constituting policy violations included “login,” “download,” “edit,” “view,” and “create.” With policies enforced across a broad set of apps and activities, organizations are increasingly enforcing policies that indicate a focus on compliance and data leakage.

Sharing on the Rise in the Enterprise

Data from the Netskope Active Platform demonstrates the growing variety of apps that are used to share content. More than 20 percent of apps and 89 percent of categories in the Netskope Active Platform enable sharing. For every one upload to a cloud storage app, there are more than three shares. Top non-storage apps that enable sharing include Marketo, SuccessFactors, Webex, Yammer, Salesforce (CRM and SFA) and Workday (HR). For IT, the risks that come from increased sharing include potential data leakage or compliance exposure.

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About Netskope

Netskope™ is the leader in cloud app analytics and policy enforcement. Only Netskope eliminates the catch-22 between being agile and being secure and compliant by providing complete visibility, enforcing sophisticated policies, and protecting data in cloud apps. The Netskope Active Platform performs deep analytics and lets decision-makers create policies in a few clicks that prevent the loss of sensitive data and optimize cloud app usage in real-time and at scale, whether IT manages the app or not. With Netskope, people get their favorite cloud apps and the business can move fast, with confidence.

Netskope is headquartered in Los Altos, California. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @Netskope.


[1] The Netskope Cloud Confidence Index™ is a database of more than 5,000 cloud apps that are evaluated on 40+objective enterprise-readiness criteria adapted from the Cloud Security Alliance, including security, auditability, and business continuity. The results of the evaluation are normalized to a 0−100 score and mapped to five levels ranging from “poor” to “excellent.”