60% of all sensitive files in the cloud are Microsoft Office documents

60% of all sensitive files in the cloud are Microsoft Office documentsAnalyzing data usage from a whopping 23 million users and over 2 billion unique transactions, Skyhigh Networks, a company focused on cloud-based security products, has provided us with one of the most insightful looks into how users and businesses employ cloud services across the world.

With usage almost doubling compared to Q3 2013, currently, companies across multiple industries are deploying in average around 1,154 cloud services per organization, with 72.9% of those cloud services being enterprise products, and the rest being consumer-grade services.

Unfortunately, with this rise in usage, there's also a higher chance of improper use, which the report also manages to highlight through some interesting statistics.

According to gathered data, while cloud services aren't famous for having the best security measures in place and are generally out of the IT department's control, companies do tend to store a lot of sensitive data inside them.

The report found that 15.8% of all the analyzed files were of a sensitive nature, 7.6% being confidential data, 4.3% holding personal data, 2.3% containing payment details, and 1.6% storing health information.

Worse is the fact that users have also used quite telling file names. Some of the most encountered words were budget, salary, bonus, confidential, passport, and password. If you were an attacker, these are telltale signs that documents may hold sensitive information.

60% of all sensitive files in the cloud are Microsoft Office documents

Taking even a closer look at these sensitive files, most were Microsoft Office documents, accounting for 58.4%. Breaking down this number by file type, almost a third of all the files, 29.2%, were Excel spreadsheets, followed by 16.7% Word files, 10.1% PowerPoint presentations, and 2.4% being Outlook data.

On second place, behind Office documents, came PDF files, which organizations stored in enough numbers to account for 18.8% of all the sensitive data. In the 22.8% "Others" category, Skyhigh found over 500 file types, ranging from diagrams to source code files.

And since we’ve brought up source code, Skyhigh detected a lot of "shadow code repositories," most of being projects coded in Objective-C, JavaScript, Python, C, and Java.

Source: Softpedia

Tags: cloud computing, research

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