But there are also risks to consider. IT firm SoftChoice Cloud has published the findings of an interesting survey that highlighted how employees who use these applications are exposing their organizations to security breaches and data losses at a much higher rate than non-cloud users.
The cloud, as it’s known colloquially, is also referred to as SaaS (Software as a Service) and it has grown exponentially over the last decade. As part of this survey, SoftChoice interviewed 1,000 employees in the U.S. and Canada and found that employees who use SaaS apps for work have developed bad habits and risky behaviors that may compromise the security of their organizations.
Here’s what SoftChoice found in regards to SaaS password security:
- SaaS users are more than twice as likely to display their passwords on Post-Its as non-SaaS users.
- SaaS users are 10 times more likely to store their passwords on unsecured or shared drives, and more than 3 times as likely to keep passwords in an unprotected document.
Security by Age Group and Number of Apps
SoftChoice found that security varies widely by age group, with millennials having much worse security habits than their Baby Boomer counterparts. In addition, many SaaS users access five or more apps.
- 28% of millennials keep their passwords in plain sight, compared to only 10% of Baby Boomers.
- 36% of SaaS users access five or more SaaS apps, which makes it more difficult and cumbersome to create and remember unique passwords for each app.
SaaS File Transfers
SaaS app users are also more likely to send company files to their personal email account, attempt remote access to a work account for a former job, and use work apps not sanctioned by their IT department than non-SaaS users.
- Nearly 60% of SaaS users have emailed company files to their personal email address, more than double that of non-SaaS users.
- SaaS users were four times more likely to attempt to login to a work account at a former job.
- SaaS users were 17 times more likely to use an app to access company files that their IT department does not know about.
Fixing SaaS User’s Behavior
SoftChoice recommends the following two methods to organizations to help improve the security practices of SaaS app users.
First, organizations must implement the right policies, procedures, and infrastructure to allow IT to manage the SaaS apps that their employees need to be productive away from the office.
Second, organizations must regularly communicate SaaS best practices that are both secure and user-friendly. This will help employees realize the risks they face when using SaaS apps and why it is important to comply with the rules.