Almost 80 percent of UK businesses plan to increase their use of cloud-based apps this year, but they are "struggling" to maintain security and control, according to research.
For the research, cloud-based identity management firm Okta commissioned a poll among 200 UK companies, and found that only nine percent "feel confident" about having complete visibility of all the applications currently used by employees.
The research found that employees are believed to be accessing a minimum of eight cloud applications per month at work, but with more than one-third (37 percent) doing so without IT jurisdiction.
Only one in three IT decision makers (32 percent) in the poll were "comfortable" they could pull together a list of access privileges and be "confident" that these are accurate.
"While no two businesses or IT environments look the same, every IT leader we speak with is looking to solve the same fundamental challenge. How can they deliver the best possible experience to their employees, customers and partners, while, at the same time, maintain a high level of security and control?" said Phil Turner, vice president of EMEA at Okta.
Turner said: "It's hard to argue that cloud-based applications offer a superior user experience, but with the majority of cloud usage happening 'off radar', via mobile devices and across enterprises, businesses now need a better way to secure and control a magnitude more users, devices and applications that span traditional company and network boundaries."
Regardless of any policy or training businesses put in place, more than half (59 percent) believe employees will continue to use their own cloud applications.
This could explain why businesses are no longer confident they are upholding their IT security, with only six percent "highly confident" that cloud applications are integrated into their existing governance and IT security policies.
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