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Beware the coming of the ROGUE CLOUDS, wails Symantec

Some of your firm's vital data is already on Dropbox

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With one eye on Larry Ellison's Oracle in 2011 Salesforce chief Marc Benioff attacked “fake clouds” saying they aren’t the future.

Oracle - late to clouds - threatened to challenge Benioff’s message of using public clouds that house your data next to other customers' data in a secure, multi-tenant model with the idea of keeping things snugly private - on, say, an Oracle virtual stack.

Now we have “rogue clouds” where firms are buying online services without meaning to or having any control over them, thanks to well-intentioned and cost-conscious employees looking to cut costs.

A survey from Symantec promoting its security and backup offerings reckons three quarters of businesses have reported the existence of rogue clouds in their IT infrastructure.

The bigger the company, the more likely an employer has a rogue cloud - 83 per cent for enterprises versus 70 per cent for small and mid-market employers.

That’s a problem, according to Symantec: because 40 per cent reported the exposure of confidential information through such services with more than a quarter suffering from account take overs, the defacement of web properties and stolen goods of services.

The most commonly cited reason for firing up a rogue cloud was to save time and money, according to Symantec.

Symantec’s 2013 Cloud Survey polled 3,236 organizations from 29 countries between September and October last year.

Symantec didn’t name names, but it is plainly talking about services such as Dropbox, which you can set up quite easily without the permission of the IT department. Dropbox was hacked last year, with users receiving spam after accounts where hacked using people’s passwords and usernames used on other sites. The year before, Dropbox admitted it had inadvertently published code on its web site that let anyone sign in to any Dropbox account without credentials. ®

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