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IBM’s new tool secures ‘bring your own’ cloud apps

Last updated on September 26th, 2015 at 06:41 pm

IBM announced recently that it is launching a new cloud security tool that aims to secure “bring your own” cloud apps that employees regularly use on their own accord.

Called Cloud Security Enforcer, the technology looks to safeguard the growing use of the BYO cloud apps at the workplace.

The tech titan says the Cloud Security Enforcer will be hosted on the company’s cloud infrastructure. The security tool will give businesses a hand in obtaining a presence in various third-party cloud apps that are accessed by their own employees, which will then have a greater method of secured entrance.

At the same time, companies will have the ability to control and maintain what corporate information and data can or can’t be shared with the apps. Essentially, the cloud tool identifies unauthorized cloud apps, utilizes secure connects, defends against threats and enforces data policies.

The monitoring of threats and security will be powered by IBM’s X-Force threat intelligence network.

“This allows companies to continuously analyze what’s happening around the world in terms of threats and potential threats for the outside apps their employees are using at work,” said Andy Land, product marketing director at IBM Security, in an interview with eSecurity Planet. “If an app is found to have rising risks or is in danger of being compromised, security teams will know immediately and can take back control of their data on that app.”

Much like the bring your own device (BYOD) trend, employees have been bringing their own cloud storage and productivity apps and tools to the workforce. This has been a growing trend in offices everywhere, especially as the work-life balance is blurred and our mobile devices are imperative to productivity.

It should be noted that IBM has constructed connectors to Box, Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365 and It will then later expand its series of app connectors to a variety of other cloud services.

Shadow IT: A Challenge for Employees

IBM recently conducted a study of Fortune 1000 company employees and discovered that millennial employees are the most avid users of cloud apps outside of their firms’ policies. More than half of millennial workers use cloud services at their office, while one-quarter link these apps to their corporate logins.

What does this mean? Potential security threats.

Management and IT department heads fear these types of “rogue activities on unsanctioned apps,” which has been referred to as “Shadow IT,” diminishes the level of control and enhances the visibility of sensitive data.

It uses the example of an employee using their personal email to establish a third-party, file-sharing app account. The worker then uploads their team’s sales contacts to view them on a mobile device.

Although this improves collaboration, it would pose a challenge if this employee takes another position at a rival firm because the uploaded data can still be viewed.

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Andrew Moran
Andrew Moran
Andrew Moran is a full-time professional writer and journalist, who covers the areas of business, economics and personal finance. He has contributed to Benzinga, Capital Liberty News, Career Addict, Money Morning and PFHub.