Popular cloud storage and file sharing platforms could be leaving businesses vulnerable to data loss, according to a report form security firm Sophos.
Senior security engineer David Schwartzberg warned users that cloud services such as Dropbox will often store data in unknown locations on services which can not always be trusted or verified to provide security for documents.
In a post to the company's Naked Security blog, Schwartzberg noted that the consumerisation of IT has brought new devices into the enterprise, accompanied by an increase in the use of unauthorised cloud storage services.
The result, said Schwartzberg, is the rise of the "Bring Your Own Software" (BYOS) challenge for administrators.
"There's no doubt that the adoption of cloud computing is on the rise. But historically we have seen that attacks tend to follow the more ubiquitous technologies," he said.
"In short, if something is popular chances are that the cybercriminals will explore how they might be able to take advantage."
Cloud storage has long suffered from a lack of confidence over data security. Worries over compliance and data loss have been cited as major hurdles for the adoption of cloud platforms.
Schwartzberg recommended that users employ a third-party encryption tool to help secure data before it is is sent to a cloud storage or file sharing service.
"In a nutshell, if your data is being stored in the cloud, more data can be put at risk if there is a single successful breach," he said.
"Encryption is a leap forward in the right direction for any organisation trying to deal with users who are already housing sensitive and/or protected data on third-party servers."
Ultimately, however, the researcher believes that cloud storage providers will need to offer security protections such as encryption key management and reporting services.