Three quarters of Australian businesses are moved, or are planning to move, to cloud-based file sharing due to increased security concerns, according to research conducted by Telsyte and released by BlackBerry on Wednesday.
The research -- which formed part of Telsyte's 2017 Australian Enterprise Mobility Market Study -- found that cloud storage services ranked highest among security concerns. According to those surveyed, the biggest security threats were documents shared via the cloud, which concerned 52 percent of respondents; IP loss, at 43 percent; and customer identification, at 42 percent.
The study also found that 62 percent of Australian businesses are worried about risks associated with employees storing sensitive information on cloud storage devices.
Foad Fadaghi, managing director at Telsyte, said that the increasing concerns about using the cloud for business are due to a number of high-profile security breaches affecting personal cloud services.
"The use of personal cloud storage services has been pretty low on the security radar during the past few years; however, recent high-profile breaches have amplified this as a potential problem," he said. "Our research shows many companies will be reviewing the use of personal cloud services in the coming year, in the same way they were forced to address potential risks associated with personal email services a few years ago."
BlackBerry APAC VP Paul Crighton said the research shows businesses need secure file-sharing systems, rather than doing away with them completely.
"It makes more sense to increase protection at the document level rather than trying to change the storage platform -- whether that's in the cloud, on a device, or within a network. That way, you can still provide a high level of protection, but in a user-friendly way that will maximise workflows," he said.
"Our customers increasingly want to improve workplace collaboration within a secure mobile environment, which is a huge challenge for them."
The Telsyte study, paid for by BlackBerry, ranked BlackBerry as the leading enterprise mobile device and application management (MDM) vendor in Australia and New Zealand, followed by IBM, and then Samsung. MDM growth is being driven by a high rate (86 percent) of enterprises that are still concerned about the security of enterprise mobility, it added.
BlackBerry also announced two new customers: Parliamentary Service New Zealand, and Australian non-profit healthcare provider Mai-Wel Group, which will deploy WatchDox and other cross-platform solutions.
"BlackBerry's Good Secure Collaboration Suite from the Good Dynamics Platform will allow us to log our data efficiently and accurately in a secure environment, increasing our productivity and number of visits," said Eddie Meehan, Mai-Wel's manager of information and communications services. "This is essential for our business to continue to support the community."
The company took another step forward in its transition to a software and services-based business when it ended in-house production of its smartphones last month.
In its second quarter results, BlackBerry saw revenue drop by a third to $334 million, while its posted a loss of $372 million.
"We are reaching an inflection point with our strategy. Our financial foundation is strong, and our pivot to software is taking hold," CEO John Chen said. "In Q2, we more than doubled our software revenue year over year and delivered the highest gross margin in the company's history."