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Office 365 Adoption Picks Up Pace Amid Security Concerns

Adoption rates for Microsoft’s cloud-based, hosted productivity suite, Office 365, have increased significantly in the past 12 months; however, security concerns remain a barrier to adoption.

A Barracuda study, Office 365 Adoption Survey: Drivers, Risks, and Opportunities, queried over 1,100 organizations globally, ranging from single-person businesses to companies with more than 10,000 employees. It found that 63% of respondents are currently using Office 365, while 49% of the remaining respondents are planning to make the move as well.

This shows healthy enthusiasm for the platform: One year ago, only 42% of respondents were using Office 365, so there has been a 20% increase in adoption in just over a year. 

Despite this market exuberance, hold-out respondents cited concerns over security as the main reason for not migrating to Office 365 (44%). Nearly 70% of active users reported significant concerns about advanced email threats specifically, and of those planning to migrate, 76% expressed the same concerns. 

An overwhelming 89% of respondents also expressed concerns over phishing, spear phishing and social engineering, and almost half (46%) of respondents reported that they have already been targeted by such attacks. But ransomware was the top concern, with more than 92% of respondents worried about it, and half (47%) reporting that they have been a victim of a ransomware attack in the past. Of those victimized, 76% identified email as the affected threat vector. 

When it comes to deterrence, layered security is the chosen implementation path for the majority of organizations. About 57% of respondents stated that they were augmenting Office 365 deployments with a layered-security approach, as well as additional archiving or backup solutions. Of those intending to migrate, 72% said that they plan to take the layered approach as well.

“These findings indicate the growing security awareness we’re seeing from customers, and the necessity to take a layered approach moving forward,” said Sanjay Ramnath, vice president of security products and business strategy, Barracuda

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