Every time a user logs on to Facebook, Tweets or participates in business-to-business ecommerce over a social media outlet, that employee is accessing the cloud, opening the company up to any cyber criminal patrolling the online waters.

These stealth cloud services, browser-based applications that run off of public clouds that businesses have no control over, are becoming problematic in the enterprise, CIO.com reports. The stealth cloud is a fitting name for these tools that most business users run into during their time as a consumer, discover its usefulness and adapt for work. In many cases, individuals can feel fulfilled, believing they are helping IT by removing their workload by not demanding new tools to perform business functions.

The problem is IT tends to not know about or monitor the use of stealth cloud services in businesses. Sure, everybody knows that employees are using Facebook, but that obscure CRM application that one worker stumbled upon is unheard of in IT.

An initial reaction to all of this drama, from an employee's perspective, is to wonder why the company does not just allow workers to use these free software programs that keep popping up online providing quality, and often industry-specific, business solutions.

From IT's perspective, the response is clear. The free online applications are untested, insecure and a potential haven for cyber criminals.

In the end, stealth clouds end up creating an increased divide between IT and the rest of the office, decreasing productivity while reducing the business' online security presence.

For CIOs to avoid these problems, the key is not to avoid cloud computing. According to CIO.com, many cloud vendors are successful because they can actually provide better security than an in-house IT option.

Defeating the stealth cloud depends on a renewed commitment to cloud computing. Workers want to be productive, and if IT does not let them on the cloud, they will go back to those stealthy applications that get the job done but terrify the IT department. As a result, the only way to truly secure a company from stealth clouds is to provide comparable services that have been tested, secured and proven as valid options for enterprise adoption.

According to a recent report from the San Francisco Chronicle, many employers are attempting to prevent stealth cloud services, such as Facebook, from being used in the workplace. A recent survey by McAfee found that almost half of all businesses build anti-Facebook rules into their compliance standards and firewall protocols.

The survey found 60 percent of respondents have experienced malware strikes from web 2.0 threats, clarifying the message that IT needs to understand the ramifications of the stealth cloud and act accordingly.