Firms Regularly Leak Sensitive Data to the Cloud
The average worker shares nearly 40 files containing sensitive information with the public or co-workers, according to an analysis by Elastica.The cloud allows for the convenient storage of information for on-the-go workers and gives them the ability to broadly share information with colleagues, but many people do not consider the security implications of putting sensitive data in the cloud, according to a recent study done by cloud-security firm Elastica. The survey found that each worker stored an average of 2,037 documents in cloud storage services. The workers broadly shared an average of 185 documents with colleagues, their company or the public, and 20 percent of the documents contained sensitive or compliance-related data, according to the report. Companies need to develop the ability to know what documents their employees are sharing because blocking cloud applications does not work for long, Rehan Jalil, president and CEO of Elastica, told eWEEK. "You can't stop the sharing, but you need new methods to monitor it to make sure that you are not leaking data," he said. "It's a problem that they need to be aware of and that they need to educate employees on."
Cloud services have taken off over the past half decade, with Dropbox, Box.com and others attracting hundreds of millions of users. Many employees use their accounts without the knowledge of their companies' IT departments, a problem frequently referred to as "shadow IT." While using unapproved services can make employees more flexible and productive, it can lead to data leakages, Jalil argued.