Businesses Lack File-Sharing Security Policies

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2013-11-19 Print this article Print

Four in 10 of employed individuals agree that they could easily transfer business-sensitive data outside the company using a file-sharing service.

More than one-quarter (27 percent) of file-share service users report still having access to documents from their previous employer and nearly two in five (38 percent) previous and current users have transferred sensitive files through file-sharing services that are not approved by IT, according to an online survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Egnyte.

The survey results illustrate a major exposure for today’s businesses when it comes to the transfer and storage of data through unapproved and insecure cloud-only file-sharing services, and indicate employees want easy access to files and will adopt tools that allow them to share and collaborate on projects, with or without IT’s consent.

For example, more than half (51 percent) of employed individuals agree that collaborating on file-sharing services (such as Dropbox and YouSendIt) is secure for business documents, and 46 percent of employed individuals agree that it would be easy to take sensitive business documents to another employer.

In addition, 38 percent of employed individuals that have used file-sharing services have transferred sensitive files on an unapproved file-sharing service to someone else at least once and 10 percent have done it six or more times.

More than four in 10 (41 percent) of employed individuals agree that they could easily transfer business-sensitive data outside the company using a file-sharing service, and 31 percent of employed individuals agree that they would share large documents that are too big for email through a file-sharing service without checking with their IT departments.

Overall, the results of the survey suggest the presence of deep issues around the rogue usage of consumer-based cloud services and illustrate the need for IT to deploy a secure enterprise-grade solution that meets the file-sharing needs of employees while protecting sensitive business data from the risks associated with insecure file sharing through the cloud.

Most small businesses are still failing to appreciate the true value of their data, according to a study released by Internet and mobile security company AVG Technologies.

The survey of small and midsize businesses in the United States and the United Kingdom found a significant proportion of SMBs routinely spend more time tidying their desk (37 percent) or ordering new business cards (22 percent U.K., 21 percent U.S.) than backing up data.

While many (75 percent) do rely on automated backup systems, around one-quarter (24 percent) do not insist that employees back up at least once a week, despite the fact that 30 percent believe more than half of their data is sensitive.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel