Unauthorized File Sharing a Major Threat to Businesses

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2014-11-24 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
file sharing and security

More than one-third of employees store or share business documents through their personal file sharing and sync solutions "all the time."

Nearly half (46 percent) of respondents have stored confidential company information on their personal file sharing and sync apps, according to a survey by document management specialist M-Files.

In addition, the survey found that 56 percent of employees said their company does not have policies in place that prohibit the use of personal file sharing and sync solutions for storing and sharing company documents, while 14 percent said they did not know if their company had such policies in place.

"The most surprising finding of this study for us was that 70 percent of employees said their company does not have a policy when it comes to using file share and sync solutions, or if their company does, they don't know about it," Greg Milliken, vice president of marketing for M-Files, told eWEEK.

Milliken said the risks to unauthorized and unregulated employee use of file share and sync solutions are significant, which is underscored by the finding that one-quarter of employees surveyed said their company has experienced information security breaches, data loss, non-compliance issues, loss of control over documents or other issues from employee use of personal file sharing and sync tools.

The study, which highlights the risk of unauthorized and unregulated employee use of personal file sharing and sync applications for storing and sharing company information, also highlighted the employees who know if their company has experienced negative consequences from unauthorized employee use of file share and sync solutions.

Milliken noted there are likely significantly more instances of which many employees are unaware. Of the 61 percent of employees who cited their company uses an enterprise content management (ECM) or document management system, only 39 percent said their ECM or document management system integrates with their file sharing and sync applications.

Finally, 37 percent of employees said they store and/or share business documents through their personal file sharing and sync solutions "all of the time," while 47 percent said they do so infrequently.

Milliken also explained that while mobile access to company content is a necessity in today's fast-paced information-driven workplace, the proliferation of more and more devices--whether employer-provided or in a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environment--for accessing and sharing company content, it has become increasingly challenging for organizations to control access to corporate information assets.

"In order to protect information assets and ensure that access to confidential and sensitive information via mobile devices is restricted to authorized individuals, organizations need to be aware of the devices being used to access information as well as implement strict document control policies and practices, including those that embrace the BYOD trend wherein personal devices are used for company work," he said.

Milliken suggested businesses should develop a formal policy about the devices and applications, such as file share and sync solutions, that can be used by employees, and ensure that everyone in the company is aware of and follows the policy.

"Enterprise content management solutions provide organizations with collaboration and information sharing capabilities that improve productivity and enhance the decision making process while also ensuring business content is strictly controlled and protected," he said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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