Data shows employees utilize unprotected platform for sharing business files

Nov 29, 2013

2013-11-29 Digital Files.jpgOnline file sharing can offer a number of benefits to enterprise employees, including boosts in mobility, productivity and collaboration. However, unprotected platforms can also present data security concerns for administrators and workers alike.

Industry expert Bill Munroe told Dark Reading that file sharing solutions come with benefits as well as drawbacks.

“On one side, ‘Oh, great, we are being more collaborative and sharing more data,’” Munroe said. “And on the other side, ‘Oh, no, we are sharing more data, and now there is a bigger chance to lose it.’”

As highlighted by Munroe, the risk associated with sharing business files grows exponentially depending on the amount of data being transmitted within the organization. The more files being shared, the greater the security threat.

Trend of using unprotected file sharing platforms
A recent report, titled Workforce Mobilization, stated that while 81 percent of employees currently access business files from mobile platforms, many do not utilize a trusted data transmission platform, like Memeo C1.

The report showed that 72 percent of workers use free file sharing services not approved or authorized by their employers. This is a significant increase from 2012, when 66 percent of employees utilized these types of data transmission platforms.

Furthermore, a recent Harris Interactive survey of 2,000 business employees found that 38 percent of respondents admitted to utilizing unapproved file sharing platforms to share sensitive, vital organizational information.

In today’s business environment, it is becoming increasingly important to protect data being shared among employees. Files often contain a significant amount of sensitive information, including content pertaining to internal business processes, client contacts and financial data. This information must be shared for business purposes. However, when transmitted over an unprotected device or file sharing platform, this information is at risk of being snooped or stolen by cybercriminals.

One reason for this high percentage is because many businesses do not offer an enterprise-wide application for secure file sharing. When such a platform is made available, employees will utilize this method in favor of other unauthorized practices.

In addition, many free file sharing platforms are utilized to allow employees to access and share business information from their personal mobile devices. The report found that 62 percent of workers collaborate and transmit data on mobile networks. Therefore, it is important that organizations take this into account when implementing a secure, reputable file sharing solution. The file sharing program selected must be mobile device compatible, and offer the proper security capabilities to keep data safe when transmission occurs via a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Especially within a business with a bring-your-own-device policy, secure file sharing can offer an organization increased peace of mind as they can worry less about data being stolen via this avenue.

In addition, reputable file sharing services also offer improved management and visibility of files being shared on the network. This means that administrators can protect against external security threats from cybercriminals as well as internal risks. The Harris Interactive survey stated that 46 percent of employees would not find it difficult to take sensitive documents from a previous employer. To mitigate this risk, administrators should have supervision capabilities, which are offered through services like Memeo C1.

Category: Data Security