A rhetorical question if ever there was one, because despite your best efforts, recent research has shown that the majority of employees are regularly putting sensitive company information at risk.
The research, conducted by a provider of secure file transfer solutions, has shown that a terrifying number of employees are exposing corporate data to threats by using personal email accounts to transfer sensitive files, or by uploading company data to an unsecured cloud-based service.
Over 200 IT security professionals were asked about the person-to-person file-sharing practices employed at their workplace. The results were as follows:
- 84 percent of employees use personal email accounts to send sensitive company files. Reasons cited for this behaviour include: file sizes which exceed mailbox quotas; and the ability to access documents after moving to a new employer.
- 50 percent of respondents admitted to exposing company data to external threats by uploading sensitive files to an unsecured cloud-based service.
- 30 percent of employees have lost a USB drive containing sensitive company information.
The findings paint a dismal picture of file transfer in the workplace, highlighting just how regularly confidential and highly sensitive files are being sent using unsecured methods. Of course, until there is a breach, secure file transfer may not seem like your top priority, but when matters of data security are concerned, the advice from the experts is to act now, before it’s too late.
Secure file transfer
There is a wide range ofmanaged and secure file transfer productsin the UK which provide the secure and convenient solution many businesses need. These solutions, from providers such as Thru, offer a host of benefits that will soon become a considerable asset for your business.
The benefits include:
- Encryption for data in transit
- Encryption for data at rest
- Expiration dates for files and notifications when files are downloaded
- Multiple security settings and options
- Recipient authentication by user or policy discretion
- Complete antivirus scan of every file in the system
- Regulate the visibility of every file
- Schedule the deletion of files based on retention rules
- Track each file transfer for reference and reporting
- Comprehensively track and report all activities on any file
- Secure solutions can be used without training or special software
- Easy access from any location
- File downloads using Browser or Java
- File recipients do not need their own accounts
- Enterprise connectors for Outlook, SharePoint, IBM Notes and Salesforce.com
- Numerous file transfer protocols, including: HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, SFTP and FTPS
- Cloud, on-premises or hybrid deployment
Rather than adapting your existing process, modern businesses need a secure file transfer solution that can fit with, and improve, their current processes. Data leakage from unsecured file sharing has become as significant a risk as data theft. As you can see from the latest report from the Ponemon Institute, the risks are huge. Only by putting the processes, governance and technology in place can you adequately protect your data.
Have you suffered a data breach resulting from an unsecured file transfer? How did this impact your business? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.
Evan Davies is a US-based writer and small business owner who blogs for authoritative technology websites on either side of the pond.