July 1, 2014
If your customers are using a consumer-grade file sync and share service, they may be destined to facing security problems. According to a study conducted by Gigaom on behalf of software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider Intralinks Holdings, 84 percent of IT professionals surveyed said the adoption of freemium file sync and share services by employees created security issues for the company.
The results of the survey of 308 IT professionals may not exactly come as a shock. Particularly when cloud services are adopted without the knowledge or consent of IT or trusted advisers, they can create security holes that can and has resulted in lost or stolen data. When end users bring Dropbox, Box, Google Drive or any number of other file sync and share services into their organizations without consent, it puts their and the company’s data at risk.
“Most organizations have poor visibility into which file-sharing applications are in use, and haven’t come to terms with the threats posed by ungoverned use of file sharing apps,” said Sri Chilukuri, vice president of Product Marketing at Intralinks, in a prepared statement. “Enterprise IT needs to take immediate strategic action to prevent risky behavior, while providing employees with a trusted collaboration solution that keeps the organization productive.”
A few of the notable findings from the survey included:
Of the IT professionals surveyed, 46 percent said they believe data is leaking from their companies because of unmanaged file-sharing products such as Box and Dropbox.
84 percent expressed concern about data privacy issues arising from freemium file sync and share services.
84 percent also said the adoption of freemium file sync and share services by employees created problems for their companies.
38 percent noted they would trust freemium file sync and share services to share personal, confidential documents.
Senior executives are more likely to engage in risky file-sharing behavior than their more junior colleagues.
“The characteristics that make consumer file-sharing services attractive to employees can spawn governance, risk and compliance nightmares for senior executives,” said Larry Hawes, principal and founder of Dow Brook Advisory Services and an analyst at Gigaom Research, in a prepared statement. “Most companies, especially those in regulated industries, need to increase their visibility and control over file sharing policies, practices and technologies, while finding a way to maintain employee productivity and satisfaction.”
Intralinks has a bias in targeting freemium services, of course. The company’s offers its own cloud-based, managed file sync and share service. Despite a clear bias toward steering customers away from the likes of Dropbox and Box, the company still makes a good point about the need for security and the ability to lock down cloud services that have slipped into organizations without IT’s knowledge.
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like