A survey of senior IT decision makers sponsored by South River Technologies (SRT), has found that businesses are increasingly losing control of critical business data.
The research surveyed 167 senior IT decision makers at North American companies with an average of 1,500 employees and was conducted byOsterman Research in January 2015.
A number of findings were uncovered related to the ‘Dropbox problem’, the generalized term for the unsanctioned employee use of sync and share services including Dropbox, Box, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive.
84% of those surveyed said they were ‘concerned’ over employee-managed file-sharing services, though when asked how good they thought their management of information security for file-sharing was, just 7% said they would rank their company with an ‘A grade’.
Despite this concern and clear gap in implementing a solution, the research found that only 14% of the IT decision makers surveyed had migrated their employees off of consumer-focused sync and share, although 58% considered it a current ‘high or moderately high priority’.
The Osterman research uncovered other file management challenges including the pervasive use of email to transfer files with 95% of those questioned stating that email was used for file-sharing, followed by Microsoft SharePoint (63%), then FTP services (58%). Just over half (54%) of those surveyed said that IT-managed file sync and share tools were being used, while 41% admitted that employee-managed file sync and share tools were the common means of transferring files. Osterman Research believes this number to be significantly higher, due to its concealment from corporate IT.
“Working to change employee behavior and modify the use of consumer-focused sync and share tools needs to be a priority for business and technology management,” said Michael Ryan, CEO of South River Technologies. “Employees are literally walking out of the door with valuable company data in their personal cloud-based accounts, on their smartphones and on their home computers. This increases the likelihood of data breaches, and has huge regulatory consequences.”
Osterman Research data shows the business challenge surrounding the increasing penetration of consumer-focused sync and share tools. The latest data estimates that almost half (49%) of business-based Dropbox installations are without IT permission. This challenge is paralleled across other cloud-based tools.
Michael Osterman, President, Osterman Research said: “For many enterprises, the problem already exists and the challenge is how to change the status quo, and to educate and influence the behavior of employees that are accustomed to working with personally-deployed applications that they feel are accessible and easy-to-use. They don’t realize the insecurity of the solutions. This is why SRT commissioned this research - it has been committed to secure managed file transfer for ten years, including solutions that incorporate sync and share capabilities into managed file transfer. SRT understands the need for employee-friendly, simple and quick file-sharing that meets the needs of corporate IT: governance, automation, security and reporting.”