With employees who are working on the same project spread across different departments, buildings and even continents, file sharing has become a necessity. Unfortunately, the rise of file sharing has been followed by a rise in file sharing risks.
An annual study by the Ponemon Institute revealed that although 37% of data breaches are due to malicious attacks — cybercriminals and inside jobs — 35% are actually caused by the “human factor” attributed to employee or contractor negligence. A large part of the human factor is the use of shadow IT – employees or contractors using unapproved IT solutions like personal email accounts, free cloud storage services and other consumer services systems to share business documents.
Shadow IT leads to a huge file sharing security risk, so it is time to have your team ditch bad habits.
File sharing security: 3 habits to ditch
1. Sharing via email
This is probably the most common habit that needs to be broken. Email is not designed to be secure, especially if either the sender or receiver is using a personal email service like Hotmail or Yahoo.
2. Consumer grade cloud services
Chances are, your employees are using services – like Google Drive or Dropbox – with weak file sharing security at work. If your employees need to sign non-disclosure agreements to view documents, they should not be able to share them with anyone outside the company like you can so easily with consumer file sharing services.
3. Flash drives
Flash drives might be the most effective way for criminals to infect a computer. The user doesn’t even have to press download or open a document for the malware to attack the computer; all they have to do is plug it in. If you don’t think your company can ditch flash drives completely, at the very least, you need up-to-date antivirus tools that stop auto-run and scan any USB-attached device and its files.
In order to get employees to use more secure file sharing practices, you need to create a user-friendly, secure file sharing system. Employees are going to drift to using whatever is easiest – not safest. You need to make sure your file sharing system is the easiest and safest to use.