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IT Departments Beware – employees may be compromising your data!!

 

According to a survey published by Osterman Research Inc. in June-July 2009, using a sample of large organisations (over 500 employees and $5 million dollar revenue), 82% of employees resort to using personal email accounts when sending large files – compromising data security.  This tactic is employed by many to evade the email server attachment limits imposed by IT departments.

Considering 20% of the organisations surveyed send in excess of 500 files a week, this is a seriously disturbing statistic when you take into account the ramifications of using standard email for file transfer.  The most frustrating aspect of this predicament, is that many IT professionals are fully aware of the risks associated with this method of file transfer in particular e.g…

•    Compromised security and non-complianceCaution Sign
•    Lack of tracking, logging and auditing
•    The absence of visibility and monitoring

…and consequently, have introduced strategies and procedures to combat the use of unsolicited file transfer methods. The problem is employees will continue to violate security and procedural policies if they aren’t provided with a comparable, alternative solution that offers the same, simple functionality as their email client.

The results also revealed that 55% of the organisations surveyed had seen a 20% increase in ad hoc file transfer activity during June-July 2009 – the largest growth across all of the business file transfer ‘requirements’.  Evidently, employees have an increasing need to send large files on an ad hoc basis, largely due to the dramatic increase in file size over recent years.

So the moral of this story is, if you want your employees to adhere to company procedural policies when sending large files on an ad hoc basis, IT departments need to provide them with an adequate alternative to their email server!

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