If your IT department doesn’t provide enterprise collaboration software that’s competitive with consumer-grade file-sharing tools, employees almost certainly resort to riskier ways of sharing files.
People need to share information inside and outside of the organization — that’s just how work gets done. With the ubiquity of tools like Dropbox and Google Drive, IT leaders can’t just sit back and define the tools employees are allowed to use. Instead, they need to engage the business and know what tools the company really uses, and meet those needs in secure ways.
When employees use software solutions that aren’t officially implemented and approved by your organization, this “shadow IT” significantly increases the risk of a data breach, according to a recent Business News Daily article. These unauthorized practices are often shortcuts around an inadequate official solution, and they’ve become extremely common.
Two of the riskiest practices are sharing files through consumer-grade cloud tools and sending them through email. Email on its own generally does not provide a secure platform for transferring sensitive files, since network traffic and mail servers may be vulnerable to hackers and prying eyes. Instead, Business News Daily recommends that people send encrypted files via secure file-sharing platforms.
The other big risk is employees using unauthorized, consumer-grade tools for file sharing on their computers and mobile devices. Using personal accounts from Dropbox or Google Drive, for example, may put company information at risk. Even so, they’re extremely tempting: They’re very easy to implement and use, and (for the individual employee, at least) they offer short-term productivity gains.
To stop these practices, IT must find secure, yet usable enterprise-grade equivalents of these unauthorized tools. Employees are used to the ease of Dropbox and related tools, and enterprise collaboration software must measure up to that usability standard.
In a nutshell, IT needs to find out what tools workers really use to do their jobs, and then implement enterprise software that meets the needs of the users and conforms to the data security policies of the organization.
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Source: Business News Daily, April 2014