Federal Agency Data LeakageData leakage—Just the thought of it makes one cringe. It does not sound good, especially in these times of hacker haven. Even worse is the thought that the spillage may be coming from one’s own offices and that bad behavior is happening right under one’s nose. Being able to securely share valuable corporate data is a critical requirement for all agencies, but very few organizations are even aware of the problem. As a result, not much is being done to correct it.

Breaking Bad: The Risk of Unsecure File Sharing,” a report released by the Ponemon Institute, identifies key issues surrounding data leakage and the repercussions at hand. More than 1,000 IT professionals were surveyed in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany. The majority of respondents are at the supervisor level or above with expertise and understanding of their organization’s use of file-sharing solutions and overall information security and data privacy policies and strategies.

Some key findings include:

  • Organizations are vulnerable to data loss and non-compliance. Seventy percent of respondents say their organization has not conducted an audit or assessment to determine if document and file-sharing activities are in compliance with laws and regulations. In addition, only 9 percent of respondents say their organization is compliant with ISO 27001 (the international standard for process-based security).
  • More than 60 percent of respondents confess they have done the following: (1) sent unencrypted emails; (2) failed to delete confidential documents or files as required by policies; (3) used their personal file-sharing/file sync-and-share apps in the workplace; or (4) accidentally forwarded files or documents to individuals not authorized to see them.
  • IT has lost control of decision-making and their company’s data. More than 26 percent of applications are being used by various business functions without the IT department’s approval or knowledge.
  • Policies for safeguarding data when using file-sharing applications exist in most organizations but efforts to communicate those policies are lagging.

To learn more key findings from the Ponemon Institute’s survey, read the full report.


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Unsecured File Sharing – Agencies Behaving Badly

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