Breaking Bad: Cracking the User Controlled Content Sharing Habit in the Enterprise

Intralinks' Richard Anstey meets with Risky Business for a podcast to talk about the security challenges and risks of ungoverned file sharing services.


25 March 2015

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Each day, sensitive data is shared within the business, and more than often, outside of the organization with partners, customers, and other third parties.

To get work done in today's digital enterprise, organizations need to adopt a secure file sharing and collaboration tool to facilitate information exchange and enable productivity among teams. However, when left unmanaged by corporate IT, this same file sharing application may present significant risk to a company's intellectual property – potentially opening up the enterprise to data exposure and non-compliance.

The Risk of Shadow IT

In recent research conducted by the Ponemon Institute into the file sharing practices by organizations, we confirmed that malware or physical theft aren't the only types of threats that can cause data leakage.

In a recent podcast with Patrick Gray of Risky Business, Intralinks chief technology officer, Richard Anstey, discussed the results of the survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute into the threat of Shadow IT and the security challenges presented by unauthorized file sharing services in the workplace.

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Yes, ungoverned file sharing by employees is just as significant of a risk as outside threats. We surveyed more than 1,000 IT security professionals from the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, most of which were at the supervisor level or above and had a strong knowledge of their organization’s information security and file sharing procedures. What we learned was that organizations are having difficulty managing the ungoverned use of file sharing practices by employees, and further, are having trouble enforcing effective security policies to prevent data leakage. Key findings from the study reveal that:

  • Sixty-one percent of respondents' personal approaches to file sharing are not safe
  • Approximately 60 percent of employees have often or frequently either used personal file sharing applications at work, sent unencrypted emails, failed to delete confidential documents as required, or accidently forwarded files to unauthorized individuals
  • Sixty-four percent say that their organization is in the dark about whether or not file sharing activities are in compliance
  • More than 26 percent of file sharing applications are being used by various business functions without the IT department’s approval or knowledge

Why Content is the New Enterprise Perimeter

From what we can tell, it's a clear identification that identity as the perimeter has failed. End users have by-passed IT rules and taken control of their ability to share data by introducing unsanctioned applications into the enterprise.

As the need for beyond-the-firewall collaboration grows, data loss is a real threat. You can listen to the podcast to learn more about the research and how teams can overcome file sharing challenges in the workplace by addressing content as the new perimeter.

Stay tuned to our blog for more podcasts about how to achieve secure, controlled collaboration in the enterprise.



Meagan Parrish

Meagan Parrish

Meagan Parrish is the Senior Manager of Social Media at Intralinks. She is responsible for social media strategy development and the communications for Intralinks' online communities. Meagan has been creating social media strategies for a variety of companies across verticals for the past several years. She holds Bachelor degrees in Marketing and Finance, with a minor in English Literature.