Organizations See Public Cloud Sharing Tools as Primary Security Risk

Phoenix, AZ - 24 February 2014

Survey of more than 600 IT professionals highlights dangers of public cloud services such as DropBox, Box and Google Docs 

Organizations consider public cloud sharing tools as a primary security risk according to a survey of 621 IT professional conducted by Axway (NYSE Euronext: AXW.PA), a market leader in governing the flow of data, and Ponemon Institute. The research, “Achieving Security in Workplace File Sharing,” found that nearly 50 percent of organizations believe that popular cloud-sharing services such as DropBox, Google Docs and Box are not suitable for business use. Key concerns highlighted by respondents included the inability to determine if sensitive data was lost or stolen due to a data breach in the cloud and fears over the negative consequences of public cloud tools due to the potential loss of intellectual property.

“The results of this study definitively illustrate that organizations are highly concerned about the security risks posed by both public cloud and on-premise file sharing tools, and they’re absolutely right to be wary of them,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. “We’re acutely aware of the potentially catastrophic consequences that can occur as a result of security breaches of these tools. However, it’s our hope that these findings encourage organizations to take a close look at their security strategies related to file sharing, and in turn implement a comprehensive set of policies and technologies to help ensure the secure transfer of sensitive information across their workforce.”

The study detailed and analyzed survey responses from 621 IT and IT security practitioners on public cloud file sharing in the workplace, threats to corporate information, and features most desirable in achieving security in the sharing of files and documents. Key findings included:

  • 89% of organizations are highly unlikely to know if sensitive or confidential data was lost or stolen due to a data breach in the public cloud
  • 80% are concerned about the negative consequences of public cloud tools due to the potential loss of intellectual property
  • 69% are not likely to know whether employees are using unapproved and risky file sharing tools
  • 66% rank file sharing high or very high risk to their organization
  • Nearly 50% believe popular cloud-sharing services are not suitable for business use

“In recent years, employees have been increasingly adopting public cloud tools, such as DropBox, Box and Google Docs, to exchange and share documents and company information in the workplace,” said Dave Butcher, senior director, product portfolio management, Axway. “These tools provide a great user experience, but there are serious question marks about their enterprise-class security credentials, illustrated by the fact that many financial and healthcare organizations block their use. This survey highlighted those concerns and points to the need for a solution that can address the usability, security and policy management requirements of users and IT departments.”     

Become a bobsguide member to access the following

1. Unrestricted access to bobsguide
2. Send a proposal request
3. Insights delivered daily to your inbox
4. Career development