According to the Wall Street Journal, in the past 12 months, 63 percent of employees have used personal email to share sensitive work documents, and 80 percent of these employees do it at least once a month.  These are pretty terrifying statistics.  This is a huge security risk that companies cannot allow to happen. Before we figure out how to change this, let’s take a deep breath and look at why this is happening.

There are a couple reasons that employees are using insecure ways of sharing information.  The first cause of this behavior is unfamiliarity with the company’s policy. According to WSJ, 74 percent of the employees who use email to transfer important files believe that their company would approve of this method.  This needs to change.  Simply because email is used the most often to share information does NOT mean that it is the safest. Most employees use email to communicate with everyone and everything in their lives, whether it’s family, friends, stores, golf courses, etc.  They might not see why it can be dangerous.

According to SC Magazine, Joe Bindseil, CEO of Globalscape, said that most companies have infrastructure in place that employees are choosing not to use. “Employees need to understand that the tools they use to send files and data in their personal lives aren’t acceptable in the workplace,” Bindseil said.  “If enterprises want to have any hope of managing and securing the sensitive data leaving their organizations, they also need to provide solutions that easily integrate intot the daily routines of their employees.”  This means that your company needs to create a file-sharing policy that everyone can understand.  Explain to them why emailing sensitive information is probably not the smartest decision. This will keep your company much safer.

Now, it does not mean that employees feel comfortable using something other than email just because your company has a file sharing policy in place.  So, why are employees reluctant to use other file-sharing methods? Let’s look some stats that the Wall Street Journal found out:

  • 52 percent said it’s more convenient to use a tool that they know well
  • 33 percent reported that recipients have had trouble accessing files sent through the company system
  • 18 percent said they use alternatives because the company’s tool does not offer mobile access

Companies need to understand that their employees really do not understand or care about secure file sharing, they just want something that works for them.  Employees need a system that is fast, simple, and accessible from anywhere that security and monitoring is built into.  Safer file sharing with user and file auditing is possible with SmartFile.  Whether it’s with a compliance driven on-premise server or securely through the cloud, SmartFile has different options to increase file sharing security.  Employees will quickly gain familiarity and comfort while your company’s files remain safe and secure.

 

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About Thomas Budnik

I am the Marketing Intern at SmartFile. I manage all marketing aspects of the SmartFile brand, including social media, blogging, competitor research, and infographic creation.

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