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Four out of five businesses (80%) have little or no visibility of data movement, reveals Ipswitch File Transfer UK security survey

May 2013 by Ipswitch

A new UK survey conducted by Ipswitch File Transfer, the trusted choice for managed file transfer (MFT) solutions, reveals that companies are failing to adequately monitor the movement of company data and files within and external to their organisation.

The survey was conducted in April 2013, and asked 118 British business professionals about attitudes, practices and technologies relating to data management and movement.

Half (50%) of all respondents admit they have zero visibility of files being transferred within and outside their organisation, while a further 30% say they have only limited visibility. Yet when asked whether secure file sharing is important to the security of company data, two thirds (64%) admit that it is “vital”.

“A high-level of visibility is critical for any organisation that is serious about protecting its most valuable asset – information,” said Rich Kennelly, president of Ipswitch’s File Transfer division. “The ability to know who is moving data, where, when, how and why across an enterprise, is crucial not only for data security, but also for streamlined workflows that improve productivity and meets compliance requirements. That is why IpswitchFT managed file transfer (MFT) solutions are now trusted by thousands of organisations around the world, including more than 90% of Fortune 1000 businesses, many government agencies and millions of individuals.”

When asked who should be blamed if valuable or confidential company data files are sent or shared unsecured, over half of respondents (52%) say it is a collective responsibility. More than a third (36%) believe accountability should lie with the employee who sent the files, 7% say management should be blamed for not having robust policies in place, and just 3% feel that IT departments are to blame for not having the right technologies in place.

“We’re seeing a real shift in attitude, understanding and acceptance of managed file transfer technologies,” explained Rich Kennelly. “Users know that information is at the core of their business, and therefore crucial to its existence, competitive advantage and longevity. There is clearly now greater understanding that efficient data security demands collective responsibility. But users cannot play their part unless the business provides easy-to-use, accessible and simple solutions that make their jobs easier.”

The survey reveals that moving sensitive information by unsecure email is prevalent. Almost half (44%) of respondents admit to sending classified or confidential materials by email at least once a day, while 43% of respondents even send company files by personal email. When asked why they use personal email, 11% say it is because their company does not monitor what they send, 21% admit that it is because work email is slow and difficult to connect to or limiting in terms of file size, and an alarming 8% even admit to keeping business documents to use at their next place of work. In addition, more than a quarter (28%) of respondents use unsecured file-sharing websites and cloud services to share work-related files, while almost two-thirds (63%) confess to using USB drives, smartphones, tablets and other non-corporate devices for backing up corporate files.


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