Findings from a survey of IT executives conducted around the world were recently released in a report, “Keeping Your Data Safe: Protecting Corporate Information in the Cloud”. The report cites that while the majority of executives realize the benefits of cloud applications and technologies, data security and privacy concerns remain the biggest challenges of using the cloud. The survey was conducted by WSJ Custom Studios in collaboration with Symantec Corporation.
Confidence, in fact, according to the findings, in the security of cloud applications is subpar at most, and organizations with cloud applications were more likely to have suffered a data breach than organizations without them. This study also reveals that employees often engage in high-risk behaviors, either knowingly or unknowingly, that can lead to data loss and breaches.
What types of behaviors were cited by the study as putting corporate data at risk?
- Uploading to and stored company documents on a USB stick.
- Emailing company documents from a personal email address.
- Uploading company documents to file-sharing sites so they could work from other devices or share with others.
- Sharing company information and documents via social-networking sites.
- Installing authorized software or accessing unauthorized cloud services on a corporate desktop or laptop.
- Installing unauthorized software on corporate devices.
In addition, nearly one-fourth of employees surveyed used cloud-based services (such as file storage) without IT approval. This can compromise confidential corporate assets and lead to data leaks largely because these applications are unmonitored. The company and IT department lose visibility and control of the information.
These findings are not surprising, cites the report, due to increased work demands and blurred lines between work and personal life. What is surprising, however, is that nearly 50% of executives say they don’t think about security risks when transferring files or sharing documents over cloud-based services. These types of nonchalant attitudes can lead to significant data loss or breach, not to mention substantial revenue loss and irrevocable reputational damage.
Keeping data secured in the cloud
On the upside, increasingly more companies are realizing the importance of spending additional funds to secure their information and keep businesses flowing efficiently and safely. According to the report, worldwide 71% of corporate executives have increased their technology and security budgets. This percentage jumps to 98% for those companies that have suffered from a data breach in the past year. What’s more, close to eight in 10 organizations have implemented company-wide training initiatives, including new-hire security orientation, to raise security awareness and minimize risky behavior. Unfortunately, only 28% have a formalized plan that outlines policies and procedures for reporting and responding to security threats, according to the survey findings.
It’s critical for organizations to create a culture that welcomes new technologies, such as the cloud, to drive business growth and productivity, while at the same time fostering a safe haven for valuable information. It’s also important that in addition to robust cyber practices that Cyber Liability insurance is an integral component of risk mitigation and transfer. Caitlin Morgan can assist you in providing your insureds with Cyber insurance protection, customizing a program to fit their individual needs and the industry they serve. Give us a call at 877.226.1027.