IntraLinks Survey Finds Widespread Company Concerns Over Insecure File Sharing And Collaboration

More than 90% of companies feel vulnerable as employees risk sharing sensitive documents outside of the firewall

January 24, 2013

5 Min Read


NEW YORK, Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IntraLinksĀ® Holdings Inc. (NYSE: IL), a leading, global technology provider of inter-enterprise content management and collaboration solutions, today announced the results of a survey of 652 IT and Business decision makers conducted by a global strategy consulting firm and commissioned by IntraLinks. The survey found that 92% of companies are generally concerned about a lack of control over their confidential, sensitive, and mission-critical information. Driving this issue is a misalignment between the employees who need effective tools for inter-enterprise collaboration and the C-level executives responsible for securing valuable proprietary data and enforcing IT policies and corporate governance. As a consequence, 55% of the companies surveyed now employ a Chief Information Security Officer tasked with managing these risks, and over half of respondents are planning to upgrade security technology collaboration solutions within the next 18 months.

"CIOs want to encourage collaboration, but not at the expense of exposing their core IP or risking a data breach," said John Landy, chief technology officer at IntraLinks. "The influx of consumer-grade file sharing technologies into the enterprise is a significant concern. Our research clearly shows that organizations want to encourage open collaboration while enabling IT to build easily applied processes that make sure transactions are secure, compliant, and auditable."

Top Ranked Features Needed Across Organizations As part of the survey, respondents ranked technology-related needs in three categories: security features, ease-of-use features, and business productivity features. Across the board, highly secure public cloud storage (63%), pullback of document permissions (63%), and document-based workflow capabilities (61%) ranked as the most important file sharing related needs for businesses. A single secure connection to document sharing tools regardless of the device used (61%) was ranked fourth, indicating that companies are paying attention to the growing trend of "bring-your-own-device."

Employees: The Five Types of Sharers in an Organization The study identified that 92% of respondents are concerned about employees sharing sensitive documents outside of the firewall and are wary of letting employees use insecure methods of data transfer that include email, USB drives, FTP servers, and consumer-grade file-sharing. However, as identified in the survey, not all sharers are alike and organizations need to determine which categories their workforce includes in order to better understand how to employ secure and efficient technologies to optimize workflow. As determined through the survey, sharers can be divided into five categories: Strategic Users, Securers, Concerned Sharers, Convenience Users, and Indifferent Users. Strategic Users and Securers are concerned about sharing documents outside of the firewall, want security features such as information rights management and encryption, and want productivity enhancing tools for sync & share and business intelligent workflow. Concerned Sharers value data control and compliance above productivity enhancing features. Convenience Users think that security stifles productivity and use the simplest option available, ignoring associated risks. Indifferent Users are not concerned about secure sharing.

Employers: The Rise of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Secure technology is now a core requirement to running a successful business, and many companies have recognized its increased importance by adding a new member to the C-suite. The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) has been introduced to either supplement or replace the role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO). Over 55% of respondents currently employ a CISO, reflecting the shifting role of workplace IT leaders from ones responsible for deploying technologies that enable employees to work more efficiently, to ones in charge of policing technologies that pose a risk to data and network security. It is critical that CISOs understand the document sharing needs of their workforce, or they will find employees violating IT policies in order to work more effectively.

The findings were based on a proprietary survey by IntraLinks identifying file sharing and collaboration security issues affecting IT decision makers at U.S.-based companies. The results are based on the responses of 652 IT and business decision makers compiled from June to July 2012. The survey respondents included CIOs, C-suite, SVP/VP/Director- and mid-level managers. Approximately half of the respondents at the time of the survey served in an IT decision making capacity, with the remainder serving in roles across corporate development, operations, finance, sales, human resources, marketing, and research & development. The survey focused on enterprise level companies, with 80% of survey respondents serving at companies with 5,000 or more employees in a range of sectors including manufacturing, financial services, retail, healthcare, transportation, , education, and insurance.

As a follow-up to this research, IntraLinks created a Sharing Personality Survey to help enterprise employees determine which of the five types of sharers they are, and if their organization might be at risk for data leaks. The first 100 respondents will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. Visit to take the survey and receive your sharing personality profile now.

Additionally, IntraLinks recently launched its Content-Sharing Risk Calculator to help you determine the control and protection level of your organization's sensitive information. Business trends are encouraging users to share information with whomever is needed to get the job done, often outside the corporate firewall. Use the calculator at to answer a few quick questions and receive both a score and a risk assessment.

About IntraLinks IntraLinks Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: IL) is a leading, global technology provider of inter-enterprise content management and collaboration solutions. Through innovative Software-as-a-Service solutions, IntraLinks solutions are designed to enable the exchange, control, and management of information between organizations securely and compliantly when working through the firewall. More than 2 million professionals at 800 of the Fortune 1000 companies depend on IntraLinks' experience. With a track record of enabling high-stakes transactions and business collaborations valued at more than $19 trillion, IntraLinks is a trusted provider of easy-to-use, enterprise strength, cloud-based collaboration solutions. For more information, visit

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