Vulnerabilities / Threats

8/5/2010
11:33 AM
50%
50%

Most IT Pros Circumvent File Transfer Security Policies

Survey finds 69% of IT managers regularly send highly sensitive information -- payroll, customer, or financial data -- via unsecured e-mail, finds Ipswitch study.




Image Gallery: 8 Online Storage Solutions
(click for larger image and for full photo gallery)
Nearly half of all employees admit to sending highly sensitive or regulated information -- the kind which, if lost or stolen, could trigger a data breach notification under many states' laws -- at least once per week.

That finding comes from a newly released survey of about 130 IT professionals conducted at this year's InfoSecurity Europe conference in London by file transfer security vendor Ipswitch.

"Employees will almost always take the path of least resistance, even if that unintentionally means violating company policies and breaking security protocols," said L. Frank Kenney, VP of global strategy for Ipswitch, in a statement.

Speaking of protocols, 62% of surveyed organizations do have security policies that specify how files may be shared or must be secured for transit. But 72% said their firm doesn't have any visibility into how files get moved internally or externally, meaning that those file-related security policies are not actually being monitored, enforced, or audited.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, given the lack of enforcement, 69% of respondents say they use plain, unencrypted e-mails and attachments to send highly sensitive or regulated information at least once per month, and 34% say they do it daily. The biggest drivers are obvious: speed, convenience, and being able to move large files.

Their behavior may fall foul of corporate policies, since 40% of respondents admit to using their personal e-mail accounts to help eliminate the trail of what they've sent, and who they've sent it to.

"With thousands of gigabytes of information moving in and out of companies every month, executives need visibility into who's sending, receiving, and forwarding business-critical documents -- for security and compliance purposes," said Kenney. "It's far too easy for information to get into the wrong hands."

Numerous data breaches, for example, result not from attackers hacking into corporate systems, but because a courier loses an unencrypted backup tape en route to a storage facility.

A similar risk faces users of mobile or portable devices with big storage capacities, such as a USB drive, BlackBerry, or iPhone, which can be easily lost or stolen. Today, 70% of interviewees said they access and store company files and data using their mobile devices, webmail, and remote connections. In addition, 41% use their own storage devices, such as a USB drive, to back up important work files.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
FTC Opens Probe into Equifax Data Breach
Jai Vijayan, Freelance writer,  9/14/2017
Equifax CIO, CSO Step Down
Dark Reading Staff 9/15/2017
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Jan, check this out! I found an unhackable PC.
Current Issue
Security Vulnerabilities: The Next Wave
Just when you thought it was safe, researchers have unveiled a new round of IT security flaws. Is your enterprise ready?
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Problem
[Strategic Security Report] How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Problem
Enterprises are spending more of their IT budgets on cybersecurity technology. How do your organization's security plans and strategies compare to what others are doing? Here's an in-depth look.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.