Over Half of IT Pros Admit Hidden Data Is Keeping Them up at Night

Image via Shutterstock.com

Image via Shutterstock.com

Part 3 of 4 posts discussing the Ponemon Institute’s study on “The State of Data-Centric Security.”

Despite media-popular threats to information security, such as hackers and malicious employees, it turns out the biggest insomnia-inducing threat to Information Technology managers the world over is simple: not knowing where sensitive files live.

In a recent study of over 1,500 global IT and IT security practitioners, the Ponemon Institute uncovered some startling data.

Chart from http://www.ponemon.org

Chart from http://www.ponemon.org

The rise of cloud-based file collaboration services and mobile device usage is directly linked to the striking revelation that 57% of respondents selected “Not knowing where confidential data is” when asked what keeps them up at night. While employees adopt insecure file-sharing practices more and more quickly (with or, more likely, without IT approval), files become fragmented and stored across systems beyond IT’s range of visibility.

Chart from http://www.ponemon.org

Chart from http://www.ponemon.org

Implementing a fix to the problem – and getting more sleep – might be easier than it sounds. Policies and procedures can only go so far without being implemented alongside solutions that are simple for employees to use. Keeping track of data starts with implementing a system of control – that is, by providing transparency and record-keeping while making sure sensitive data is kept within the organization, even when collaboration or sharing with outside stakeholders occurs.

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