Cloud Storage and Collaboration Key Weaknesses for Business

Businesses are finding it harder than ever to protect sensitive data in the cloud, new research has found. Insecure file storage and collaboration is a key security weakness within the workplace, according to the survey conducted by Tresorit – the end-to-end encrypted cloud storage provider.

More than three quarters (77%) of the IT experts polled believe sensitive business data has become more difficult to manage and protect over the past two years. Whilst businesses are increasingly choosing to store and transfer confidential information via cloud, the survey flags there are significant doubts over cloud’s trustworthiness: 48% of respondents believe that the recent iCloud hack indicates cloud is still not ready for confidential business data.

Insecure file storage is flagged as the most pressing area of security weakness for businesses today. More than a quarter of respondents (27%) feel security lapses when storing and sharing files are the most common problem for companies when it comes to protecting sensitive information. However less than a quarter of survey respondents (23%) say they expect workplaces to adopt higher level end-to-end encrypted services in the coming year, even though this would help tackle the vulnerabilities around insecure file storage and collaboration.

Lack of education around cloud security in the workplace is another key driving force behind data breaches, according to Tresorit’s research. 98% of respondents believe more should be done to train staff around cloud security, however less than one third (29%) of respondents expect to see increased training implemented in the workplace over the next 12 months. The lack of priority on training staff is significant, given almost a quarter (23%) of respondents believe employees ‘actively working around or ignoring’ IT security measures is one of the biggest security problems businesses face today.

Bolstering IT security is a key priority for businesses, and this is demonstrated by the increasing budgets being allocated to the cause. More than two thirds (66%) of respondents state that they believe IT security budgets have increased over the past year, with 11% stating they have increased ‘significantly’. Only 5% of respondents report IT security budgets having fallen in the past year. 12% of respondents cite inadequate IT budgets as one of the biggest problems businesses face when trying to protect their sensitive data online.

István Lám, founder and CEO of Tresorit says: “File storage and sharing via cloud presents businesses with significant opportunities, but also undeniable security risks. Employees have the ability to access and share increasing amounts of private and confidential business data, but are often using insecure services (such as Dropbox) to do so.

It is clear from the research that businesses need to get employees onboard if they want to ensure sensitive data stays confidential. With employees deliberately side-stepping data and file protection processes, it’s equally clear that few businesses have managed to do this.

The most significant step forward is not introducing “even more security”, but integrating security into business software in a way that doesn’t get in the way of getting things done.

Companies of all sizes should strive to do this, as it could mean the difference between efficiency, or becoming the victim of the most recent data breach.”

Tresorit research - businesses struggling with IT Security

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine