Three-out-of-five IT workers share sensitive information by email

Email is creating major security risks as IT workers store and share sensitive documents via email and instant messages.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Bosses should be worried about their employee behaviour around sensitive documents, according to a recent report. With the high volume of data that IT teams handle, communicating efficiently and securely is essential to preventing a breach.

Kitchener-ON-based SaaS company Igloo Software recently released a report showing that email is IT employees' top method for sharing sensitive or private information.

It polled about 2,000 workers at companies with over 250 employees and compared the results to its 2018 report.

Its 2019 State of the Digital Workplace report shows that over three-out-of-five workers (61%) share sensitive information by email.

The report shows that the current digital landscape within the companies surveyed is not meeting the needs of employees. And compared to last year, some problems are even getting worse.

Over a quarter (28%) use instant messaging to share sensitive or private information, creating a major security risk for enterprises.

Tw- thirds of tech workers (66%) use non-approved communication apps because they are less likely to be monitored or tracked. Secure methods that track user access and support the use of watermarks are rarely used.

Unsanctioned apps and software, referred to as shadow IT, can lead to information being shared on unsecured systems, and cause communication to be fractured and siloed in the enterprise.

These communication challenges go beyond security risks -- the report also highlighted restrictions in knowledge-sharing.

Almost three-quarters (72%) of IT professionals said that they work remotely at least one time per week. Over two-thirds (68%) say remote work presents challenges that could be solved by better technology solutions, and a digitally centric work culture.

Three out of five Tech workers share sensitive information by email ZDNet
Igloo Software

These challenges include: being left out of in-person meetings (55%), and missing out on important information (57%) that was communicated in person.

Two-out-of-three respondents (65%) collaborate with three or more different departments throughout a given project, which creates the potential for information silos that inhibit productivity.

So, why are IT pros putting their data at risk and leaving their organisations vulnerable?

The answer is to save time. Three quarters of respondents (76%) believe that they save more than 2 to 3 hours per week by using non-company approved apps at work.

Missed meetings and information loss reported by remote employees present a real business challenge for teams that results in wasted time and decreased revenue. 

If businesses take the time to audit the technology used by their workforce -- both approved and non-approved -- they stand to learn a lot about how their employees function on a day-to-day basis.

These are the worst hacks, cyberattacks, and data breaches of 2018

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