All in a Day's Work: Negligent Employees Risk Sensitive Data

All in a Day's Work: Negligent Employees Risk Sensitive Data

By Steve Marsh | August 23, 2016

For many employees, the pressure to get their job done outweighs any risks they recognize with accessing or sharing sensitive data.

That may be why, according to Risky Business: How Company Insiders Put High Value Information at Risk, a recent survey by the Ponemon Institute, employees are responsible for more data leaks than lost or stolen devices, system glitches, external attackers or malicious insiders.

Ponemon asked 650+ IT and IT security professionals how they believe employees and contractors handle high value information. What they found is disturbing for any organization concerned about data security.

7 common employee actions that put information at risk

Survey respondents reporting actions happen frequently or very frequently

79% of SharePoint deployments contain confidential data - CMS Wire

SharePoint is ground zero for sensitive content, from financial records and trade secrets to customer and employee information. If you don't include SharePoint in your data security plan, you increase your risk of a costly data breach, as well as regulatory fines and customer and shareholder lawsuits. 

Empower employees to do the right thing

When passwords can be shared and permissions skirted, how can you enable employees to get their job done while handling sensitive data responsibly?

  • Embed security controls within the workflow, right at the point the user needs them.
  • Choose a solution that understands how people handle data in the real world. Don't make the security net too tight or slow your system down, or you'll have a lot of unhappy SharePoint users on your hands.
  • Enforce security policies based on the context in which data is used, adapting automatically as user behavior changes and your organization grows.
  • Close the gaps in SharePoint's out-of-the-box solution, so you can automatically discover sensitive content and enforce downstream actions.

Learn more about keeping SharePoint content safe: Watch The New Rules for SharePoint 2016 Governance

Read the full survey from the Ponemon Institute, Risky Business: How Company Insiders Put High Value Information at Risk


Dr. Marsh is Director of Product Marketing with Metalogix and is an expert in SharePoint migration and management technologies. Prior to Metalogix, Dr. Marsh spent over five years working at Microsoft UK Ltd where he held a number of roles, including SharePoint Server Product Manager, in which he was responsible for business and marketing strategy, as well as awareness of Microsoft's SharePoint technologies. He holds a PhD in Microelectronics and Physics from the University of Dundee where he worked on the research and development of novel semiconductor memory and flat-panel display technology.

Written By: Dr. Steve Marsh

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