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Over 20% of IT professionals have shared confidential information using an unsecure file sharing platform

Are UK IT Professionals Untrustworthy or Underqualified?

Data sharing is a particularly hot topic of conversation at this present time, due to the recent revelation of the NHS sharing patients’ data with Google, and also the news that millions of email accounts have been compromised in a data breach.  

With this in mind, Egnyte.com recently surveyed 2,000 IT professionals (UK respondents) via Onepoll around the subject of data sharing, which reveals how secure our private data really is, in the hands of the IT professionals within our workplaces.

These recent revelations have increased public concern about the handling of personal information, therefore there is a clear need for all workers to have a basic understanding of data protection. However, research reveals that across UK workplaces, a huge 43% of IT professionals have not been trained in data protection – a concerning figure.

Over 20% of IT professionals have shared confidential information using an unsecure file sharing platform such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Wetransfer. Although this may seem initially surprising, it is to be expected, as Egnyte discovered that 44% of UK IT departments do not make it compulsory to use safe/ specific data sharing platform!

Research shows that 8% of IT professionals admit to sharing internal or company paid tools with people outside their company and 10% of IT professionals have shared confidential client or customer information with people outside their company. Results also reveal that 7% of IT professionals have accidently shared confidential information with the wrong person, however a worrying 22% have received confidential information in error.

After reviewing the survey findings, it poses the question; are IT professionals naïve and in need of more support from their workplaces? Errors are being made such as; 14.45% of UK IT professionals have opened an unsecure link from their work emails and over 10% of IT professionals admit to working on confidential work documents whilst using public Wi-Fi (11.7%) – but slip-ups like this could be easily avoided if the correct training was put in place.

Tips for improvement

The root cause of mishaps is simply lack of awareness. Measures as simple as creating a checklist of content protection recommendations and making it readily available to employees, or integrating content management best practices into onboarding, can move the needle.

In other words: buying a fancy new solution might not be the most cost-efficient answer. The solution might be as simple as teaching your employees to keep the virtual door locked!

You can check out further information on this research here: https://www.egnyte.com/blog/2016/04/secure-data-sharing-is-critical-and-people-are-alarmingly-bad-at-it/