SharePoint for Vital Data, But is it Safe?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 @ 10:05 AM gHale

More organizations are storing important company information on SharePoint these days and the burning question remains: Is that data safe?

The answer, apparently, is: Not really.

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That answer comes from a new report from The Ponemon Institute that looked at how organizations keep sensitive or confidential data safe in collaboration and file sharing environments such as SharePoint, Dropbox, and file sync and share applications.

The findings are from a survey from 1,403 respondents from the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany.

When asked if your organization had a data breach in the SharePoint environment in the past two years, 49 percent said they had at least one confirmed data breach.

In addition, 79 percent said they don’t believe existing tools are “very effective” at protecting sensitive content from accidental exposure or a targeted breach.

Also, 68 percent said they don’t have sufficient visibility into locations where sensitive data is located.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents said their organization doesn’t do a good job ensuring SharePoint users interact with confidential or sensitive data appropriately.

“SharePoint houses a vast amount of sensitive data, but organizations are not taking sufficient steps to keep it safe,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. “The pressure to be productive is causing employees to put sensitive data at risk. Security and SharePoint professionals must understand where this content resides and how it is accessed and shared.”

To address the security challenges of collaboration and file sharing tools, 63 percent of respondents believe having appropriate data loss prevention technologies (DLP) in place would be the most effective solution to prevent data breaches. They consider this to be more essential than having a larger budget or hiring more skilled employees.

Seventy-three percent said automated discovery of sensitive information and 70 percent said automated classification of sensitive information would improve their ability to secure data.

To be most effective, respondents believe DLP tools must integrate with SharePoint, become easier to configure, and reduce user frustration.

“Security SharePoint experts must come together to protect sensitive data,” said Steve Marsh, vice president of product management at Metalogix, which sponsored the report. “With the right tools and policies in place, users are empowered to handle content responsibly and organizations can meet compliance and security responsibilities.”

Click here to register for the report.

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