SOURCE: Ipswitch File Transfer

Ipswitch File Transfer

March 08, 2011 11:18 ET

Information Security, Visibility and Policy Enforcement Remain a Major Problem in 2011, According to New Ipswitch File Transfer Study

More Than 75 Percent of IT Executives Use Email Accounts to Send Classified Files and Information as Attachments

LEXINGTON, MA--(Marketwire - March 8, 2011) -  Companies are knowingly failing to secure and manage the flow of sensitive information moving internally and externally; a problem that appears to be getting worse. 

According to a new study released today by Ipswitch File Transfer, 65 percent of IT executives surveyed at this year's RSA Conference have no visibility into files and data leaving their organizations.

Increased reliance on external devices in the workplace is partly to blame, according to Ipswitch. More than 80 percent of respondents admitted to using easily lost or stolen external devices like USB drives, smartphones and tablets to move and backup confidential work files, and 57 percent save work files to external devices at least once a week. That's an 11 percent increase over 2010, and a major security and compliance concern for businesses.

"Companies can't expect to secure confidential information if they don't have visibility into what's being shared, by whom, with whom and how," said L. Frank Kenney, VP of Global Strategy and Product Management at Ipswitch. "Malicious or unintentional, data breaches remain a major threat, and companies that lack visibility put themselves, partners, employees and customers at risk."

Employee Use of Email Attachments Puts Companies at Risk
According to Ipswitch's research, more than 75 percent of IT executives surveyed use email accounts to send classified files and information -- including payroll, customer data and financial information -- as attachments, and nearly 60 percent do so weekly.

Even worse, 26 percent of employees use personal email instead of work accounts to mask file transfer activity from management.

These findings come in the wake of WikiLeaks -- one of the largest and most revealing breaches in U.S. history -- and show that most companies are still failing to take the risk of losing business-critical information seriously. More than 40 percent of companies ignored the information security implications of WikiLeaks altogether, and only 16 percent implemented new policies and tools to protect against similar breaches. Slightly less than 30 percent of companies discussed the implications of WikiLeaks with employees, but made no major changes to the way information is shared or protected.

Establishing Policies Isn't Enough: Enforcement is Essential
While many companies are still struggling to implement processes and technologies to protect business-critical information, executives say that they're making it a priority for 2011. Of the IT executives surveyed at RSA this year:

  • 40 percent ranked protecting sensitive information as a top priority in 2011.
  • 25 percent said securing cloud computing is important.
  • 20 percent said that managing the flow of information internally and externally is critical.

But talking about the risks and creating policies isn't enough. Nearly 55 percent of IT executives said their companies provide -- but do not enforce -- policies and tools around sharing sensitive information.

"Failing to enforce information-sharing policies is just as risky as failing to establish them," said Kenney. "Companies need to provide employees with simple, secure and mandatory tools for sharing business-critical information, inside and out."

Ipswitch offers solutions that empower thousands of healthcare, financial, retail, and government/public sector organizations worldwide to securely send, manage and protect their most critical business data. 

Ipswitch's portfolio of high-performance integration and managed file transfer solutions helps IT professionals:

  • Manage all file transfer activities, internally and externally
  • Create, centrally manage and enforce file transfer and security policies
  • Transfer files quickly and securely through Microsoft Outlook or any Web browser
  • Archive and retrieve all files and messages for discovery and compliance
  • Proactively monitor operations to detect threats to service level agreements
  • Translate high-volume, highly complex files easily in a single pass
  • Enhance interoperability by scheduling and executing applications on the network
  • Migrate EDI systems and consolidate FTP systems

About Ipswitch File Transfer
Ipswitch File Transfer is a global technology provider that builds solutions to securely manage and move your valuable data. We enable companies and people to better manage their data interactions when visibility, management and enforcement matter. Our proven managed file transfer integration technologies deliver the control necessary to enable governance and compliance for millions of global users -- including the majority of Fortune 1000 enterprises and government agencies. These organizations trust Ipswitch File Transfer solutions to secure, manage, automate and integrate their critical and highly sensitive file transfers and data workflows. Learn more at http://www.ipswitchft.com or contact us at http://www.ipswitchft.com/Company/Contact.aspx, or on Twitter.

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