Four out of five UK companies have little or no visibility of data movement, a study has revealed.
Half of more than 100 firms polled by Ipswitch File Transfer admitted they have no visibility of files being transferred within and outside their organisation.
A further 30% said they have only limited visibility, despite 64% of respondents saying secure file-sharing was vital to the security of the company data.
“A high level of visibility is critical for any organisation that is serious about protecting its most valuable asset – information,” said Rich Kennelly, president of Ipswitch's File Transfer division.
“The ability to know who is moving data, where, when, how and why across an enterprise, is crucial, not only for data security,” he said.
Kennelly said data management and visibility is also important for streamlined workflows that improve productivity, and meeting compliance requirements.
Regarding who should be blamed if valuable or confidential company data file are sent or shared unsecured, 52% of respondents said it was a collective responsibility.
Read more about data loss
More than a third said accountability should lie with the employees; 7% said management should be blamed for not having robust policies in place; and just 3% said IT departments were to blame.
“We’re seeing a real shift in attitude, understanding and acceptance of managed file transfer technologies,” said Kennelly.
“Users know that information is at the core of their business and crucial to its existence, competitive advantage and longevity.”
The survey shows there is now greater understanding that efficient data security demands collective responsibility.
However, Kennelly said users cannot play their part unless the business provides easy-to-use, accessible and simple solutions that make their jobs easier.
The survey reveals that moving sensitive information by email is most prevalent, with 44% admitting to sending classified or confidential materials by email at least once a day.
Almost half admitted to using personal email accounts to send company files, with 21% blaming the slowness of work email, difficulties in connecting and limited file sizes.
Some 11% said they used personal email because their company did not monitor what they send and 8% admitted keeping business documents to use at their next place of work.
More than a quarter of respondents admitted using unsecured file-sharing websites and cloud services to share work-related files, while almost two-thirds confess to using USB drives, smartphones, tablets and other personal devices for backing up corporate files.