Awareness Grows for File Transfer Security, But Still Work to Do

Security awareness when it comes to file-sharing via services like Dropbox is beginning to escalate, even in verticals where compliance requirements are less of a hallmark. But the healthcare industry still has a lot of work to do.

That’s according to a survey from Biscom, which found that enterprises across industries, including healthcare, financial services, retail, computer hardware/software and manufacturing, all see security to be a core feature of their file synchronization products. A full 70% of respondents said security was the No. 1 feature they looked for in file transfer; and 72% named security as “critical” for sync and share services like Google Drive and Dropbox.

“Our survey confirmed what we were already starting to see: that security will be the key focus in all areas of business for 2015,” said Bill Ho, CEO of Biscom. “The data breaches within the past year have shown us that all businesses are increasingly at risk and should be actively assessing tools and processes which can help reduce their exposure.”

But, intent and awareness isn’t necessarily translating into action. While 60% of respondents said they use secure file transfer (SFT) to transfer files at work, 86% of respondents said they use email, and 51% said they still use FTP.

Interestingly, the healthcare industry is one of the most polarizing when it comes to secure file transfer. The survey shows that while the healthcare industry is extremely concerned about security, it is also the least likely to use the most secure methods for storing, syncing and sharing data. Even for those that ranked security and encryption as the No. 1 most important feature, 81% still use email to share files, and 45% still use FTP.

Of those that ranked security as “critical,” 50% report using consumer-oriented sync and share services such as Dropbox for work. Of those that used low-security consumer tools for work, 82% use it for office documents, 34% for financial documents, 51% for medical documents, and 40% for legal documents.

In contrast, the financial services respondents showed both a high concern for security and a high likelihood to use the most secure tools for storing, syncing and sharing data.

When asked to rank importance of SFT features, 90% ranked security No. 1 or No. 2. When asked how important aspects of sync and share services were, 67% of respondents ranked security as “critical” and another 13% said it was “very important.” And of those that ranked security as “critical,” just 30% report using low-security sync and share services for work.    

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