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File-Sharing Drives New Security Approaches

Enterprise digital rights management (EDRM) is on the rise thanks to the ever-more connected aspect of how people work.

An Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) survey sponsored by Seclore has found that the need to collaborate with third parties, including partners, contractors, customers and more is making sharing files commonplace. About a third—34%—of participants indicated that 26% to 50% of their employees regularly share files with individuals external to their organizations. This dynamic correlates to the need for security controls such as EDRM that protect sensitive information when it travels outside of the corporate firewall. 

EDRM is required for both compliance and data security purposes, ESG noted. Both reducing enterprise risk and attaining and maintaining compliance with industry regulations were cited as the expected outcomes from the use of enterprise digital rights management functionality. The parity of results between the security and compliance business drivers parallels technologies such as security information and event management (SIEM) technologies that have also been employed for both uses cases. 

Traditional methods of sharing files are still frequently utilized, including FTP, portable storage devices, and email, which were reported as in use by 58%, 60%, and 79% of respondents’ organizations respectively. 

And in terms of which files are shared, participants reported that a multitude of sensitive file types are regularly shared with external parties including intellectual property (49%), customer information (49%), proposals and pricing documents (48%), legal agreements (47%), financial statements and business plans (44%), and more.

The survey also found that the loss of sensitive data is a top of mind concern, and is assumed to be happening. Not only did 98% of respondents cite the loss of sensitive data as a top or significant concern, but many also indicated it was very or somewhat likely that their organization has already lost data via a variety of ways in the last 12 months. Of note, participants cited data loss vectors such as files being inadvertently emailed to the wrong person (cited by 67% of respondents), unauthorized access (66%), and lost portable storage devices (61%). 

Traditional methods of sharing files are still frequently utilized, including FTP, portable storage devices, and email, which were reported as in use by 58%, 60%, and 79% of respondents’ organizations respectively. Moving from how files are shared to which files are shared, participants reported that a multitude of sensitive file types are regularly shared with external parties including intellectual property (49%), customer information (49%), proposals and pricing documents (48%), legal agreements (47%), financial statements and business plans (44%), and more.

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