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Management & Strategy

IT Policies Often Go Ignored When it Comes to File Sharing, Survey Finds

Productivity and IT security are like a couple in a troubled marriage. When things are good, they mesh nicely; when they aren’t, the sparks can fly.

Productivity and IT security are like a couple in a troubled marriage. When things are good, they mesh nicely; when they aren’t, the sparks can fly.

This was underscored by a recent survey by enterprise storage vendor Nasuni that revealed that nearly half of employees surveyed said they use file-sharing services such as Dropbox even though they know their company’s rules do not allow it.

The survey, which fielded responses from more than 1,300 corporate IT users, follows a similar finding detailed by Fortinet earlier this year that found 36 percent of those surveyed would ignore a policy that forbid them from using their own devices at work. In the Fortinet survey – which focused on people aged 20 to 29 – half of the participants said they viewed using their device at work as a “right” rather than a “privilege.” In addition, a report from the Ponemon Institute from February revealed that while 77 percent of people interviewed believe mobile devices as mission critical at work, 76 percent said they put their organization at risk.

In the Nasuni survey, 58 percent of employees with a personal smart phone or tablet access work files from that device. One in four of the survey participants plan to have another mobile device by the end of the year.

“Consumer file sharing services and mobile devices have introduced enterprise employees to a new world of powerful, easy to use capabilities,” said Andres Rodriguez, CEO of Nasuni, in a statement. “And, as our survey demonstrates, because the enterprise has been very slow to roll out services with a comparable value, their employees are using the same services at work that they use to share photos and documents with their friends. As a result, enterprise IT is rapidly losing control of corporate data. It’s a risky proposition that IT needs to be in front of, and not behind.”

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