Alright, so you and I both know, it’s not possible to hit the zero mark on security risk. But here’s how you can get comfortably closer.

With all of the big corporate leaks in recent years, keeping intellectual property and sensitive company files secure is top of mind. Of course we’re not talking about Apple’s suspicious-timing for iPhone spec leaks. Or One Direction’s publicity stunt…ahem, I mean, online leak of their new album that no one over the age of sixteen cares about. This is serious business. If your company content falls into the wrong hands, it can wind up costing millions upon millions in lost revenue and legal headaches—the kind that well-planned press coverage can’t balance.

Before we dig into how to turn your security risk down closer to zero. Let’s look at where the risk is coming from. You may be surprised…or maybe not.

Risky business—everyone’s doing it

An April 2013 survey conducted by Ipsos MORI reveals that US employees are playing a dangerous game with your company files every day. In fact, 91% of the workforce admits to using personal devices like smartphones to store work documents. That means confidential files are at risk of being lost or stolen any time an employee leaves the office. And considering the average employee is in the office for 8 hours a day, that leaves a full 16 hours a day that intellectual property documents, finance reports, and legal disclosures are dangling out there for the taking. Seeing that 1.6 million smartphones were stolen in 2012 alone, according to Consumer Reports, it stands to reason that it’s simply a matter of time before a major security breach surfaces. And it won’t be pretty.

Don’t take it personally

It’s incredibly common to issue laptops, tablets, and smartphones out to new employees. In fact, you probably already have this kind of policy in place where you work. What you may not know is that, according to the same Ipsos MORI survey, 73% of employees are downloading personal software and apps on company-issued laptops, which, as you know, come with all kinds of security holes. Depending on how you look at it, it does get better with smartphones, as only 62% of the workforce is downloading the same personal software and apps on the smartphones you issued them. And for some reason, employees are even more careful about downloading unauthorized software and apps (45%) onto that laptop you spent so much time securing. That should make you feel better about the security breach they’re partaking in, right?

Who’s (mostly) to blame

It would be all too easy for the older generation to simply blame the younger generation straightaway. After all, Millennials already get a bad rap for being seen as apathetic or unaware. And while that’s up for debate, what’s not up for debate is their proclivity for security breach. Tipping the scale, 51% of 18-24 year olds freely admit to keeping company files on personal laptops. Another 42% keep company files on personal smartphones.

But hold on a second, employees over 24 don’t get a free pass here. As much as 30% of employees age 39-65 are storing company files in unsecure personal cloud services—most likely looking to share large files. This raises a whole host of security concerns. Consumer cloud services lack security protocols like permission controls or audit trails.

How to stop security breach in your company

Alright, so content is slipping right out the front door—undetected. Employees are transferring company files to unsecure personal devices and consumer file sharing apps that IT has no control over.

It’s time to regain control. One of the best ways to do this is to adopt an enterprise-grade file sharing and collaboration platform. Data stored in these types of cloud services are encrypted, and their security is assured through compliance with information security standards such as ISO 27001 (internationally recognized) or FISMA (a US federal government accreditation). Huddle security is audited by an independent third-party (BSI) to ensure we are always compliant.

Some of the more secure platforms require you to set permissions for various levels of content access to keep unwanted eyes off your company files. There’s a full audit trail to see who has accessed any piece of content you have stored.

What does this mean for employees? It means there are secure workspaces set up in the cloud for employees-only to access. It means there is no need to put company files at risk on personal devices, because everything is securely stored in the cloud. It means that workers don’t have to download and use personal cloud storage apps to share large files. It means that when an employee leaves the company, you can shut off their access to files. It means that your company content can rest easy with security risk being closer to zero.

This blog is part of a series that illustrates the Power of Zero. Watch this space for upcoming articles on the incredible power zero can have on your organization.

See how Huddle can bring your security risk down—closer to zero—in this white paper.

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Nick Gamino

Senior Content Writer

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