AIIM - The Global Community of Information Professionals

Why Can't Most Organizations Get Their Act Together on File Sharing Technologies?

Oct 10, 2016 9:38:12 PM by Bob Larrivee

We recently surveyed organizations about their use of file sync and share solutions, and have posted on some of our findings.  See our previous posts:

3 Reasons Why You Need to be Concerned About Unsanctioned File Sharing

What’s Happening With File Sync and Share – an Infographic

10 Key Data Points You Need to Know About Sync and Share

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In this post, we take a look at the policy environment (or lack thereof) that surrounds how most organizations use sync and share technologies.  File sync and share is on the rise, yet there is still a cultural challenge and user reluctance slowing organizations from moving in this direction. While there are proven technologies available, 29% of our respondents cite concerns over security and unauthorized access to their information as a big challenge in implementing a file sync and share solution. For 19%, the challenge they face is a lack of understanding the full benefits file sync and share can bring to their organization, and for 20%, it is the cultural challenge related to change management, combining a lack of management support (12%), and user reluctance (8%).

This leads us to ask about the responsible parties in the organization who ensure that content sharing policies and procedures are followed. For 21% of the organizations we polled, there is an information governance manager or director, and for 33%, it is the line-of-business manager or department head who is responsible for policy and procedural adherence. For 45% of our respondents, it is IT that is seen as the responsible party. In reality, though, every corporate citizen should be responsible and accountable to follow corporate policies and procedures.

Inconsistent practices, as well as a lack of standardized monitoring, leads to uncertainty and a sense of risk. When we asked about the three biggest concerns regarding the use of cloud based sharing tools outside the organization, the top concern cited was a lack of visibility into what exactly is shared and accessed (60%). This was followed by 57% saying they are concerned with legal and audit implications related to content sharing, and another 49% who have dual concerns: First, about their lack of control over who is sharing what, and second, loss of vital/sensitive information when employees leave the organization.

Given these concerns, what steps are being taken to keep information safe? What steps are being taken to get the total user community on board with the importance of secure information sharing practices and prevention of unauthorized sharing methods? We asked this very question of our survey audience and found that 65% of organizations use education as their primary means of protection from unauthorized sharing methods. Monitoring the user populations is key for 46% while 43% rely on the use of various levels of security to control access to their information assets.

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Topics: efss, enterprise file sync and share, sync and share

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