As new technologies emerge within the enterprise, organizations are taking different approaches when it comes to protecting sensitive information. Innovative solutions have also created a generational gap in attitudes toward accessing confidential records as younger employees begin to enter and takeover today's workforce.
A new survey by Harris Interactive revealed that more than two-thirds of employees between the ages of 18 and 34 think it is tolerable to take confidential records outside the office to use while working remotely. Individuals older than 55, on the other hand, believe this is unacceptable and the majority of them feel that employees who take sensitive records out of the office should be terminated.
Harris Interactive also found that roughly 90 percent of Americans believe people remove confidential files from the office, even though 72 percent of respondents said being accused of doing so is one of their biggest work-related fears. The only concerns that topped improper data protection accusations were sexual harassment charges and incompetence, though not by much.
"Business leaders need to be aware of the changing attitudes toward intellectual property in the modern workplace,” industry expert Dale Quayle said. “Today’s workforce believes information is an asset to be shared, and while companies have benefited from this collaborative attitude with new technologies and increased productivity, there are risks too."
IT professionals need to ensure their cloud computing solutions and other tools that promote teleworking are secure enough to keep sensitive information out of reach from outsiders.
According to a new study by the Ponemon Institute, human error and employee negligence are the most common causes of data breaches. More than one-third of respondents said that carelessness was the reason behind most incidents in which sensitive information was exposed.
"This year's report shows that insiders continue to pose a serious threat to the security of their organizations," data security expert Francis deSouza said. "This is particularly true as the increasing adoption of tablets, smartphones and cloud applications in the workplace means that employees are able to access corporate information anywhere, at any time."
As for accessing sensitive information outside the office, Harris Interactive found that 40 percent of survey respondents believe it is never acceptable to do so. Still, there are some instances in which working remotely with confidential files is allowed, including following orders from executives, finishing a project from home instead of staying late in the office or working over the weekend and on vacation. The study also found that many employees believe it is OK to bring classified records out of the office when the information is about themselves.
Although working remotely can help companies save time and money, it is important that IT executives enforce strong data loss prevention techniques to ensure data is protected when accessed off site. According to a report by Osterman Research, a highly secure virtual environment that reduces the chances of data breaches is necessary for a company to promote teleworking. Additionally, this architecture should be similar, if not the same, as the one used in the office to give individuals access to the same IT and resources.
By emulating office work environments, employees will be more careful and make better decisions when handling sensitive information, Osterman Research noted.
As new technologies emerge within the enterprise and the workforce changes, businesses need to implement innovative solutions that meet the evolving demands of employees. By offering a secure teleworking environment, decision-makers can adapt and become more competitive without sacrificing data integrity.
Data Security News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro