SharePoint houses sensitive data, but organizations are not keeping it safe

A new report from The Ponemon Institute is focused on how organizations are keeping sensitive or confidential data safe in collaboration and file sharing environments such as SharePoint, Dropbox, and file sync and share applications. The findings are based on a survey with responses from 1,403 respondents from the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany.

Did your organization have a data breach in the SharePoint environment in the past 2 years?

SharePoint houses sensitive data

Noteworthy findings

  • 49% had at least one confirmed data breach in the SharePoint environment in the past two years.
  • 79% don’t believe existing tools are “very effective” at protecting sensitive content from accidental exposure or a targeted breach.
  • 68% don’t have sufficient visibility into locations where sensitive data is located.
  • 59% say their organization doesn’t do a good job ensuring SharePoint users interact with confidential or sensitive data appropriately.

“SharePoint houses a vast amount of sensitive data, but organizations are not taking sufficient steps to keep it safe,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, Chairman and Founder, Ponemon Institute. “The pressure to be productive is causing employees to put sensitive data at risk. Security and SharePoint professionals must understand where this content resides and how it is accessed and shared.”

The state of SharePoint in organizations

SharePoint houses sensitive data

Data loss prevention, automation are top priorities

To address the security challenges of collaboration and file sharing tools, 63% of respondents believe having appropriate data loss prevention technologies (DLP) in place would be the most effective solution to prevent data breaches. This is considered more essential to security than having a larger budget or hiring more skilled employees.

Seventy-three percent say automated discovery of sensitive information and 70% say automated classification of sensitive information would improve their ability to secure data.

To be most effective, respondents believe DLP tools must integrate with SharePoint, become easier to configure, and reduce user frustration.

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