Dropbox, Box, YouSendIt, Google Drive, Evernote, Skype, Google Hangouts. These are just some of the apps that Delyn Simon – a 42-year old executive – rattled off to Quentin Hardy at The New York Times when asked what services she uses on her iPhone.
Forget the malicious cybercriminals, for most IT Administrators, it’s your own employees who are cause for the greatest concern. Downloading dozens of apps aimed to make daily work tasks more automated and convenient has become so commonplace that individuals often don’t think twice about hitting “install” on their smartphones and then using those unapproved apps to access and share company information.
And, the number of different apps within just one organization can be quite startling. In Hardy’s recent article, “Where Apps Meet Work, Secret Data is at Risk”, he shares that the streaming video service, Netflix, discovered employees using 496 different smartphone apps, primarily for data storage, sharing, and collaboration. And, Cisco Systems found several hundred apps touching its own network via employees’ usage.
The risks of accessing these apps for both personal and business interactions become very real when sensitive data is compromised. That’s exactly what happened last week when Evernote, an online note-taking service, experienced a breach, with customer names, emails and encrypted passwords possibly stolen, driving the company to reset passwords for 50 million users.
So, is there any way for organizations to prevent employees from using their own consumer mobile apps? Yes! But, first you must eliminate the need for employees to turn to outside data storage, sharing, and collaboration apps in the first place. That means providing a mandatory alternative – a solution that allows users to easily send, share, and access files and that allows you, the IT administrator, to know what’s being shared, where data is stored, and that corporate data is safe.
Empowering employees with a secure mobile application is the first step to keeping your corporate data safe in today’s mobile world. And it just so happens Accellion can help you with that.
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