This Report Highlights the State of Sensitive Data

Cybersecurity has become increasingly important because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up fending off malicious actors around the world. However, one area where cybersecurity struggles is with sensitive data that employees might be downloading to their personal devices. Kolide recently conducted a survey that sought to shed some light on how companies are attempting to protect this sensitive data, and it revealed a rather sorry state of affairs.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that less than half of all companies, or 46% to be precise, take steps to prevent employees from downloading confidential information. Among the companies that allow sensitive data to be downloaded, as little as 16% stated that they have limits regarding how long the data can sit around on employee devices.

Setting time limits is crucial since it can help make data safer than might have been the case otherwise. The longer data exists on an unsecured server, the more likely it will be that malicious actors would be able to get their hands on it with all things having been considered and taken into account. In spite of the fact that this is the case, employees continue to be able to download important data on devices that don’t have the latest cybersecurity tech to safeguard it.

What’s more, companies seem to have a rather lax policy regarding the protection of sensitive data. Just 37% of companies take steps to ban devices that violate their policies from downloading even more data down the line. This points to a poor attitude among companies that might exacerbate the current problems that are being seen around data theft and the like.

To their credit, most companies do have some kind of policy that is supposed to keep these kinds of practices to a minimum. For example, 65% of companies that participated in this survey said that they require employees to offer some form of authentication before they access sensitive data.

Along with the 46% that they outright prohibit the downloading of sensitive data, a further 38% claimed that they take steps to prevent this data from being available in plain text form. Access credentials must be encrypted, and if they are available in plain text this could cause widespread hacking and other cybersecurity concerns that would be difficult to contend with.

However, the main issue here might be non-compliance among employees. The vast majority of employers, or 91% to be precise, acknowledged that at least some of their employees skirt the rules. This makes it all the more important for a consensus to be reached, since that might be the only way to create an ideal scenario wherein sensitive data can actually be protected.

Finally, there seems to be a lot of disagreement among various tiers of employees involving such matters. 45% of executives believe that they can accurately figure out how long sensitive data has been on an employee’s device, but just 29% of managers and 18.3% of front line workers said the same. It is critical that all members of major organizations get on the same page before it’s too late.

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