New data reveals nearly all office workers commit actions that undermine data security

December 12, 2017

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The 3rd and final part of Intermedia’s Data Vulnerability Report examines the behaviors of more than 1,000 office workers and their impact on data loss. Shockingly, almost all (99%) of those surveyed admit to committing at least one potentially dangerous action, from sharing login credentials to sending work document to personal email accounts.


99% of office workers commit actions that undermine data security

Here’s the issue: employees are prioritizing personal convenience over security protocols. It’s easy to save the memo you might be working on to your desktop since it’s quickly accessible and right in front of you. What you might not be thinking about when you press Save is how this makes it very hard to recover that file if it becomes compromised. It’s sometimes easier to email work docs to your personal email address when your about to hit the road. Change won’t happen overnight, but having a better understanding of how your employees operate can help you provide customized training and put the appropriate tools in place to help enable better work habits.

23% of employees worry about hacked files, but still ignore best practices

In 2017, the average data breach grew to include more than 24,000 records. “While widespread ransomware attacks, hardware failure, and natural disasters are all serious threats to an organization, sometimes the biggest security threat comes from the inside,” advises our CTO Jonathan Levine. Of course, most employees aren’t engaging in risky security habits on purpose. They just don’t realize that their actions are putting the company at risk.

Accessing materials after leaving a company is on the rise, especially in IT

A particularly worrisome trend is the growing amount of proprietary data and intellectual property that ex-employees still have access to. One-third (34%) of office workers report accessing work materials after leaving a company, compared to 12% in 2015. That figure has near tripled. Further, 49% of IT workers admit to accessing work materials after leaving a company, compared to 28% in 2015.

File backup – easy to do but often overlooked

While office workers may be aware of the risks and data threats that exist, it’s not stopping them from changing their daily habits when it comes to file backup. Jonathan explains what companies should do: “As our latest study shows, organizations need to recognize that getting employees to change their behavior won’t happen overnight. Instead, companies need to offer solutions that protect confidential information with minimal impact on an employee’s daily workflow, such as automated backup and 2-factor password requirements. The most effective security measures are often ones that employees don’t even know are in place.”


Check out part 3 of our 2017 Data Vulnerability Report all about data loss, or you can also jump straight to our SecuriSync® product page to learn more about our automated backup and file sharing solution.

The Intermedia Team

Intermedia helps over 135,000 businesses connect better – through voice, video conferencing, chat, contact center, business email and productivity, file sharing and backup, security, archiving, and more – from wherever, whenever. And, as a partner-first company, Intermedia goes to work for over 7,300 channel partners to help them grow their revenue and maximize their success.

December 12, 2017

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