Collaboration – The Unseen Cybercriminal

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Secure Collaboration

Collaboration – The Unseen Cybercriminal

Collaboration is a serious issue from a cybersecurity perspective. The average company using SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business collaborates with 72 business partners.

The results of an analysis by Skyhigh Networks found that 8 percent of business partners were deemed high risk from a security standpoint. And 29 percent of organizational data is shared with business partners. The average SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Yammer organization stores an equivalent of 120 million pages of Microsoft Word documents, and uploads 1.37 TB of content, every month. So 29 percent is quite a bit of content that is passing through your fortress to someone else’s, and they may not particularly care whether or not it is confidential.

Did you know that the recent Target attack was caused by a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) business partner? I assume that Target trusted them, but these companies are weak links in the cybersecurity chain. Information also flows in the opposite direction. If one of your key partners is part of the eight percent that are high risk, then you are freely opening your systems to potential data breaches.

And then we have those pesky end users, who seem to have no idea what confidential means and will send anything to anyone. Half the time, they probably shouldn’t even have the security authorization to access certain documents in the first place. Of course, that’s the fault of the IT team. Might as well blame everyone.

We also have the scenario where you are working with subcontractors and you may not wish to share the same information with all of them. Each may receive the information that is pertinent only to them. This is also problematic, as there may be content within a document that is permissible for one partner but not another.

If you are concerned about security, and these days who isn’t, I encourage you to find out more. Providing this capability to a large government agency, we enabled them to automatically group programmatic information assets, identify potential exposures prior to sharing, and apply appropriate distribution controls before information was shared, so eliminating the risk of unintentional exposures. This approach resulted in intelligent, secure information sharing, and increased project success.

Do you have processes and policies in place for secure collaboration? Let me know.