More Canadian SMBs sharing files — and risk — through BYOD

File sharing is also risk sharing in the new bring-your-own-device SMB landscape, a Symantec Corp. study concludes.

More than a fifth (22 per cent) of Canadian SMBs surveyed by thesecurity software vendor have no policy in place to restrict howemployees can share and access files. Coupled with a spike in BYODpractices – 37 per cent of SMBs expect to have employeesworking fromhome a year from now, up from 22 per cent in 2009 – this increasessecurity risks substantially among SMBs, Symantec said.

“As the fastest adopters of cloud technologies such as file sharing,SMBs need to use safe practices, especially when using a solution thatmight not be built for businesses. As employees increasingly adoptcloud services at work, the risk to SMBs only grows,” said RowanTrollope, group president for SMB and cloud at Symantec.

Seventy-four per cent of the firms surveyed have adopted file sharingsolutions internally and 63 per cent allow employees to usemobiledevices. The amount of data exposed to risk is also growing, as 14 percent of SMBs said the average size of files shared within theirorganization is over 1GB, up from just six per cent reporting the sameaverage file size in 2009.

Symantec recommends SMBs adopt safer practices for file sharing,including:

-centralized file storage and management with a secure Web-based systemaccessible from any location so companies can protect their data evenoutside the office
-implement access controls and permissions to keep employees’ personalfiles safe and separate from work files
-put a system in place to oversee how business files are shared

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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