BlackBerry Survey Finds Financial Industry Lacks Confidence Meeting Regulations

BlackBerry today announced findings that confirm a confidence gap exists between IT professionals and their ability to meet regulatory requirements for securing unstructured data such as emails, PDFs and other business files and documents.

The findings, which also underscore the pervasiveness of internal versus external threats, are detailed in a new report titled, “File Sharing and Collaboration Leads to Security Gaps in Financial Services Firms.”

While regulatory scrutiny and fines apply to both structured and unstructured data, unstructured breaches can be subject to higher penalties because they highlight flaws in internal operations and processes. This report investigates how common such operational risks are and if they are actively identified and addressed.

For example, BlackBerry’s survey found that 65 percent of respondents reported they were uncertain if their business protocols around collaboration and file sharing meet regulatory requirements. Furthermore, one-third of the respondents said they were only “somewhat confident” or “not at all confident” about their ability to meet regulatory requirements despite having policies covering unstructured data.

Alex Manea, Chief Security Officer, BlackBerry said,

“Some of the most confidential corporate information is stored and shared in documents, spreadsheets and presentations,”

“If you don’t have an effective way to protect these files across all endpoints, both inside and outside of your network, then you have a big gap in your security strategy. All it takes is for one user to type the wrong name or attach the wrong files in an email exchange, and you have a potentially massive breach to clean up.”

Findings outlined in the report came from an online survey conducted with 200 U.S. based IT professionals in the financial services industry. Below are additional findings outlined in the report:

  • Over one-third of respondents reported either that their organization has employees using file-sharing applications that are not approved by IT. Employees often use consumer file-sharing systems as shortcuts to get their jobs done, but in doing so, they expose their company to risk.
  • Breaches of unstructured data come in many forms with internal threats to business file security being more commonplace than external threats.
    • Only 26 percent reported a breach due to an external attack.
    • Seventeen percent of survey respondents reported their organizations suffered a data breach at the hands of internal bad actors. This includes disgruntled employees and others, who either obtained access to sensitive information or had access all along and simply distributed the data to unauthorized parties.
    • More than one-quarter of respondents indicated they had a security breach caused by a simple mistake such as the accidental sharing of sensitive files.
    • 18 percent acknowledged security breaches took place due to lost, stolen, or unsecured devices.
  • Inadequate separation between the employee’s personal and private life is another source of worry. Respondents admitted to suffering security breaches caused by use of personal email and file-sharing accounts (20 percent) and use of personal software or devices for corporate business (20 percent).
  • Four-out-of-five respondents said their organization sends sensitive files via email. When a copy of an email and any associated information (like an attachment) is sent from one user to another, multiple copies of the message are also stored on servers and devices, some of which are beyond the control (and security policies) of the organization where the email originated. A comprehensive security approach can protect your data even after it leaves the corporate security perimeter.

In today’s digital workplace, enterprise employees need to collaborate virtually with each other, as well as with external suppliers, partners and customers, and that includes accessing, editing and sharing corporate content across multiple devices. BlackBerry Workspaces enables these internal and external collaborators to do just that, securely from any mobile or desktop device.

In September 2017, BlackBerry received the highest score in two use cases in its Critical Capabilities for Content Collaboration Platforms report, which assessed and scored content collaboration platforms from 13 vendors. BlackBerry received the highest scores in Workforce Productivity and Centralized Content Protection for its BlackBerry Workspaces solution.

To learn more, download a complimentary copy of the Gartner 2017 Critical Capabilities for Content Collaboration Platforms report.