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Many businesses are oversharing sensitive files and documents

data woman
(Image credit: Future)

The pandemic has given rise to an eruption of document sharing, putting many organizations at serious risk of data leaks and breaches.

According to a new report from AI firm Concentric, in the first quarter of the year, the number of overshared files rose 450 percent, compared to the same quarter in 2020.

Concentric pulled the data from one of its solutions and captured user data in production deployments from companies in the technology, financial, and healthcare sectors. The company scanned more than 110 million unstructured data files, looking for link sharing, inappropriate external sharing, internal permission misconfigurations, and incomplete or incorrect document classifications. 

The average organization has 439,000 files at risk due to oversharing, which translates to 210 files per employee on average. Meanwhile, roughly 65,000 documents per enterprise are exposed due to risky link-based sharing.

“More than 80 percent of an organization’s data is unstructured, meaning it’s embedded in the millions of financial reports, corporate strategy documents, source code files, and contracts created every year,” said Karthik Krishnan, Concentric CEO. 

“As our quarterly Data Risk Reports continue to show, unstructured data is still largely unseen, unexplored and insecure, and too often overshared inside and outside organizations.”

More than a third of unstructured data is business-critical, translating to 3.1 million files per organization on average. Of these business-critical files, 14 percent can be seen by internal or external users who shouldn’t have access.

Another 229,000 business-critical files were inaccurately classified and thus available to the wrong people.