Simple mistakes are putting financial firms at risk

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IT professionals are suffering from a major confidence issue when it comes to their ability to meet regulatory requirements in securing unstructured data, new research has claimed.

A report by BlackBerry says that many IT workers are struggling with emails, PDF files and other business files and documents.

The “File Sharing and Collaboration Leads to Security Gaps in Financial Services Firms” report says regulatory scrutiny and fines apply to both structured and unstructured data, but it is the latter that can be subject to higher penalties. That is because they highlight flaws in internal operations and processes.

According to the report, almost two thirds (65 per cent) of respondents said they were uncertain if their business protocols around collaboration and file sharing meet regulatory requirements.

A third were “somewhat confident” or “not at all confident”.

“Some of the most confidential corporate information is stored and shared in documents, spreadsheets and presentations,” said Alex Manea, chief security officer at BlackBerry. 

“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.”

The report itself is based on an online survey conducted among 200 US-based IT professionals in the financial services industry.

Image source: Shutterstock/alexskopje