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Bad Employees: Two Real-Life Cases Showing Why Your Enterprise Needs Secure File Sharing

Businessman standing in corner of a roomEarlier this summer, an employee benefits vendor accidentally emailed the names, social security numbers, and personal data of an undisclosed number of Google employees to a manager at another firm. Luckily, the recipient immediately recognized what she’d received, deleted the file, and notified the vendor of the security breach. But the fact that this happened at all raises a few questions.

Why wasn’t the HR vendor using secure file sharing for such sensitive data? Why did they have no file-level security whatsoever? Why did a third-party organization, completely unaffiliated with either the vendor or the search giant, end up having to save their bacon?

If nothing else, the incident should serve as a cautionary tale, underscoring that you cannot trust your vendors and partners to engage in safe security practices. People make mistakes, and the more people affiliated with your organization, the greater the chances someone will mess something up. That there will be a leak somewhere along the pipe eventually becomes a certainty.

The Threat of Internal Employees

Cropped shot of a businessman putting money into his blazer pocketNot everyone you give your trust to deserves that trust, and it’s easy to forget that vendors and third parties aren’t the only entities that can put sensitive files at risk. As Facebook recently learned, internal employees are every bit as much of a threat as external actors. Although it’s not clear exactly how they were leaked, documents were forwarded to the media detailing alleging bias in how Facebook chooses news, embarrassing the social network.

Not exactly the sort of thing Facebook wants known by its competitors, right?

Unless the files accessed within your organization are protected by default, your employees can easily share them with everyone. And it isn’t just carelessness or ignorance that you need to defend against. Disgruntled staff can easily share your most sensitive documents with anyone who’d care to look (and they often do – insider threats are responsible for 43% of data breaches).

In order to protect your files, you need to apply encryption and digital rights management to them by default, even when they’re being shared between employees. You also need to do this without making file access inconvenient. Enter WatchDox.

The BlackBerry Workspaces Solution

A two-time visionary in Gartner’s EFSS Magic Quadrant and a leader in Forrester’s EFSS Wave Report, BlackBerry Workspaces, formerly known as WatchDox, secures files with DRM that follows them wherever they go. Convenient to use for both employees and administrators, it readily integrates with existing repositories through tools like SharePoint Protector. Administrators are able to secure enterprise documents through the following file controls:

  • Granular File Management: Administrators have control over whether a file can be viewed, edited, copied, printed, downloaded, or forwarded. New permissions can be extended and revoked at any time.
  • Expiration and Tracking: Files accessed via BlackBerry Workspaces are fully monitored, and only authorized users are given access to protected documents. This access can be revoked or wiped immediately, at any time.
  • Customized Watermarks: Watermarks that include details like a user’s email address, username, or IP works as an effective deterrent for internal bad actors.
  • Spotlight Viewer: By blurring the screen everywhere save the mouse cursor, BlackBerry Workspaces deters those would ‘capture’ the screen displaying a document.

college-students-laptopIf Facebook had been using BlackBerry Workspaces, the media likely wouldn’t have gotten hold of their news selection documents. If Google had been using it, their staff information wouldn’t have been compromised. In both cases, BlackBerry Workspaces would have prevented sensitive information from being distributed, inadvertently or otherwise. No harm, no foul.

As a business grows increasingly globalized and digital, the risk of a data leak increases exponentially. In order to protect corporate information from prying eyes, network-level security isn’t enough. To prevent both internal employees and external vendors from putting your data into the wrong hands, you need a solution like BlackBerry Workspaces.

Otherwise, you may as well hand out your documents yourself.

Want to learn more about what BlackBerry Workspaces can do for you? Check out our latest release blog, visit the official BlackBerry Workspaces page or view our BlackBerry Workspaces Email Protector page.

About Dan Auker