Poor technology planning facilitates data breaches

23 August 2017

GDPR may still be a year away but businesses are already risking damaging legislation breaches and valuable data loss thanks to poor technology planning, according to Redcentric.

Research by the managed service provider has shown that although 70 per cent of employees use their mobile devices for both work and personal activity and 87 per cent of organisations provide employees with smart devices, less than a quarter have a mobility strategy in place. Such plans lay out key rules and regulations for BYOD policies, so failing to incorporate a technology strategy will increase the likelihood of costly data breaches occurring as employees don’t realise the risks they’re taking.

Without an in-depth technology strategy, it’s increasingly likely employees will turn to unsanctioned third party services to share sensitive documents; this becomes more likely when you consider almost 40 per cent of employees view cloud collaboration as business critical. But with GDPR now focusing an unprecedented lens on the issue of data security and data protection, organisations need to get their house in order or risk falling foul of the tougher regulatory regime - and its punitive fines - that will come into force in May 2018.

Simon Michie, CTO at Redcentric, says:

“Data leaks can have a catastrophic impact on a business; endangering sensitive data, potentially costing them clients and causing vast damage to brand reputation. To see so many businesses taking such a blasé approach to this issue is extremely worrying as a technology strategy is key to most businesses; and GDPR is going to up the ante significantly so people need to wake up to the reality and act now.

“As almost half of employees admit to using unauthorised unified communications and collaboration tools for work purposes, it’s clear they don’t realise the potential risks of sharing confidential information over public cloud services such as Google Drive or Dropbox. Such technology brings with it a level of uncertainty as to how and where data is stored, so there’s a data sovereignty issue in play too. This, coupled with the risk of potentially breaching company regulations or data compliance laws means IT departments now face new challenges which need to be addressed immediately.

“If businesses are serious about protecting their data, it’s time they invested time and effort into securing their internal processes and technology to remove the weak links currently plaguing the industry.”

This research comes as Redcentric launches its Cisco powered Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS), which unifies business communication on one flexible and highly secure platform. HCS can also be used to replace age-old on premise telephone systems found in vast amounts of businesses to allow for the utilisation of cloud based HCS advanced collaboration functions across their organisations. This further strengthens Redcentric’s Unified Communications offering, which already includes the Broadsoft-driven Unity IP Voice and Microsoft’s Skype for Business. The benefit for users of this now end-to-end portfolio is that it aligns so well with what they need: the help to map a route through to the optimum UC platform for their business, regardless of their starting point in terms of existing infrastructure or any ambition to move communications into the Cloud.

Andrew Nicholl, Senior Voice Product Manager at Redcentric, says, “As the scale and complexity of the interconnected world has grown, it has become more important than ever for businesses to remove the silos which often harbour security weaknesses. Embracing unified communications is one such way to simplify internal processes instantly, ensuring employees have one platform to communicate and collaborate on, rather than working through numerous third parties. Not only will security weaknesses be removed as employees no longer risk breaches by using unauthorised cloud collaboration and data sharing tools, but productivity will increase, which in turn facilitates business growth.

“In the modern business world, failing to be in complete control over sensitive data is unacceptable. The time has come to take control with the implementation of an effective IT strategy that outlines the adoption of secure, effective and dependable cloud collaboration and sharing applications and services.”