Dell’s Shocking Survey

Dell recently carried out a study involving 2,608 global professionals working for companies in the enterprise sector with 250 or more employees. The outcome of this study are no less than appalling and should be of interest to any business that deals with protect private or corporate information.

We trust Google to keep our search doubts safe, prevent unwanted individuals from reading our email, and in some cases even to secure data that is crucial to the daily operation of our businesses. We share our health information with cloud-based services that track our food and heart rate, our financial data with e-commerce sites, and so much more.

Whaling Attack For Valuable Information

This security of our data is only as strong as the security of the company information to whom we trust that data. Quite often, large data violates and other leaks of private data comes about as an outcome of phishing exhibitions from the outside. Hackers and other malicious individuals deceiving employees to share company information that aids them to invade their networks.


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Hacker’s Common Approaches

One way would be to call up a phone company and deceive to be a technician pleading data in the field. An unsuspecting employee might consider the request usual, giving away the information without much thought. That data, depending on its level of sensitivity, could then be used to gain access to even more sensitive information.

Another common way is to send email to employees with links to hoax sites that fool them into filling out information that would normally be secured. As long as the site appears genuine, the employee may not even heed they’ve shared anything they shouldn’t have

What has Dell found

In Dell’s End-user Security Survey, 72% of employees stated they are ready to share sensitive, confidential or regulated company information under certain situation

Among the 72% of employees that said they would share information, the causes they gave for doing so included:

  • 43 % directed to do so because of the management
  • 37% stated that they shared with an individual who is authorized to receive it
  • 23% of the people share when the risk is very low and the benefit high
  • 22% shared when it helped them to do the job more easily
  • 13% of the respondents shared, if it helped the recipient do their job more quickly

This study uncovered a general absence of alertness around sensitive corporate information. Acting as individuals, employees showed they would take security shortcuts it if meant helping them to do their task or if they felt the risk was worth the benefit of doing so.

This doesn’t mean that individuals are intentionally giving away the corporate data for any threatful purpose. Rather, they are just trying to do their tasks more easily. Strict security procedures are often seen as an obstacle to efficiency.

Insecure practices

This data sharing isn’t just restricted to direct sharing of corporate data. It also occurs in the form of unsafe way of doings. 45% of respondents confessed that they engage in practices most companies would prohibit. For an instance, 46% of these individuals indicated that they have connected to public Wi-Fi to access confidential information. Even with warnings like a VPN or secured remote access in place, connecting to publicly accessible Wi-Fi networks pose an increased menace.

Another 49% of these respondents shared that they use personal email accounts for work. This particular type of violation has made headlines in recent years as many high-profile United States government employees were found to have been conducting vulnerable information on private email servers. This survey shed light on how simple it is for well-meaning employees to play fast-and-loose with their company’s security codes. One can only hope that surveys like this one help IT professionals and business leaders find better ways of enacting these protocols and of motivating their workers to follow the same.


Also See: Top 5 Ways to Measure ROI for Enterprise Mobility