Are Your Employees Using Blacklisted Apps?

You only have to read recent news on cyber-threats and information falling into the hands of hackers or competitors to understand that it’s not a question of IF my company will get attacked, but when?  Adding to these data protection and privacy dilemmas, in Europe this past month there has been a lot of buzz about the dissolution of the Safe Harbor act by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which impacts companies who relied on the act to conduct business safely and protect their data overseas.

The fact is, whether people are aware of it or not, the data flow overseas and in-country has become essential to how consumers interact with businesses and how businesses operate all over the world. In this digital age, the Internet and the billions of devices out there connect all of us virtually on a 24x7 basis. And by extension, the cloud has torn down borders across the globe, making it possible to share and spread information with anyone on any device, in real-time, wherever they are.

Are your employees using blacklisted apps on the job?

Recently, the risks and threats associated with using public cloud services for mobile access, storage and sharing of data came to light in an eye-opening report released by security technology provider MobileIron. As CNBC reported on Dropbox’s struggle: Getting off the black list, the article shared details of the MobileIron report, including the Top 10 apps that have been blacklisted by companies, restricting use at work. The MobileIron report claims that Dropbox is the most blacklisted app among its base of 10,000 commercial customers with regard to secure file access, sync and share.

With this in mind, everyone knows that prevention is better than the cure, so rather than trying to make sure your employees are not using blacklisted apps, you can instead take control of your company’s data – your most valuable asset – by knowing where it is at all times and providing a way for employees and mobile workers to securely access, share and collaborate on documents and work in real-time – without the worry of outside threats.

Here are five steps to help protect your company data and mitigate risk:

  1. Know what happens to your data – ask yourself this question often and make sure you and your colleagues have visibility into exactly what data is moving outside your company, where and when, and on what devices.
  2. Know where your data is at all times – Be aware of where in the world backups of your data are – some businesses back up locally, some use cloud as part of a hybrid solution, and others opt to just use cloud. If you are using a cloud solution, be sure to ask your cloud provider where their data centers are based and use their local in-country data centers where possible. A consumer or public cloud file access, sync and share solution such as Dropbox where it is not clear where the data is stored, is no longer an option.
  3. Prepare to be asked by customers – With recent regulation rulings such as Safe Harbor, be prepared to address customer questions about where their data is stored. Talk to sales staff and customer support and make sure they have all of the information they need to keep customers properly informed.
  4. Audit employee data access and sharing habits – Be sure you have full visibility of ‘shadow IT’ and cloud usage that’s taking place outside of your company’s control. Where this is happening, determine where all the data centres are located and which employee habits and access rights need to change in order to comply with your company’s and industry’s regulations.
  5. Question your cloud services provider – future-proof your IT by selecting to work with vendors that can provide you with a flexible, secure cloud infrastructure. If your current providers cannot meet your requirements and your industry’s regulations, it might be time to look elsewhere!

To learn more, check out this video and learn how you can empower your mobile employees with apps that are not on the blacklist – view it here today!