One in five people put corporate data at risk via unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots

Public wi-fi

Employees are putting corporate data at risk by using unsecured hotspots and over sharing on cloud services, according to a new report.

The study from cloud security specialist Bitglass set up Wi-Fi hotspots in random public spaces for two hour time slots, and captured and analyzed traffic, finding that of the 834 people in the public spaces, 187 unique devices (around 20 percent) connected.

Of that 20 percent, 21 people accessed enterprise cloud applications over the unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot, including Office 365, Salesforce, Adobe Marketing Cloud, ADP, Slack, and Asana -- putting corporate data at risk. Two connected devices also navigated to known malware hosts, creating additional risk for data compromise.

The Bitglass team also analysed the cloud applications of enterprise customers to uncover the volume of shared cloud data. These cloud applications, designed to enable sharing and collaboration, have become a major risk and one of the top drivers of enterprise data leakage.

The findings show that 51 percent of data stored in Google Drive is shared with individuals outside of the enterprise -- significantly more than data in other apps. In addition roughly 19 percent of corporate data stored in Dropbox is publicly available. In organizations with Office 365 deployed, an average of 69.5 percent of OneDrive data is shared internally.

"Over the past several years, organisations have enabled employee mobility and collaboration by deploying cloud applications," says Rich Campagna, CEO at Bitglass. "While the productivity benefits of this move are clear, businesses must wake up to the fact that a risky login over an unprotected WiFi hotspot or a single unauthorized share can subvert a company's entire security investment."

You can find out more in the full Datawatch: Avoiding the Riptide of Corporate Data Exposure study on the Bitglass website.

Image Credit: Sidarta / Shutterstock

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