Massive amounts of corporate data now stored on employee USB devices

flash drive and laptop

There has been a 123 percent increase in the volume of data downloaded to USB devices by employees since working from home has become widespread due to coronavirus.

What's more, according to a report from SaaS data protection company Digital Guardian, 74 percent of that data is subject to organisation data governance policies.

Cloud storage and USB devices have become the most preferred data egress paths after the COVID-19 emergency declaration, accounting for 89 percent of all data moved outside the enterprise. Data egress via all paths (email, cloud, USB, etc.) was 80 percent higher in the first month following WHO's COVID-19 pandemic declaration and more than 50 percent of the data egressed was classified.

Between March 11 and April 15, employees uploaded a huge 336 TB of data to the cloud, a 72 percent increase from January and February combined.

Following the WHO's declaration, Digital Guardian's analysts also saw a 62 percent increase in malicious activity from external attackers, a number that corresponded to a 54 percent increase in incident response investigations required.

"Organisations have accepted that the economic and health effects of COVID-19 will be with them for the foreseeable future and working from home will remain a requirement for many of their employees," says Tim Bandos, VP, cybersecurity at Digital Guardian. "Our research indicates remote employees are egressing classified data at unprecedented rates across all egress paths. Executives and security teams would be wise to consider implementing solutions that provide visibility into this behaviour, and a means to control it, in order to avoid a potential data breach."

You can get hold of the full report from the Digital Guardian site.

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