An ex with benefits a third of employees still have access to files from former workplace

Businesses are putting themselves at increased risk of losing data, by not curbing the actions of current and former employees. A staggering third (33%) of workers still have access to files and documents from a previous employer, putting the integrity of data and company livelihood at risk, finds new research — ‘Sorting out digital clutter in business’ — from Kaspersky Lab. Former employees can also use this data for their own purposes, for example in a new workplace, or they may accidentally delete or damage it. As a result, data recovery will require time and effort, which otherwise could be spent on more useful business tasks. With every business today drowning in digital files, using collaboration applications, online documents, and file sharing services, it can be hard for them to keep track of what data resides where, who has access to it, when and how. However, this lack of clarity when it comes to ‘digital clutter’ is not only an organizational headache: failing to lock down data that lives online could pose a disadvantage or even a threat to business.

With every business today drowning in digital files, using collaboration applications, online documents, and file sharing services, it can be hard for them to keep track of what data resides where, who has access to it, when and how. However, this lack of clarity when it comes to ‘digital clutter’ is not only an organizational headache: failing to lock down data that lives online could pose a disadvantage or even a threat to business.

The risk of unauthorized access to work files may not come from the most obvious party: workers that are no longer with a company but were not cut off from the corporate email service, messenger app or Google documents. The situation is especially worrying as these assets include intellectual property, commercial secrets or other protected or confidential data that, if let loose, could be used by cybercriminals or competitors to their own advantage. Among the respondents that Kaspersky Lab surveyed, 72% admitted working with documents that contain different kinds of sensitive data.

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