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Woburn, MA – May 14, 2019 According to a the latest report by Kaspersky Lab, a 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. The research, ‘Sorting out digital clutter in business’ , highlights the business risks of digital clutter, poor cybersecurity awareness in an organization and former employees who can still access company data.

With most business today managing massive amounts of digital files, using collaboration applications, online documents, and file sharing services, it can be hard to keep track of what data resides where, who has access to it, when and how. As a result, businesses are putting themselves at increased risk of losing data, by not curbing the actions of current and former employees.

Among surveyed respondents, 72% admitted working with documents that contain different kinds of sensitive data. These assets can include intellectual property, commercial secrets or other protected or confidential data that, if exposed externally, could be used by cybercriminals or competitors to their own advantage.

The study also found that due to digital clutter, it takes employees’ extended amounts of time to find the right document or data stored in different places. 57% of office staff found it difficult to locate a document or file while at work. This disorganization could lead to data compromise if it falls into the hands of a third party, or even a competitor. The consequences of this could take the form of penalties and lawsuits with clients, as a result of violation of an NDA or data protection legislation.

Furthermore, the challenges of proper access to work assets is highlighted by the fact that just under a third (29%) of workers admit to sharing their username and password credentials for a work device with a co-worker. In today’s office culture of open spaces and collaborative ways of working, employees are often more inclined not to set boundaries but to share everything with their colleagues, from paper clips and ideas, to desks, tasks and even devices. Bad password habits and a laissez-faire attitude to sensitive corporate data point towards a need for wider education of the risks.

“Digital files in disarray and uncontrolled access to data can sometimes lead to breaches and cyber-incidents but, in most cases, will likely result in office work disruption, wasted time and lost energy associated with recovering missing files,” says Sergey Martsynkyan, Head of B2B Product Marketing at Kaspersky Lab. “For businesses, combating clutter, carefully managing access rights and using cybersecurity solutions is not only about protecting against cyberthreats. It is a guarantee of effective work without interruptions, where all files are in the right place and employees can allocate their time to achieving business goals, having all the data they need at hand.”

To make sure digital clutter does not cloud your data security practices, the following steps will help add clarity:

  • Set up an access policy for corporate assets, including email boxes, shared folders, online documents: all access rights should be canceled as soon as an employee has left
  • Regularly remind staff about the company’s cybersecurity rules, so that they understand expectations and company policy.
  • Use encryption to protect corporate data stored on devices. Backup data to ensure information is safe and retrievable, should the worst happen
  • Foster good password habits among employees, such as not using personal details or sharing them with anyone in or outside of the company. The Password Manager function in a protection product can help keep passwords secure and your confidential data safe
  • If you are used to working with cloud services, you can choose a cybersecurity solution from the cloud that fits with your company size: Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud for small and medium companies, and Kaspersky Small Office Security for businesses with less than 25 employees. The products combine simple management with proven protection features for all employees’ devices.

For more information about how to avoid digital clutter in your workplace and to read the report, visit here.

About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity company, which has been operating in the market for 21 years. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into next generation security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Sarah Kitsos

Kaspersky Lab study finds a third of employees still have access to files from former workplace

According to the latest report by Kaspersky Lab, a 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.
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