Top Document Sharing & Collaboration Security Risks in 2024

Created on 2024/03/14

If you're like most businesses in 2024, you're knee-deep in online document sharing and collaboration. It's the digital age, after all! But as we dive deeper into this virtual world, we also need to be mindful of the lurking cybersecurity risks. Let's explore some of the most pressing security threats you should be aware of and the actions you can take to safeguard your documents and collaborations.

The Most Important Security Risks for Online Document Sharing and Collaboration

Phishing Attacks: These sneaky attempts to steal sensitive information are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Attackers often use fake emails or websites to trick users into entering their login credentials or downloading malicious files. It’s not just about personal identity theft anymore. Phishing is now among the top — if not the top — ways cybercriminals gain access to a network. In their 2023 report on phishing, ZScaler reported a 47% increase in phishing activity over 2022 (you’ll need to sign up to get the full report).

Ransomware: This type of malware can encrypt your documents and demand a ransom for their release. It can spread quickly through shared documents or collaboration platforms, locking your files and crippling your network. If you follow the news, you know these attacks have become an epidemic. Cyberint’s 2023 Ransomware Recap reports a 55% increase since last year.

Data Breaches: With more documents shared online, the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches is higher than ever. These breaches can expose sensitive information and cause significant reputational damage (IBM, 2023). The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reported that by September 2023, data breaches had already surpassed the previous record-high by 14%, with 733 total compromises affecting more than 66 million victims.​

Insider Threats: Sometimes, the danger comes from within. Disgruntled employees or those with malicious intent can misuse their access to sensitive documents. In a 2023 survey, 74% of organizations reported that insider attacks have become more frequent. 39% of organizations stated they already had an insider threat program in place, with another 46% planning to add such programs in the future.

Lack of Encryption: Not all document sharing and collaboration platforms use end-to-end encryption. This leaves your documents vulnerable to interception and unauthorized access during transmission and easy extraction in case of breaches. While there are no available stats on the impact of lack of encryption, it is recognized in the security community that lack of encryption adds to the risk and severity of interception or compromise,

Inadequate Access Controls: Access control isn’t sexy, and you don’t need special knowledge to implement it properly. However, without proper access controls, sensitive documents can easily fall into the wrong hands. It's crucial to ensure that only authorized individuals can access and edit documents.

Compliance Risks: Different industries have various regulations governing data protection and privacy. Non-compliance can result in hefty fines and legal repercussions.

5 Recommended Actions to Improve Security

  1. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two or more verification factors to access documents or collaboration platforms. This can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access.

  2. Regularly Update and Patch Systems: Ensure that all software, including document sharing and collaboration tools, are up to date with the latest security patches. This helps protect against known vulnerabilities.

  3. Conduct Regular Security Training: Educate your employees about the latest cybersecurity threats and best practices for secure document sharing and collaboration. This can include training on recognizing phishing emails, creating strong passwords, and understanding the importance of data privacy.

  4. Use Encryption: Encrypt sensitive documents both in transit and at rest. This ensures that even if data is intercepted or accessed without authorization, it remains unreadable and useless to attackers.

  5. Implement Strict Access Controls: Define and enforce strict access controls based on the principle of least privilege. This means that users should only have access to the documents and features necessary for their role.

Wrapping Up

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of online document sharing and collaboration, staying vigilant and proactive in addressing security risks is crucial. By understanding the potential threats and implementing the recommended actions, you can significantly enhance the security of your digital workspace.

If your organization is looking for an on-premises (aka self-hosted) document sharing collaboration and management platform that is as serious about security as it is about ease of use, Pydio Cells may be right for you. At Pydio, security is in our DNA, and it’s at the core of our Cells document sharing collaboration and management platform. You can learn more about secure document sharing by reading our whitepaper, or if you want a shorter read, try 5 Easy Steps to Make Your Document Sharing More Secure.

Need to Balance Ease-of-Use with Security? Pydio Cells Can Help.

If your organization is serious about secure document sharing and collaboration you need to check out Pydio Cells. Cells was developed specifically to help enterprises balance the need to collaborate effectively with the need to keep data secure.

With robust admin controls, advanced automation capabilities, and a seamless, intuitive end-user experience Pydio is the right choice for organizations looking to balance performance and security without compromising on either. Try Cells live for yourself. Or click on the button below to talk to a Pydio document sharing specialist.