64% of SG workers share sensitive company data in messaging apps: survey

Only 24% were reprimanded for their use of these tools.

Sensitive data from your company may be getting around through instant messaging apps as 64% of Singapore employees admitted doing so, according to a survey by Veritas.

The 48% of respondents did this without believing that their employer was keeping a copy of what they were sending.

In the Veritas Hidden Threat of Business Collaboration Report, 12,500 office workers were polled. About 500 of these are workers from Singapore.

Some of the sensitive data that were shared were client information (15%), HR issues contracts (13%), business plans (12%), and even COVID-19 test results (10%).

The research showed that the challenge is compounded by the amount of time employees are spending using messaging and collaboration apps: time spent on tools such as Zoom and Teams has increased by 29% since the start of the pandemic. On average, employees are now spending 2.7 hours every day on such tools, with 29% of employees spending more than half their working week on these applications.

Instant messaging trusted almost as much as emails

When asked which methods of communication provide the most reliable proof that an agreement is binding, 98% viewed email as the most reliable affirmation of an agreement, followed by a written letter at 95%, and electronic signature at 93%.

Instant messaging was also trusted by 93%, SMS text by 90%, and WhatsApp by 87%.

Meanwhile, 63% even viewed social media as reliable proof that something has been agreed.

“With work-from-everywhere, business data is sprawling across different locations. Deals are closed, orders processed and sensitive personnel information are being shared on collaboration platforms. It is a business imperative for companies to incorporate the management of this data deluge into their protection and compliance strategies. The implications could be huge if they fail to do so,” said Andy Ng, vice president and managing director for Asia South and Pacific Region at Veritas Technologies.

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