It's a common problem in many industries; you get these young upstarts bursting onto the scene with fresh, new ideas, disruptive products and generally a different way of doing things. Then the inevitable backlash comes, as they become the establishment, and said products turn out to be not that great as we all thought, actually.
A classic example in the enterprise content management space is SharePoint. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Microsoft sold 85 million licences to the enhanced version of SharePoint across 17,000 companies" by 2007, and Gartner reported a few months ago that approximately 50 per cent of the mid-size businesses it surveyed are running some variant of SharePoint.
Users love it for the ease with which it allows them to collaborate and share documents. But now for the backlash. Security firm Courion a little while ago interviewed SharePoint users only to find that the majority thought they didn't have nearly enough visibility into their SP environments and feared the exposure of sensitive data on these sites. And now new Trend Micro research out today finds a rather disturbing lack of attention being paid by firms towards securing their SharePoint environments.
The research found that only 60 per cent of the 269 IT managers surveyed had security technology deployed to protect their SP environments, and out of these, many said they rely on file server AV, which is unlikely to guard against all the threats around these days - protection must be deployed at all layers of the network. What's more, a large proportion of the organisations surveyed said they allow external users to access their SharePoint systems, increasing the risk of data loss.
Vendor-driven research should always be taken with a small pinch of salt, but the issues raised here are legitimate concerns. SharePoint's usage in the enterprise has grown so rapidly, IT teams have barely had the time to catch up. IT managers need to discover just how widespread SP usage in the enterprise is, and then secure it properly.
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