Most IT decision makers believe that messaging and team collaboration platforms like Slack and Teams, and file sharing and syncing apps like Dropbox and Onedrive, are vulnerable to cyberattacks, according to a report from Israeli cybersecurity firm Perception Point.

The Tel Aviv-based company surveyed 500 respondents in medium and large enterprises (1000+ employees), across several industries, finding the concern from IT leaders over app security also extends to other enterprise communication and collaboration (EC&C) apps, including enterprise social networks like Yammer and Jive, and shared virtual work spaces like IntraLinks and SharePoint. According to the report, 80 per cent of IT decision makers hold these concerns.

The concerns may be well warranted. The study also revealed two thirds of the organisations surveyed had suffered an attack through these channel in the last year.

IT leaders believe EC&C apps pose a security threat. Courtesy Perception Point.

The uptake of EC&C apps is growing, according to Perception Point, with the survey finding 80 per cent of organisations are using between two and 10 EC&C apps and three quarters saying they would be investing further in them. But several of the apps create security threats not present in more traditional online communication tools, according to the company.

For example, the majority of organisations surveyed (80 per cent) said they are using file sharing applications, but Perception Point argues, “unlike the email channel, the majority of this content is not being scanned by existing security tools”.

A Security ‘blindspot’

According to the company, EC&C apps “create major security blindspots” that are not being addressed, as attacks increase in sophistication.

“The findings of this survey underscore the urgent need that exists for EC&C security solutions,” a company spokesperson said.

“As more organisations adopt these essential applications, they are inadvertently expanding the number of channels that hackers can leverage to distribute malicious content.”

The survey also suggested organisations are reluctant to utilise third party security enhancements. Only 5 per cent of organisations had used “Outside security options” despite being targeted in these channels.

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