C-Level Execs Get an F on Data Safety Credit: Data security image via Shutterstock

The higher professionals are on the corporate ladder, the more likely they are to put confidential company information at risk, a new study finds.

Research from SafeNet discovered that despite company policies, 33 percent of C-level executives use unsecured file-sharing services like Dropbox compared to just 18 percent of associates.

"It's clear that top-level executives understand the advantages of cloud app usage, and should enable their companies to leverage these advantages by adopting contemporary security tools and practices," said Tsion Gonen, chief strategy officer for SafeNet, an information security company.

In general, employees are more worried about cloud security than their bosses. Less than 40 percent of the executives surveyed are concerned about the ability to keep documents in the cloud secure, with 54 percent of associates feeling the same.

Overall, 52 percent of those surveyed worry about the security of cloud-based applications or data stored in the cloud. Despite that, 64 percent still frequently use cloud-based apps to store their personal and professional data.

The study found that Dropbox is the most popular method for file storage, with nearly 40 percent using the online file-sharing service. The most popular method for file sharing is email, with 68 percent of those surveyed preferring that method.

Even with all the technology, 25 percent still prefer to keep paper copies of their documents and store them in their desk drawers.

"What this survey suggests is that cloud app usage and document storage continue to proliferate, and that organizations should re-examine antiquated attitudes towards usage of these apps across the enterprise," Gonen said.

The study was based on surveys of hundreds of business professionals in around the world, the majority of whom were in North and South America.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.