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File folders at a Wal Mart in August 2017. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg via Getty Images.

The security firm Varonis found that 41% of large companies on which it performed data audits gave all employees access to at least a thousand sensitive files.

Why it matters: Giving employees too much access to sensitive files risks problems with insider threats and increases the likelihood hackers are able to access vital information.

If you start from the assumption there's no guaranteed way to prevent hackers from breaking into your network, limiting access to files a no brainer.
— John Carlin, a former assistant attorney general focused on national security and current chair of Morrison & Foerster’s global risk and crisis management practice

Other results of the study:

  • 58% of companies let all employees access at least 100,000 folders.
  • 21% of all folders are accessible by all employees.
  • 34% of user accounts in corporate servers are "stale but enabled," meaning that no employee uses the accounts, but the accounts still have access to data.
  • 65% of companies have users with passwords that never expire.

Yes, but: Clients seeking data audits are a self selecting group. While 65 percent of companies Varonis audited have at least 500 users with passwords that never expire, only one in 10 businesses have more than 20 employees. You do the math.

  • Still, the data is in keeping with what Carlin has seen in both the public and private sector: "By default, too many firms leave a majority of folders open to everyone."

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Report: Pentagon watchdog finds Ronny Jackson drank on duty and harassed staff

Rep. Ronny Jackson walking through the Canon Tunnel to the U.S. Capitol in January. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) allegedly made "sexual and denigrating" comments about a female staffer, drank alcohol and took sleeping medication while working as White House physician, according to a report obtained by CNN Tuesday night.

Driving the news: The Department of Defense inspector general's report stems from a years-long investigation. Jackson has called the allegations "false and fabricated."

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.