3 main problems in business file sharing

May 17, 2016

Security Breach.jpgBefore technology became a regular part of business operations, organizations used to handle physical files. With all of the manual tradeoffs and cataloguing, this method was quickly outdated when online file sharing emerged. Although it certainly offers a number of benefits, there are still a few concerns that exist with current practices. Here are three of the biggest file sharing concerns that are prevalent in today's companies:

1. Accessibility

Groups are increasingly adopting bring-your-own-device strategies, which can place a lot of pressure on sharing programs. Not only do IT teams need to ensure that the file sharing solution is interoperable with a number of hardware makes and operating systems, they must also verify that documents are easily accessible. Employees will want to view, share and edit files from wherever they are, so this capability should be a top priority. Continuum noted that the file sharing program should also be easy to manage. If a device is stolen or lost, managers should be able to either deny access to the documents or erase the business files from the hardware.

2. Shadow IT

One of the biggest unknown factors in business is the employees themselves. If a worker knows of a program that offers them more convenience or better capabilities, they may use this solution even though it's not approved by an organization or the IT team. A 2014 study by the Ponemon Institute found that 35 percent of data breaches were caused by these internal threats as well as regular human error, Business News Daily reported. The issue here is that staff often aren't fully educated on best practices or provided with the support to follow through with these initiatives. This often leads to sharing files through email, using flash drives and leveraging consumer-facing sharing solutions.

"Employees that engage a solution on their own may also be tempted to mix personal data with organizational data," Business News Daily stated. "Visibility provides important insights into who is using the data, when and how many times. In regulated environments, this visibility provides the required audit information needed for compliance."

3. Security

The first two concerns culminate into an overriding concern that has dominated the file sharing scene since its inception: security. Many organizations are in regulated industries, and must comply with established laws regarding data protection. In health care, for instance, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act details what steps institutions must take to store, manage and share patient information. Because so many documents contain personally-identifiable data like names, addresses, Social Security numbers and financial records, it's critical that a file sharing solution has the features necessary for protected transferral and storage.

Business file sharing isn't a new concept, but many are still struggling to strike a balance between data governance and accessibility. By understanding the main concerns that come with these solutions, organizations can better evaluate their options and prepare their infrastructure to face these challenges.

Category: Data Security