Balancing governance and usability in mobile file sharing

Oct 28, 2014

2014-10-28 Mobile File Sharing.jpgThe emergence of mobile devices has substantially changed how people work and what they expect out of their daily routines. This development can easily be seen with the rise of bring-your-own-device policies across industries as organizations attempt to leverage the hardware for additional benefits. As employees are authorized to use their personal equipment, this could lead to the utilization of their own online file sharing accounts as well, which could risk the security of sensitive information. However, workers will still expect to be able to access their necessary resources and documents over their devices, making it essential for IT to prepare for this eventuality by providing them with an enterprise-grade solution.

Organizations are increasingly faced with issues related to handling mobilization demands and incorporating the best solutions. A recent white paper by GlobalSCAPE noted that by allowing employees to do what they want, IT no longer has visibility or control over essential corporate data. While many have turned to cloud-based file sharing solutions to mitigate these risks, it can be challenging to ensure compliance with data residing in multiple locations. Decision makers can establish regulations and train workers in security best practices, but these measures are only one part of the bigger picture when it comes to protecting sensitive information.

“If you have no visibility into whether people have local copies of sensitive data, then you cannot understand or mitigate your risk if an employee’s mobile device is stolen,” the report stated. “And if the employee was in violation of policy when the breach occurred, they are less likely to report it. While employee training and policies are invaluable, you need to supplement them with the right technologies.”

Ensuring mobile access and IT control
With all of the safety concerns, it should come as no surprise that organizations are increasingly looking for mobile file sharing that is more viable for the business environment. Malware is targeting mobile devices to a greater extent than ever, and the cost for breached or stolen information is climbing at a rapid rate. Entrepreneur contributor Scott McLaren noted that in order to mitigate these threats,embracing an online infrastructure and leveraging remote wipe capabilities is key, as doing so will help ensure fast responses to any incidents and deter future attacks from occurring. Many secure file sharing systems are starting to come with encryption and wiping features that will guarantee that documents are safe both at rest and in transit. Coupling these tools together with a strict policy will go a long way toward mitigating advanced threats and providing employees with a solution they need to be successful.

“Decision-makers should stipulate the types of devices and apps that may be used and which groups of employees are allowed to use them,” McLaren wrote. “Mobile policies should outline how a firm plans to use enterprise mobility capabilities to meet its long-term goals. Additionally, corporate leaders should educate workers on how to mitigate the risk of data leaking from their phones.”