Deploy online file sharing with BYOD risks in mind

Jan 15, 2015

2015-03-20 Tablet Users.jpgBring-your-own-device initiatives are surging across organizations and are becoming more essential to mission-critical processes. More decision-makers are incorporating this trend to maximize potential benefits and innovate current operations for better productivity. Programs like file sharing solutions have been a major asset to BYOD environments, but if employees continue to use personal consumer accounts for work purposes, it could lead to gaping security vulnerabilities and severe consequences. Management must provide a platform with necessary features and ample protection to keep sensitive data safe from breaches and compromise.

Although the benefits of BYOD have been well-documented, the potential risks have also been heralded, making the trend a topic of controversy. In an interview with TechTarget, Garrigues CIO Cesar Mejias said BYOD can be a nightmare, but once it is handled appropriately, it can be a positive effort for business operations. This means that consumer platforms cannot be allowed for use in storing or transferring work documents. Most public systems lack the necessary security measures required for company use. Many industries have strict standards on how their data is handled and with consumer-grade solutions, the firm could be found noncompliant. Rather than risk these consequences, decision-makers can integrate a secure file sharing platform that will protect critical information without sacrificing functionality.

“Our biggest problem is that we have a lot of people trying to use Dropbox, Box, Google Docs or other services, because our clients try to send big files in these types of services,” Mejias said. “All of them are restricted in our network, we prevent users from accessing them, and that’s why we needed to find a solution to exchange specific files with our clients.”

Protecting files from BYOD vulnerabilities
Creating a policy that outlines specific rules can be effective to an extent, but will fail if it’s not enforced. A security strategy must be well-established throughout the business to ensure that BYOD users are keeping up their hardware and are observing appropriate data practices. Baseline Magazine contributor Christian Crank suggested that management use remote wipe features, password-protected access and create a list of approved programs. Doing this will help better regulate user activities while guaranteeing that documents are safe on any device. The wiping tool will mitigate the chance for stolen or compromised information while ensuring that departing employees do not take crucial files with them when they leave the organization. Using these advanced features will give IT more oversight into sensitive files, allowing them to make decisions faster and deter unauthorized personnel from viewing the data.

“The age of BYOD is here to stay,” Crank wrote. “Enterprises shouldn’t have to take an authoritarian approach to BYOD by eliminating it altogether. Nor should they take a passive approach by ignoring unsecured personal devices in the workplace. Instead, companies can employ these simple security precautions and get their BYOD practices under control.”

With programs like mobile file sharing, organizations can better enforce security measures while enabling users to effectively leverage their programs. Through this, decision-makers can encourage BYOD practices while mitigating protection risks.

Category: Data Security