Gaining user support of enterprise file sharing solutions

Oct 23, 2014

2014-10-23 File Sharing.jpgMore organizations are beginning to allow employees to use online file sharing to improve their productivity and access their resources when they need it. This ensures that staff members are able to work under all conditions, and it also supports continuity and recovery efforts. However, while enterprise-grade solutions can provide the features and advantages that companies need, many employees are choosing to go with consumer alternatives to store and work on their business files. If decision makers do not enforce corporate use of provided programs, it could open sensitive data to costly vulnerabilities and other consequences.

When introducing a new piece of technology, it’s integral to create a policy that details what is expected of the users, to prevent misunderstandings and abuse of the system. Incorporating file sharing solutions often includes the provision that employees are not able to use their personal accounts to transfer or store documents, but these efforts can fall flat if not enforced. According to TechRepublic contributor Nick Heath, despite the fact that more employers are supporting enterprise systems, workers are still choosing to use consumer services in their everyday tasks.

This development could be happening because many business options include additional features that employees don’t feel that they need in order to perform their duties. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth, as these components often include data loss prevention, data encryption and other measures to make sure the organization continues running smoothly, something users normally don’t consider for their personal files. By choosing a service that strikes a reasonable middle ground, IT can help foster a more secure file sharing process.

“Find the best service out there, which may be IT or third-party provided, make sure you understand what your employees are trying to do, provide additional security controls around it and make it available without adding too much friction,” industry expert Rajiv Gupta said.

Reducing the threats to mobile sharing
With any innovation, there are bound to be risks, but there are also substantial benefits that can be realized when implementing the technology successfully. While the general population may be drawn to consumer sharing products, these programs simply have no place in the enterprise. SC Magazine contributor Ryan Kalember noted that organizations must consider the following in order to ensure safe mobile file sharing:

  • Where the data is coming from
  • How it’s being shared
  • Who’s handling the files
  • What kind of policies are in place
  • What should be addressed in associated regulations

By addressing each of these elements, decision makers will have a better overall view of their mobilization strategy and be able to provide employees with the best tools to succeed. Answering the various questions will also provide insight as to what components should be outlined in the policy and areas that will require constant reinforcement.

“For security-conscious technology decision makers, it is necessary to evaluate employee behavior, the policies that impact sharing and collaboration in (and outside) of workflows, and what role the technology selected or approved plays within all of this to ensure data is truly secure,” Kalember wrote.

Category: Data Security