IT professionals concerned over bad file sharing practices

Nov 06, 2014

2014-11-06 USB.jpgOrganizations are putting more effort into ensuring that employees are able to efficiently perform without compromising sensitive data in the process. This development has emerged due to the prevalent demands for mobile and cloud usage within the business environment. While these innovative technologies can provide substantial benefits, many IT professionals only see the security risks and other threats that online file sharing may bring. If companies do not prepare for these dangers, it could lead to costly data breaches and loss of mission-critical documents.

Although many industries are taking up file sharing with more enthusiasm, there are still numerous IT members that are put under pressure to ensure that these practices are safe and appropriate for the workplace. According to a recent survey by Ipswitch, 40 percent of IT professionals note that manual file transfer is inefficient while 63 percent are frustrated with their current document sharing processes. These types of practices can prevent users from meeting customer needs or addressing other necessary business functions, leaving operational efficiency gaps. In fact, security and data loss in their current file procedures were major worries for 32 percent of respondents. Rather than using a manual system, organizations should look to invest in enterprise-grade file sharing solutions that enable automation for syncing and backing up important documents. This capability will substantially reduce the time for file transfers to occur and ensure that the information is secure on the platform.

“The challenge in getting managed file technology right is balancing the needs of collaborative file sharing versus integrated file-based system-to-system integration,” Ipswitch’s Ken Allen said. “End users demand simple file sharing solutions that are quick to get started while IT demands compliance to corporate and regulatory security standards. It’s easy to focus on one end of this while ignoring the other.”

Breaking bad sharing habits
One of the reasons that IT managers are still so hesitant to adopt file sharing is the fact that many workers do not use best practices when transferring documents. Business News Daily noted that a lot of employees still use USB drives and email to move documents, while others are leveraging their own accounts. These practices are significantly risky because they take the files outside of business protection, leaving little IT visibility to ensure that the documents are not compromised or stolen. Working on a file in an untrusted third-party platform can also introduce malware into the document. When the infected file is put back onto the network, this could introduce numerous issues and result in an attack on the entire system. Organizations must provide their users with secure file sharing that is easy to use and provides the features that are required on a daily basis.

“The individual making a one-off decision is not going to be thinking of the bigger picture of organization-wide requirements,” industry expert Jim Ivers told Business News Daily. “What may look like the easiest, cheapest solution may be completely bereft of critical functions such as persistent control and auditability, and may inadvertently place the data at risk.”

Category: Data Security