Security a top file sharing concern: Tips for improving data safety

Oct 02, 2014

2014-10-02 File Cabinet.jpgIt’s no secret that file sharing is an essential function in today’s businesses. Employees need to be able to seamlessly and securely share content with one another, whether materials like graphs and word documents are shared from an office desktop or mobile device.

However, it’s also no secret that security concerns can crop up pretty quickly within this type of practice. Whenever a file leaves a protected location to be transmitted over the network, it puts the content at risk of being exposed, compromised or stolen. For this reason, many enterprise leaders worry about the safety of their corporate assets when co-workers are sharing business files.

According to an Enterprise Strategy Group study, these administrators are not alone in their file sharing security struggles. Twenty eight percent of respondents stated that they had an online file sharing account set up within their business. Additionally, 61 percent said they had plans to do so in the near future.

The study noted that many organizations which haven’t implemented a file sharing platform had “security concerns” about the technology that prevented their adoption of it. These worries included an increased risk of data leakage, attacks and information protection weaknesses.

While these groups may have their reasons for not establishing an online file sharing account, this disinterest is putting their companies at risk. As today’s employees simply cannot do without some sort of file sharing platform, if the organization does not provide one, they will likely seek out a service themselves. This could lead to the use of a consumer-level system that does not have the robust security measures businesses need. For this reason, it is in administrators’ best interest to provide secure file sharing capabilities to their workforce.

How to securely share business files

Besides deploying an enterprise-grade platform, there are also a number of other techniques the company can encourage to further protect their files and sensitive information.

For example, GetApp contributor Stephanie Miles suggested using password protection measureswherever possible. This will not only provide an extra layer of security against unauthorized viewers, but can also help managers keep a better eye on business files’ location.

Miles also advised encrypting files before they are sent. Many enterprise file sharing platforms provide this safeguarding measure inherently.

“Encrypted files are less enticing for hackers because there is no guarantee that the data contained within those files will ever be exposed,” Miles wrote. “The single most secure way to share a document is by encrypting it and including a password. This combination represents the gold standard in online file sharing protocol.”