Shadow IT becomes bigger threat in online file sharing

Jan 20, 2014

2014-05-30 BYOD.jpgFile sharing solutions have become more integral to business processes as more employees seek solutions that will allow them to collaborate effectively and have constant access to important information. However, if an untrusted program is used for viewing business files, this could present a significant threat to corporate data. Therefore, companies must plan accordingly and establish a policy that defines what solutions are safe to use.

Many organizations are beginning to use file sharing services in their infrastructure to support everyday work tasks, however, there is still the possibility that employees will use other programs. Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Terri McClure noted in TechTarget thatshadow IT is becoming a real threat and more staff members could be using rogue accounts to store business data. In a recent study by the ESG, 62 percent of respondents believed it was very likely that employees were keeping sensitive information in rogue platforms while 69 percent cited the same for regulated data. Although file sharing in itself can be beneficial for organizations, using a consumer product will not provide the appropriate security measures needed to keep data secure.

“IT needs to work collaboratively with those departments that have collaborative needs and make them a part of choosing the solution,” McClure wrote. “If you put some onus on the knowledge workers themselves, since they understand their needs best, they’re much more likely to adopt a solution that they were a party to choosing.”

Initiating secure sharing
Sharing business files has always been a significant risk to the organization, but as technology advances, this factor is changing. ReadWrite contributor David Strom noted that by using encryption and a designated file sharing program, companies can ensure that their data remains protected while still allowing users to access their resources. With encryption, the files will be coded and secured with a password. This will deter unauthorized personnel from viewing the data and give better oversight into the location of the documents.

“If businesses want to make sure that no one else can look at their messages, they need to encrypt them in their entire path from sender to receiver,” Strom wrote. “You should protect your confidential information from unintended recipients, too.”

Secure file sharing is a significant asset to enterprise-grade solutions and will ensure that users are able to gain benefits without compromising the information’s integrity. As collaboration becomes a more integral part of operations, it will be important for businesses to research these options and ensure that they meet evolving employees demands.

Category: Data Security