How to share files safely without compromising your business security
File sharing is essential for businesses because all companies thrive on communication and collaboration.
Your MSP or IT Support Company can be your go-to point to review suitable (and secure) solutions for your business.
However, it is essential to choose the right platform to be confident that any sensitive data is protected and that the whole process is made as secure as possible.
There are numerous cloud-based sharing sites out there. File sharing and cloud storage has become increasingly popular for storing data and photographs for personal use across various devices.
However, for business use, you do need to ensure that the option you choose has added protection when it comes to security; otherwise, you could compromise your company’s sensitive data.
Many of us are working remotely right now so your file-sharing should be as secure as possible. This means that if you are a business owner, it is crucial to choose the file sharing option that works across your company from all locations.
The issues with file-sharing in business
The issue with file sharing in companies is that your employees will probably use their own cloud sharing service for convenience when they need to share a file unless you have a secure system in place.
However, many free programs and personal cloud sharing are not very secure so doing this could be putting your company at risk of a security breach.
It is always important to remember that the information that we share online is not secure.
Even when using a personal cloud-based account, you do need to be mindful that storing sensitive information such as your bank details and personally sensitive data on the cloud is a security risk.
Most of us don’t store personal information like this, but when you need to send a work file, it is easy to forget that it comes with risk. This issue is enhanced when it comes to sending sensitive company data and information.
The problem is that most people don’t think about this when they send that work file via their cloud account. And if you have multiple employees using a range of free sharing options, your company’s data will be spread over the internet in a range of suspect locations. If any of these employees are hacked, your company information will also be compromised.
According to IT professionals, using consumer-grade file-sharing services can have far-reaching consequences. Problems include; lack of control over where data resides, sensitive data breaches and more.
So what are the risks of file sharing?
All businesses need to communicate internally and although file sharing is essential, it does pose a risk to online security. There are three main areas of concern.
> Installation of malicious software
If an employee opens a suspect file that was placed on a file sharing service, he or she may introduce malware such as virus, spyware, Trojan horses or worms that will compromise the whole network.
> Susceptibility to attacks
If your file sharing software requires you to by pass the firewall in order to download or upload files, this creates a security breach which can lead to cyber attacks of your system.
> Sensitive data can be released
If proper policies of file sharing are not in place, your employee may be exposed to sensitive data. Once an unauthorised individual gains access to your file sharing service, it will be hard to discern just what they have accessed and how far your personal information has spread.
6 Tips to minimise the risk of file sharing in business
Any business owner must choose a file-sharing solution that is specifically aimed at business use and is easy and convenient to use.
1. Always choose an enterprise-grade file sharing solution. A reputable file-sharing provider gives you appropriate controls (so that not all staff members see everything on the network) and has visible security controls including expiring file access, auditing and compliance.
2. Use a business cloud-based system. These are easy to set up, offer ongoing agility and are easy to use. A business cloud-based system is fast to install, requiring very little technical ability.
3. Train your users how to use the system. Many people do not appreciate the risks of mishandling sensitive data and the use of ad hoc file sharing. Your employees should be fully trained to use your file-sharing system and understand what they cannot share outside the business. By understanding the security risk, they are less likely to cause a breach.
4. Your system must be easy to use. If your file-sharing system is not as easy to use as the many consumer options on the market, you may find that employees continue to share files using their personal accounts. Ease of use, is key to protecting your business’s information.
5. Consider an integrated system. If you are updating your file-sharing system it makes sense to choose an integrated approach that delivers other capabilities such as email security at the same time. Although a standalone file sharing system may be cheaper, an integrated system adds extra levels of security.
6. Do not ignore the problem or it will come back to bite you. A file-sharing provider that enables users to send and receive even large files, regardless of size is very important. If you do not have this in place, your staff members will look for workaround solutions that may compromise security, such as switching off the firewall or using their own cloud service provider.
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