File Sharing 101 and How to help eliminate risk
In this day and age computers and tech as a whole are capable of storing all types of files, including documents, songs, videos, and full applications. When you move one or more files from your device to another device or remote location, you are partaking in file sharing.
What Are The Pros and Cons of File Sharing?
There are a number of factors to keep in mind before you start actively sharing files. Let’s walk through some of the key positives and negatives about the process.
- Allows you to transfer large files over a network connection.
- Makes it easier to collaborate with other people across the globe.
- Reduces the need to maintain a central file server that is always online.
- Amount of bandwidth required can be costly.
- Hard to trace what happens to a file after it is shared publicly.
- Higher risk of acquiring a virus or other type of malware from a remote file.
In some scenarios, the recipient will have to accept the file, but typically the transfer will complete automatically.
Ignoring the safety and security of your business’s files
Let’s say your team gets locked out of your company email accounts. Would your business be compromised? Would you be totally unable to do work?
If your files are just sitting in unsecured folders or inboxes, you could be setting yourself up for headaches down the road. Not only that, but unsecured files without user restrictions could be edited by accident or shared with people outside of your business.
Translation: A good file sharing solution can give you and your business a much-needed sense of control over sensitive documents and data.
Improve your file sharing methods
Secure file sharing software offers a more locked-down alternative to paper and email, while still being easy and convenient to use. It also provides powerful security without the need for extensive infrastructure or IT resources:
- Password protection helps to ensure that once a file reaches a client, constituent or customer, that it can only be viewed by those with the password.
- Link deactivation can be performed by some secure file sharing tools. This functionality adds flexibility, enabling you to shut down a link regardless of its expiration date.
- Cloud hosted content means your organization doesn’t have to configure external-facing network security in order to share files.
- Audit trails are likely one of the most important reasons to choose a secure file sharing solution. Across industries, countries, states and jurisdictions, strict data governance regulations are increasingly common. One of the easiest ways to appease auditors is to keep accurate logs of your activity, including file sharing. (Reported by ZDnet)
- Expiring URLs limit the amount of time for sharing. Largely, this reduces the risk that others will post your link online for extended periods of time.
Eric is the owner and CEO of Protek Support and is a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional). He graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Business with an emphasis in Information Technology (IT). He is an IT Services expert in a variety of technology related fields. Some of these fields include document management software/hardware, enterprise level networking and VoIP phone systems, as well as large scale software implementation projects and the setup of small business networks.