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Friday, November 22, 2013

Secure file sharing solutions must meet user, corporate needs

Businesses must cater to the needs of employees when implementing secure file transfer solutions.

Category:   Secure File Transfer

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Employees across the business world are recognizing the benefits of enhanced collaborative strategies, which is encouraging the use of secure file transfer technologies more often than ever before. By leveraging these solutions, colleagues can share resources from virtually anywhere at any time, allowing for a more efficient and team-oriented workplace.

While the use of secure file transfer offerings can be an operational boon for many firms, the unmonitored or ungoverned use of these applications can also introduce major concerns for companies of all sizes. Unfortunately, the democratization of cloud solutions and other technologies has often encouraged employees to take matters into their own hands. This was highlighted in a recent Harris Interactive study of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, which found that 38 percent of respondents are transferring sensitive assets through file-sharing tools that are not supported by their organization's IT department.

The majority of individuals asserted that using file transfer solutions can improve collaboration. However, many employees do not use platforms developed for business purposes. In fact, the survey found that more than half of respondents believe that consumer-grade services are secure enough for confidential corporate files, though this isn't necessarily the case.

Employees feel in charge
The emergence of cloud services, mobile solutions and other consumerization-driven technologies has dramatically democratized the IT landscape, providing employees with new opportunities to utilize innovative solutions with the click of a button. The bad news is that the tools individuals often deploy are not necessarily comprehensive or secure enough for business operations.

Despite this risk, employees continue to launch consumer-grade applications for several reasons, including the fact that many workers have no other options. It is not uncommon for decision-makers to neglect supporting collaborative platforms because of their focus to meet other critical priorities. This leaves individuals with no choice but to deploy - often without permission - platforms that meet their needs.

In other cases. workers use unsafe file sharing services because the offerings that are provided to them by management are too complex. Employees demand simplicity in virtually every aspect of their lives, which will often drive them to circumvent policies and implement less complicated applications to improve efficiency.

Progressive businesses need to consider employee capabilities and demands and provide the workforce with easy-to-use and intuitive secure file sharing solutions. This approach will reduce the presence of unsupported file transfer services to improve security, while simultaneously boosting user experience, which is a critical factor when maintaining a growing workforce in today's increasingly complex and consumer-driven IT landscape.