May 22nd, 2013
Never before has information access been as critical for the average worker as it is today. Countless IT services and programs which were once relegated to the IT department itself have become self-service, and consequently employees now require more data to leverage the tools at their disposal.
This means that for employees to effectively perform their jobs, they must regularly send, receive and access a wide range of data and file types.
There are potential risks inherent to this state of affairs. Most notably, if firms do not invest in professional-grade secure file sharing solutions, employees will likely rely on consumer-based box file share options that are much more susceptible to the possibility of a data breach.
The Dropbox risk
While there are a number of consumer-level box file share solutions available, the most immediately recognizable to most people is Dropbox. Dropbox has established itself as a leading option for consumers looking to share their documents with others, or with themselves when using a different desktop or device to access their files. Additionally, many people use Dropbox as a means of backing up documents in case something happens to their main computer.
There is nothing wrong with such a course of action - when limited to consumers. Problems arise, however, when employees deploy these same solutions for business purposes. Simply put, Dropbox and similar consumer-grade file sharing solutions lack the level of robust security measures necessary for enterprises to comfortably rely upon these resources.
There are several reasons why this is the case. For one thing, the value of the data sent and received by employees will likely be much more valuable than consumers' personal documents. As numerous studies have demonstrated, cyberattackers are increasingly targeting businesses for purposes of stealing information that, while not directly financially viable, can be sold to corporate competitors. While identity theft and fraud remain serious issues for the general public, cybercriminals are far more dedicated toward stealing from major enterprises.
Additionally, corporate files will likely need to be sent, received and accessed by more workers and at a greater scale than consumers' information. This means that there are more opportunities for files to be exposed. As these opportunities increase, it becomes exponentially more important that the company leverage reliable, secure file sharing solutions. Consumer-grade options are simply not up to this task.
The right choice
Ultimately, the question of file sharing for enterprises is relatively straightforward. Secure, professional grade options will obviously cost more than free, consumer-quality choices such as Dropbox. But the risk of a data breach which is inherent to the latter option makes this the less financially responsible solution. A data breach can be among the most damaging events to occur to a company. The loss of intellectual property will put the firm at a competitive disadvantage, while exposing sensitive client data will greatly tarnish the firm's reputation.
For a relatively low price, high-end file sharing solutions can give companies far greater safety, even as information distribution grows in importance.