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Thursday, May 09, 2013

Don't overlook the importance of convenience for achieving security

Category:   Secure File Transfer

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It would be difficult to overstate how important achieving security is for ensuring the overall success of an organization. If a company cannot adequately secure all of its data resources, there is simply no way that firm will be able to perform to the best of its abilities.

These sentiments are widely espoused by organizations of all kinds. There is less consensus, however, as to the best strategies for reaching this goal. There are generally agreed-upon basics, such as investing in anti-virus and anti-malware technology and encouraging employees to exercise best practices when handling sensitive data. Yet when it comes to the specific tools, technologies and strategies implemented, there are many options available, making it difficult for firms to make the ideal choices in this area.

Unfortunately, many firms make a cardinal error when looking at potential secure file sharing and other data protection solutions: They under-appreciate the importance of convenience.

Convenience and security
At first glance, convenience may seem like a noteworthy, but secondary, factor to consider when comparing secure file sharing tools. The quality of the data protection software and cost of the services would likely seem to be the far more significant issues to keep in mind.

But this view overlooks the fact that the convenience of a given solution will ultimately have a tremendous impact on how effectively it protects corporate and client data when it is finally implemented in the enterprise.

In this case, convenience refers to how easily and quickly a given data protection tool can be used by relevant employees. This varies significantly from one solution to the next, with the more convenient options requiring little effort while others necessitate a somewhat demanding, time-consuming process.

A tale of two options
This is relevant because even the most concerned, reliable employee will not put as much importance on ensuring corporate security as upper-level management. Even more significantly, the majority of employees will prioritize completing their job responsibilities in an efficient manner over data protection.

This means that if a firm has selected a clunky, difficult-to-use secure file sharing program, it is likely that some employees will ultimately disregard and ignore this solution, perceiving it as too great a drain on their productivity. They will instead utilize no dedicated data protection software, putting corporate and client information at risk whenever they send or receive messages.

This is not the case with a secure file sharing solution that was designed with convenience and the end-user experience in mind. If such tools have been deployed, then employees will have no reason to circumvent the company's data protection best practices, as doing so would not make performing their jobs any easier or faster.

By prioritizing convenience and selecting a data protection option that essentially operates in the background, with minimal required user activity, firms can greatly enhance the overall quality of their data security.