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Friday, September 20, 2013

Consumer box file sharing is an accident waiting to happen

Consumer-grade file sharing programs are not secure enough for most companies' needs. On the contrary, they are accidents waiting to happen.

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Today's businesses are becoming increasingly data-driven, making file sharing solutions a key component of almost every organization. Employees need to have the ability to access a wide array of corporate data at any time and from any place in order to perform their job responsibilities with the greatest possible efficiency and effectiveness.

This raises a major question for business leaders: Should the company invest in dedicated secure file sharing solutions or permit workers to utilize consumer-grade box file sharing offerings, such as Dropbox. The appeal of the latter option is fairly obvious. Dropbox and other consumer-grade offerings are typically free, thereby saving organizations a fair amount of money.

Additionally, most employees are already familiar with these programs. As a result, many employees are more fond of these options than a corporate-mandated, secure option.

However, there is a very good reason why more and more businesses are turning to secure file sharing solutions for their employees. Simply put, consumer-grade file sharing programs are not secure enough for most companies' needs. On the contrary, they are accidents waiting to happen.

Mistakes and consequences
Many of the very features which make consumer-grade file sharing programs so appealing to employees are also precisely why these are unreliable solutions. Dropbox and other, similar options are easily accessible, and that is very appealing. However, this level of access is not sufficiently limited - cybercriminals and other unauthorized individuals can also gain access to information shared via these solutions.

Partially, this is due to the fact that these offerings do not have built-in data security measures which could prevent an intrusion. More problematic, though, is the fact that these tools are very susceptible to employee error. Say, for example, an employee uses Dropbox on his personal tablet, which he then leaves behind in a hotel room. If this worker did not use a sufficiently sophisticated password or, worse, had his password saved on the device, anyone who comes across the tablet will be able to potentially access sensitive corporate data.

Even the most conscientious employees are susceptible to these types of mistakes. The only way to avoid them is to invest in a secure file sharing solution that is better able to prevent unauthorized access to the company's information.