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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

For a secure data distribution strategy, focus on user experience

Organizations concerned with secure data distribution should seek out secure file sharing tools that focus on the user experience.

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The importance of data for businesses of all kinds cannot be overstated. Every firm, no matter its size or industry, cannot hope to achieve success if it does not effectively collect and leverage information.

Consequently, businesses must place a heavy emphasis on data distribution. Workers must be able to easily and quickly share files and other information between each other and entities outside of the enterprise. In many firms, the average worker will send and receive dozens, even hundreds of emails every day. For the organization to thrive, email systems must be secure while also emphasizing ease of use.

That is why organizations concerned with secure data distribution should seek secure file sharing tools that focus on the user experience.

Users matter
While this may seem like an obvious piece of advice, the fact of the matter is that many data security systems do not truly take the user experience into account, creating major difficulties for companies leveraging such solutions.

Say, for example, that a company implements a data security tool specifically designed to ensure that email file attachments, both sent and received, do not contain any potentially harmful viruses or other malware. Obviously, preventing the opening of such files is beneficial for businesses. As such, pursuing such a solution seems like a wise course of action.

However, in this case, the security solution requires users to manually scan all attachments through a program which is disconnected from the email solution itself.

The likely result with a company using such a tactic will discover is that usage of the data security tool will remain low. Employees will simply avoid the program when sending and receiving email attachments. As a result, these attachments will remain insecure.

Perhaps the company's decision-makers will respond by calling greater attention to the security solution and putting more emphasis on its use. While this may help the situation to some degree, countless surveys have revealed that employees will ultimately choose the easiest, least time-consuming option when working. Even considerate, aware workers will be loathe to utilize an inefficient but safe system over an easy-to-use option. Incentives and the fear of punishment can influence these decisions and increase the use of such security measures, but ultimately will not be sufficient to guarantee universal usage.

Worker care
This is not the case, however, when firms choose data secure file sharing solutions that operate seamlessly and do not require additional steps. Programs that can ensure the integrity and security of emails and attachments while operating in the background do not put an additional burden on employees, and therefore do not discourage use.

Organizations looking to ensure data security should therefore focus on programs that integrate fully with existing solutions and do not place unnecessary burdens of any kind on the end users while still offering robust data protection capabilities.