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Monday, June 03, 2013

3 tips for achieving secure file sharing in your company

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Now more than ever, businesses of all sizes and industries are dependent upon the accumulation, distribution and leveraging of information of all kinds. In order to become and remain a leader in a given sector, a firm must have the means to harness available data.

Achieving this goal is obviously a complex, multi-step process. Undoubtedly, though, one of the most critical components of this objective is ensuring secure file sharing among a company's employees. If a firm's workers cannot easily, safely share information, that data will lose a great deal of its value, hurting the organization's overall ability to compete.

With that in mind, here are three tips for achieving secure file sharing within your company.

1. Invest in high-quality tools
At first glance, this may seem like an obvious piece of advice: In order to ensure an effective secure file sharing strategy, businesses must invest in high-quality tools that can guarantee data integrity.

What makes this issue more complicated is deciding how to judge the various secure file sharing options on the market. No two of these solutions are equally viable, and it is critical for firms to make the correct decision to limit risk and maximize productivity.

So what should firms look for when evaluating file sharing options? In addition to the ability to protect corporate data from a wide-range of cyberattacks, including malware and viruses, these solutions must also be easy for employees to utilize. This point is often overlooked by firms, with serious consequences. If a given secure file sharing solution is difficult or time-consuming to utilize, employees will inevitably be less inclined to make use of it. Instead, they will likely turn to easier but less secure methods of file sharing, such as Dropbox and other consumer-grade solutions.

Employees will generally choose options that make their workdays easier and more productive over those that provide a greater degree of corporate data security. Only by prioritizing the user experience can companies find a secure file sharing solution that truly provides high-grade data protection encouraging, rather than discouraging, employee adoption.

2. Create a security-oriented culture
As mentioned above, employee adoption of secure file sharing tools is essential for guaranteeing that corporate data remains secure. A big part of achieving this goal is creating a security-oriented culture throughout the company.

Many firms fall short in this regard. They invest in tools and craft official policies concerning data security, but then leave this issue relatively untouched. The problem with this behavior is that it simply does not go far enough toward demonstrating the importance of data security to employees. As time goes on, workers will inevitably become more lax in their adherence to proper protocols, which will gradually increase the risk of a data breach.

Unfortunately, it is difficult for firms to see this process occurring. After all, data breaches are relatively rare occurrences. Consequently, there are few warning signs that a firm may be vulnerable to such an event until it happens. Only by creating and maintaining a vigilant corporate culture can firms reduce the likelihood that data breach risk will grow over time.

3. Regular review
Once a secure file sharing solution and related policies are in place, it is critical for firms to remain active in regard to data protection. The threats firms face from cybercriminals are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. The most advanced secure file sharing program right now may not be adequate for a firm's needs within a few years.

It is therefore imperative for companies to regularly review their solutions to ensure that all security meets are being met.