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Monday, September 30, 2013

Sharing files should not threaten data security

It is critical for business leaders to invest in high-quality, reliable, secure file transfer solutions. Only with such tools available can organizations maximize employee performance without putting corporate data at risk.

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Business leaders, from executives to managers to small firm owners in every industry, have a strong responsibility to ensure the security of their organizations' data. Firms now possess more information than ever before, and are leveraging these resources for a tremendous range of purposes. Consequently, these businesses regularly handle a great deal of sensitive data, data which is therefore seen as potentially very valuable for cybercriminals and other malicious entities. If business leaders do not take steps to protect this information, there is a very good chance that it will eventually be exposed or stolen by these individuals.

This presents a major challenge for business decision-makers, for several reasons. Among the most serious of these is the fact that, in order to prove useful, employees must regularly send and receive a significant amount of data to one another on a regular basis. Yet it is also true that information is often at its most vulnerable when it is in transit, especially if this information eventually must move beyond the corporate firewall.

This is why it is so critical for business leaders to invest in high-quality, reliable, secure file transfer solutions. Only with such tools available can organizations maximize employee performance without putting corporate data at risk.

Security problems
Unfortunately, many business leaders tend to make one or more critical mistakes when it comes to protecting file transfers within their organizations.

The first and most obvious error is simply to under appreciate the importance of this issue. Some business executives become so focused on protecting stored data that they underestimate the need to secure data that is being shared among workers. They fail to address this issue, thereby allowing workers to utilize consumer-grade file sharing solutions, such as Dropbox. While fine for personal use, such tools are not secure enough to guarantee the protection of sensitive corporate data, which is more likely to attract cybercriminals' attention, and therefore is more likely to be targeted.

A more common and, therefore, more serious mistake made by these leaders is failing to take into account the user experience. Frequently, business executives will appreciate the need to protect files while they are being shared within the organization and will subsequently invest in a reliable secure file transfer option. This is a good thing. The problem, however, is that many times these tools are selected without input from the employees themselves who will actually utilize these solutions.

This is problematic because it is very likely that the solution selected will not be ideal for the company's workers. Perhaps it requires too much time to use, or it is not compatible with some employees' computing devices. Whatever the reason, if the security tool is not easy for the workers to use, there is a significant chance that they will resort to using more convenient, less secure options, thereby putting the corporate data at risk.

Security solutions
To avoid these outcomes, business leaders need to not only appreciate the importance of secure file transfer tools, but also pay attention to how these solutions will be used in their specific organizations.

This means that executives and managers should work directly with their employees to identify the best available file transfer option. This tool should be reliable, easy to use and capable of sending data at an extremely fast speed. If any of these features are overlooked, the solution in question will likely fail to be embraced by personnel, and therefore will not protect sensitive corporate data while it is in transit.