Established practices necessary for secure data sharing

Aug 19th, 2013 / Category: Managed File Transfer

It is no longer feasible for businesses of any size to ignore the issue of data security within their organizations. Breaches are so frequent and damaging that failure to address these issues can have a ruinous effect on businesses. Any company that experiences a breach should expect to lose current customers, struggle to attract new ones, see its competitive edge diminished and potentially even face fines from governmental agencies.

The only real question, then, is how organizations should go about protecting their data resources. Obviously, this is a complex issue, with no simple solutions. And that is precisely why the only way for a business to truly ensure security is to implement the right secure file transfer solutions as well as establish best practices for their use.

Solutions needed
Secure file transfer tools are a vital component of virtually every company's data protection efforts. Firms today are increasingly pursuing data-driven IT solutions, as these allow employees in every department and of all levels to best utilize the data resources possessed by the organization. Workers are now expected, and excited, to leverage such self-service, data-based IT services as business intelligence (BI), analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) tools as means of improving their job performance. To do so, they must send and receive tremendous amounts of data to one another, as access to relevant information is vital to ensuring the utility of these solutions.

Corporate leadership is necessary to ensure that this information sharing does not present a danger to the company. Specifically, decision-makers must make sure that all affected employees have access to high-quality secure file transfer offerings. If these solutions are not available, workers will inevitably turn to less reliable options, such as consumer-grade box file sharing services. While convenient, these options do not protect files sufficiently for corporate concerns.

Best practices
Yet simply making these solutions available is also not enough. Without reinforcement, it is possible, even likely, that some employees will fail to utilize the secure options available to them. In fact, they may even be ignorant as to the existence of these offerings.

This is a major problem which businesses must overcome. Too often, firms invest in data protection solutions, make them available to employees, but then do nothing more. This is a problem because, without reminders and encouragement, workers will not appreciate the importance of using these tools.

Establishing best practices is a critical means of overcoming this problem. With best practices in place and enforced, employees will more thoroughly appreciate the seriousness of this issue, and be aware of how to comply with the company's standards.

The first step in this process, naturally enough, is the development of best practices. Decision-leaders should work closely with the company's leading digital security and compliance experts to determine the optimal ways for employees to minimize risk without compromising effectiveness.

Once these practices have been determined, employees must be informed. Rather than a simple email, managers and executives should take the time to meet with workers and thoroughly explain not only what the new policies entail, but also how to meet these standards and, critically, why they are so important. Without this last step, employees may underestimate how serious this issue is, and will therefore be more likely to disregard the established best practices if they find them inconvenient.

Finally, and just as importantly, businesses leaders need to make a point of reiterating best practices on a regular basis. Without periodic reminders, employees will inevitably become increasingly lax with their adherence to these standards over time, eventually putting the company at risk.