Few business leaders would discount the importance of data security. There have been far too many news stories concerning firms that have experienced devastating data breaches for decision-makers to feel otherwise. Without robust data protection practices, organizations in every sector run the risk of experiencing data loss, theft or exposure. Any of these events can cause serious damage in a variety of ways.
Yet despite the widespread awareness of the importance of data security, many companies fail to make this a priority when selecting and implementing file sharing options. Secure file transfers should be a key focus for all kinds of firms, but this is too infrequently achieved.
To highlight the importance of data security when it comes to file sharing, here are five key reasons why secure file transfer solutions should be a priority for any organization.
1. Data's growing value
Perhaps the single most important reason why businesses should emphasize security when devising file transfer solutions is that data's value has increased tremendously in recent years. Obviously, information has always been critical for business success. Now, however, the rise of big data analytics, business intelligence (BI) and related IT services has greatly accelerated this trend. Firms are able to gain insight and, consequently, value from more types of data than ever before. Additionally, more data exists now than in any point in history, and the rate of creation has shown no sign of slowing.
All of this means that businesses possess a greater amount of data, and more valuable data, than in the past. Consequently, this data must be protected just like any other asset. After all, data's value is not limited to the company that owns it. On the contrary, data has also become an increasingly tempting target for cybercriminals and other malicious entities, further emphasizing the need for robust protection.
2. Data-driven cultures
Related to the last point is the fact that data's increasing value has led many companies to encourage the development of data-driven cultures within their organizations. Workers in every department are being encouraged to rely on solid data rather than assumptions or instincts whenever possible, as data-driven decision-making typically yields far greater results.
To achieve such an office culture, it is necessary for employees to regularly send, receive and access a tremendous amount and broad range of information. This greatly increases the opportunities for any given piece of data to be exposed or stolen. Without secure file transfer solutions, employees will be unable to access the information they need to perform their jobs as efficiently and effectively as possible.
3. Transit vulnerabilities
Further emphasizing the need for secure file transfers is the fact that data in motion is typically more vulnerable than data at rest. Stored information can rest behind a company firewall and reside within protected servers and networks. While this is true to a certain extent when it comes to intra-company file sharing, even these messages are potentially at risk if dedicated, secure file transfer solutions are not implemented. With these tools in place, data transfers can become just as secure as stored information.
4. An ounce of prevention
Another critical reason why firms should invest in secure file transfer solutions is because it is far better to spend the money necessary to prevent a data breach than to pay for the consequences of these events. As countless businesses have discovered, data breaches can easily cost tens or hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars, depending on the scope of the breach and the type of information stolen or exposed. Organizations that have seen intellectual property breached have paid for these incidents by losing valuable competitive edges in their markets, while many other firms have been fined for failures to protect sensitive client data.
Additionally, a firm that experiences a data breach will likely see its reputation tarnished. This will dissolve existing customer loyalty, as well as make it more difficult to attract new customers.
While secure file transfer solutions do require an upfront investment from businesses, the size of these investments is paltry compared to the potential damages avoided.
5. Peace of mind
One final, yet significant, reason why organizations should consider investing in high-quality secure file transfer solutions is simply to ensure peace of mind. Business leaders and IT personnel have so many issues to consider and tasks to pursue that any preventative effort which can reduce stress and worry should be seen as a valuable commodity. Increasing the security of file transfer allows these personnel to focus their attention and efforts on more mission-critical areas.
Secure file sharing is not an excuse for organizations to let their guards down. It is, however, a means of reducing risk and increasing productivity.