Dropbox outage points to need for secure file sharing

Jan 17th, 2014 / Category: Managed File Transfer

The latest developments in the Target data breach story point to the importance of security for business data systems. As technology becomes more integrated and omnipresent, security breaches can come from all directions and have a devastating effect. Anti-virus software and bring-your-own-device policies can help businesses protect their systems, but as cybercriminals become more sophisticated, it's also important for companies to implement high-end secure file transfer programs.

The recent Dropbox outage on January 10, which denied users access for three hours, exposed the vulnerabilities of a consumer cloud-based file sharing system. Although the service claimed that it wasn't hacked during the outage and that customers' data was safe, the event gave people good reason to worry that their documents were compromised or lost. Because Dropbox is a popular service for employees who want to share large files or collaborate with coworkers, the incident serves as a warning to businesses - neglecting to implement an enterprise-ready managed file transfer system could be a costly error.

Services like Dropbox lack native security measures
One way for organizations to protect files is to encrypt them. However, Dropbox doesn't provide a way for users to encrypt their files before uploading them, Info World noted. Instead, people have to turn to third-party products for encryption, and then upload the files. The process is neither intuitive nor efficient - and convenience is one of the appeals of consumer cloud-based services.

According to Forbes' magazine, Dropbox also failed to handle the outage in a professional manner. Instead of keeping users informed and updated on the situation, the service offered only a short note and did not adopt an attitude that demonstrated its concern for the seriousness of the situation. For private use, Dropbox is a fine option, but in an enterprise environment, it is absolutely essential for secure file sharing services to be dependable, stable and effective at handing any problems that do come up in a transparent, reliable way.

High-end secure file sharing systems are essential for businesses
In addition to the rise of sophisticated cyberattacks, Dropbox's issues demonstrate the importance of a dependable secure file sharing or managed file transfer system for companies, large and small. These solutions include safeguards like data encryption, secure transfer, secure mobile access and firewall protection. Scalable systems enable businesses to customize the software according to their specific needs.

High-end solutions are well worth the investment and don't have to be expensive. Even if businesses have security policies, they need to provide employees with alternatives to Dropbox to ensure their files are managed in a secure way.