Cloud File Sharing and BYOD
As we mentioned in last week’s blog, the modern workforce is no longer content with the traditional, desk-bound 9-5 grind of yesteryear. Today’s employees have a plethora of mobile resources at their fingertips (literally) that allow them to get the job done wherever and whenever they please.
Such services are essential to those who want to use their portable devices to view and edit documents, stream applications, share work, and synchronize files with other users across multiple devices. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the demand for file sharing and cloud storage services has drastically increased over the past few years as more and more employees take their business out of the office.
Security Risks of File Sharing and Cloud Storage Solutions
Unfortunately, as more employees embrace BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), organizations increasingly cite cloud computing resources, like consumer-grade file sharing programs, as a major security concern (28% in 2012 and 44% in 2014). The reason for this is that such services typically bypass corporate content filtering systems, allowing sensitive data to pass out of a network without being seen by data leak prevention tools. In the same vein, malware can potentially pass into the network without being detected by content scanners, putting an even larger pool of enterprise data directly in harm’s way.
In addition to data theft or loss, businesses that handle confidential client data may run the risk of breaching third-party and client privacy agreements should they find themselves on the wrong side of a lawsuit due to insecure data storage in the cloud.
Migrate to Enterprise-Grade Cloud File Sharing Tools
However, there is hope for mobile employees. Enterprise-grade file sharing systems are an ideal alternative for companies looking to allow mobility without sacrificing security. Such systems include centralized access management, which lets IT departments limit access times to the program and only allow authorized personnel to access sensitive data. Many enterprise systems grant increased data control for IT departments by providing the option to store data in private rather than public, multi-tenanted clouds. (infographic from bluebox.com)
Lastly, in addition to increased security, enterprise systems reduce costly downtime by automatically updating files as changes are made so that all employees, not just the user who made the modifications, are working from the most recent version of a document.
Protecting Data in the Cloud Begins with Employees
Hopefully, the majority of employees who utilize consumer-grade file sharing programs are not intentionally reckless with corporate data. Rather, they are simply seeking to optimize their work performance by taking advantage of the mobile connectivity power of the Internet. Still, despite the best of intentions, many employees remain woefully unaware of how their actions could potentially put enterprise data at risk.
For example, a recent survey by CompTIA found that fewer than half of employees voluntarily use two-factor authentication when it is made available to them, while 36% use their work email address for personal accounts and 38% use work passwords for personal accounts. Even more worrying is that in the event of a security incident like a virus or a hack, only about one-third of users took the time to change all of the login credentials for their devices and accounts.
Cloud File Sharing Security Training
Addressing employee’s lackadaisical attitude about security is an essential first step in helping to keep enterprise data where it should be. The fast-paced, evolutionary nature of technology demands that employee security training cannot simply be a “set it and forget it” endeavor.
Rather than implementing security training once a year, companies should develop a comprehensive, continuous training regimen that adapts to its employees’ specific needs and outlines their role in maintaining the safety of company data. After all, nobody wants to be the employee that puts the entire company at risk due to a few thoughtless mistakes.
Want more information? Download the free guide below for a more in-depth look at protecting mobile data.