Don’t Let File Sync and Share Sink Your Business

Data “leakage” is becoming an increasing problem for businesses today given the widespread

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use of consumer grade file sync and share services. To maximize their productivity, many users will sync their file data across their laptop, tablet, smartphone and home desktop computers using these cloud file sync and share applications. IT organizations have neither insight nor control over any of this information. In addition, many of these services don’t employ stringent security access protocols; users simply provide login credentials to gain access to their accounts. This can potentially result in sensitive business data being exposed to unauthorized users or compromised by hackers.

A Hackers Paradise

Indeed, there are an increasing number of news reports about user login credentials being stolen from major cloud application providers. In fact, a recent BBC article claims that nearly 360 million user email credentials have been compromised – giving data thieves access to an enormous cache of sensitive user and business information to potentially pilfer.

Since most end users tend to utilize the same password across all of their accounts, it would not be difficult for a hacker to gain access to their cloud file folder once their email account has been breached. Consequently, if a business users file sync and share account gets hacked, confidential business documents and potentially personally identifiable information, like social security numbers and credit card data, could be stolen.

Cloud Espionage?

Another issue is if an employee leaves the company, how do you validate whether or not that person still has access to confidential company documents? If company files are stored on a cloud file sync and share service that is not administered by the organization, this data could end up in the hands of a competitor.

Sync and Share SLAs

Another challenge with using some cloud file sync and share services that often isn’t considered is the potential impact that a service disruption could have on business operations. As end users become increasingly dependent on file sync and share services to do their jobs, an outage would not only impact their productivity, it could also be seriously detrimental to business generation as well.

In fact, a well-known cloud file sync and share service recently experienced an outage that made the service unavailable for several hours. Since cloud service providers (CSPs) are susceptible to the same application disruptions that occur inside private data centers, it is becoming increasingly important for consumers of these services to attain service level agreements (SLAs); particularly if critical business data is going to be stored inside these storage repositories.

User Utility

File sync and share services have also taken on an important role for facilitating collaboration. Documents are now increasingly being shared out with internal business colleagues, business partners and customers. While cloud based file sharing is a convenient method for sharing and forwarding documents, most do little to enhance the overall user collaboration experience.

For example, there is typically limited visibility into whether a shared document has been accessed or updated by another user. This in turn can increase internal email, IM or phone “chatter” between end users as they attempt to ascertain the workflow status on a particular document or set of documents.

Less is More

Furthermore, since file sync and share services and end user communication tools like IM, video conferencing and voice over IP (VoIP) services are separate applications, collaboration activities and workflow can be a bit disjointed. For example, constantly toggling between a file sync and share service and a communication tool to see if a co-worker is available can reduce user productivity and ultimately, increase delays towards timely project completion; especially when this is factored out across hundreds or thousands of users.

A Smarter Way To Sync, Share & Communicate

To secure sensitive corporate files, mitigate the risk of service outages, increase end user productivity and the overall user collaboration experience, organizations need to consider enterprise class file sync and share services like the SmartBox offering from PanTerra Networks. SmartBox is a consolidated Unified Communications (UC) tool and file sync and share service that provides a service level guarantee of 99.999% uptime for subscribers. Moreover, by employing security technology like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), businesses can dramatically reduce the threat of data theft.

As importantly, the SmartBox solution provides for more seamless collaboration amongst end-users by providing real-time insight into the status of shared documents, as well as the availability of co-workers and partners. This provides for a much-enhanced workflow and reduces the extraneous chatter that often occurs when co-workers or project managers are trying to get an updated status on a particular project or assignment.

To learn more about how SmartBox can help you reign in your critical corporate information while freeing up the productivity potential of your end-users, join us for a webinar on Wednesday April 2nd at 1pm eastern, 10am Pacific Time.

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By registering today, you will receive an advanced copy of two Storage Switzerland reports: “Designing An Enterprise Class File Sync And Share Solution” and “Bringing IT All Together – File Sharing That Communicates”.

As a 22 year IT veteran, Colm has worked in a variety of capacities ranging from technical support of critical OLTP environments to consultative sales and marketing for system integrators and manufacturers. His focus in the enterprise storage, backup and disaster recovery solutions space extends from mainframe and distributed computing environments across a wide range of industries.

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