Cloud File Storage and Sharing: Security

Cloud File Storage and Sharing: Security

Cloud file services allow budget-conscious SMBs to ditch expensive file servers and VPNs to provide anytime, anywhere file access on a variety of devices. There are a huge variety of cloud file storage and sync solutions available for businesses to choose from and the options can be overwhelming. When considering the different cloud file sharing services out there it is essential that IT managers balance business enablement with the ability to maintain the control and security of company data.

While consumer-focused cloud file sync-and-share services offer free storage and file-sharing functionality, and are quick to install and easy to use, businesses need to be aware of the security risks. Employees that sign up for personal cloud file storage accounts can expose organizations to data leakage and data breaches — employees with personal accounts often sync corporate data across multiple devices, such as a home computer, tablet or smartphone. Therefore, businesses must rein in personal account use among employees.

The most effective way to handle this situation is to deploy a company-approved corporate cloud file-sharing account. There are a myriad of companies out there that offer some version of “secure” cloud file sync and share. Because organizations have varying security and business requirements there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution out there and businesses should rely on their IT partner to vet and recommend the cloud storage solution that is best meets the business’ needs.

In addition to determining the best deployment model, public, private or hybrid, businesses should also consider these key features:

Integration
Integration with tools such as single-sign-on (SSO) and Active directory should be considered. SSO lets users sign in using one set of credentials across their work devices and apps, and gives businesses greater flexibility in using existing policies to manage accounts and allows for autoprovisioning/deprovisioning of accounts from one control point.

Granular controls
Granular admin controls define which users can access what data or which devices can be used to access the cloud files. Some solutions also allow IT managers to set password requirements and provide digital rights management. One of the most important administrative control features is the ability to remotely wipe a lost or stolen device. Granular controls vary among vendors and business should do their due diligence to ensure that admin controls meet their particular needs and compliance requirements.

Auditing/Reporting
Management should be able to understand how much data is stored in the corporate online file-sharing account and what’s stored in all the accounts. These capabilities can help administrators spot suspicious employee behavior and react accordingly. Some solutions offer detailed visibility into every aspect of each user’s account.

Endpoint ease-of-use
Endpoint ease-of-use is a key adoption driver that shouldn’t be overlooked. The end-user experience can vary significantly between cloud offering, with the more secure solutions often not as user-friendly at the endpoint.

Businesses can reduce their risk by ensuring the solution they choose has a deployment model that works for their business, as well as integrations and controls to make their data as safe as possible. ACE IT Solutions works with best-of-breed cloud file sync and share providers and can help businesses’ determine which solution best meets their budget, security and ease-of-use needs. Contact us at 646-558-5575 or at for more information.