File Sharing Security Risks & Tips on Secure File Exchange

Secure file exchange is a necessity in the enterprise, but there are many inherent risks without the right solution in place.

Today’s pace of business requires organizations to manage, control, and govern every ad hoc data flow across systems, teams, and ecosystem partners. However, the file sizes, data formats, and the sheer volume of data flowing through a business require enterprises to have technology in place to ensure that business data can flow freely and also remain secure in motion and at rest.

But if IT departments don’t provide the secure file transfer service capabilities employees require, they’ll just download something that does. And such “shadow IT” scenarios present a variety of security, governance, and control challenges that could cost your business.

To fully understand why it is important to have an enterprise-ready secure file sharing tool, it’s important to recognize the risks if you don’t.

File Sharing Security Risks

The file-sharing market is loaded with vendors that promise that their tool is the very best and most reliable option. However, there are some important differences between enterprise-grade file sharing solutions – those built specifically with business data exchange in mind – and the cloud-based, consumer-grade file sharing options meant to share large files with friends and family.

1. Lack of Control Over Data

One drawback of most consumer-grade file sharing options is that companies simply do not have the necessary control over their data. When employees go downloading these consumer tools and using them to share with external entities, they are taking business information outside the company’s IT scope, which means it is also out of the IT department’s control for security and integration purposes. Additionally, many companies have run into security breaches because employees use these personal file-sharing tools on work-issued devices, and open up another vulnerability point of your business network.

2. Lack of Visibility into Data Flows

A cloud-based consumer file sharing tool used outside the scope or your IT department hinders comprehensive visibility into companywide information exchanges. Without visibility into business data flows, then, IT personnel cannot adequately track the files entering and leaving the company. This lack of transparency inhibits your organization’s ability to ensure compliance with internal policies or with external mandates and agreements, and it raises risks of penalties, fines, and threats to company credibility.

3. Lax BYOD Policies

Many organizations have established a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, which essentially allows employees to bring their personal devices to use and access on a secure corporate network. But many BYOD policies aren’t properly enforced and can spur numerous security issues for IT when the user mixes business and personal data sharing. Additionally, while BYOD policies tend to save organizations money and the added expense of purchasing new equipment, they also present security risks when devices are stolen, lost, or misused and potentially sensitive data is exposed. 

Why You Need a Secure File Exchange Method

When you understand the inherent risks posed by unsecured devices and tools, the task becomes finding the best option for your securely sharing your data. Enterprises need a secure file transfer tool that is not only top-notch when it comes to security, but also organizes and moves data at the speed of business. It also provides a secure file sharing application that supports the employee, customer, and trading partner collaboration critical to businesses today.

An enterprise-grade file sharing solution provides several key benefits, including:

Data security, eliminating security gaps and governance challenges with structured access control

Collaboration, connecting internal and external file sharing and collaborative workflow s

Auditability, tracking all files that are received by or sent from your organization

Scalability, to grow and flex with your business

With the right tool, your business will gain a modern way to control file sharing, messaging, and file transfer, all from a single platform. That’s why your secure file exchange system should feature:

Advanced encryption for data in motion and at rest

Structured user authentication

Advanced logging, reporting, and dashboard tools

Process automation capabilities

Virus scanning and data loss prevention (DLP) features

The Best Secure File Exchange Solutions

A secure, reliable, and scalable managed file transfer (MFT) solution quickly connects to internal systems and your business ecosystem, while moving data quickly and remaining compliant across all data interactions.

A few of the business-friendly file-sharing capabilities built into a leading MFT solution include:

Robust data movement: MFT solutions feature an unprecedented depth of protocols and data connectors extend simple file sharing capabilities and enable organizations to facilitate seamless internal and multi-enterprise data flows.

Consolidation: Enterprises can consolidate all ecosystem, application-to-application, multi-cloud, and other business-oriented file-based integration processes onto a single platform for central control and management.

Dashboards: Easy-to-use dashboard and visibility tools to track all data flows and access and provide business intelligence to a variety of personnel. Such capabilities also streamline auditing processes for more regulated industries like healthcare and financial services.

Process automation: An MFT solution that leverages APIs to easily build, transform, and automate integrations as well as programmatic file flows is essential to enabling file-based integration processes between applications and in multi-enterprise B2B patterns within a larger hybrid integration strategy.

The days of “unmanaged” file sharing processes should be long over. An MFT platform with built-in file sharing capabilities reduces the risk of a data breach as well as potential non-compliance of customer SLAs.

Secure File Exchange with Cleo Integration Cloud

Cleo Integration Cloud features a centralized platform that governs and secures all your managed file transfer and ecosystem messaging needs. With prebuilt connectors that allow you to start transferring files in hours, secure file transfer protocol (secure ftp) support for all your trading partners, and an enterprise-ready secure file sharing application, the Cleo Integration Cloud Platform gives you the complete and total control you need to manage all your important business data flows.

Businesses gain true end-to-end visibility and auditability over all of their mission-critical data flows and can rest easy knowing that their data (and their customers’ data) is protected and compliant with industry mandates and partner SLAs. 

The risks are out there; don’t hesitate and put your company’s data – and reputation – in danger. Schedule a demo with Cleo today and learn how an enterprise-grade secure file sharing is key to a modern business integration strategy.

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