Why you need a secure file-sharing service when you’re working from home

Many of us were connected to the office network when we were all in the office. I didn’t have to think too much about shared files. But now that we’re scattered throughout the landscape, we need to plan carefully to safely share important files. That’s why you can use powerful file sharing services to securely share sensitive files so that you can collaborate better wherever you work.

Perhaps the easiest way to share a file is to attach the document to an email, Slack, or other instant message. However, both methods have some problems. If you are overly dependent on your email or messaging system, files that are poorly archived can be made available to phishing hackers. If you’re sharing traditional documentation that way, you’ll soon notice that you’re playing the “people with the latest version” game. Tracking updates can be difficult if multiple people are working on the same document, spreadsheet, or presentation.

Built-in collaboration tools such as Google Workspace and Microsoft OneDrive (or email ID-based equivalents) can solve version control issues, which may be the only option if the company claims, but the moment the team expands. Your office domain can be a hassle. You may accidentally share the document with people who shouldn’t view it, or lock out people who need access. The more complex the sharing situation, the more likely it is that the world (or perhaps your family) will access the file. We’ve all seen news articles about a database or collection of documents being abused because someone couldn’t apply the proper security. Some companies will not take risks. On one of my clients, I needed to get a new email address in my domain to share Google Docs.

In addition to Google Workspace and OneDrive, there are more than 12 providers of personal file sharing services such as Dropbox, Box, and Apple’s iCloud. Many of these are free or almost free with minimal use.However, if you are considering these services, everyone in the shared circle Use two-factor authentication (such as Authy) To access them, not just usernames and passwords. Still, when it comes to user experience, it’s often second-rate (Dropbox’s collaboration capabilities can be confusing, iCloud and Windows have a complex relationship, and Box’s file preview feature doesn’t do a great job). .. These are good enough for disposable sharing and file sharing between my devices, but they are not my favorite solution.

Instead, you should consider an enterprise-grade cloud-based file sharing service. It adds a layer of protection by encrypting the data and fine-tunes access control. Egnyte, SecureDocs, ShareFile and SugarSync are just a few of the popular services. This is a rough comparison of how much they cost and what they offer to get started:

Compare popular secure file sharing services

vendor Monthly charge maximum.File upload Free trial period Application integration
vendor Monthly charge maximum.File upload Free trial period Application integration
Egnyte $ 20 / user 100 GB 15 days Wide range
SecureDocs $ 250 for unlimited users Unlimited 14 days exclusive
ShareFile / Citrix $ 50 for unlimited users 100 GB 30 days Wide range
SugarSync $ 55 for 3 users 300GB for web client 30 days * exclusive

* A credit card is required to activate the free trial

Regardless of which one you choose, here’s what to look for when investigating a secure file-sharing service:

  • Automatic file synchronization For all users on all devices, including integration with Windows Explorer and Mac OS Finder. You can browse the shared directory and keep a local copy for quick access.
  • Android, iOS, and web client support You can browse shared directories and folders on the go.
  • End-to-end encryption.. If someone succeeds in downloading your files without your login, they should be able to do nothing with them. ShareFile also has an Outlook plugin that encrypts files as an additional feature.
  • Additional login security.. SecureDocs requires additional authentication by default for all logins, but the other logins I mentioned have optional additional authentication. Setting this is as easy as scanning a QR code into a smartphone app, as shown below.

  • Public sharing options that can be easily disabled, Or making it difficult for them to inadvertently choose to share publicly.
  • Customizable permissions and access rights Make sure the right person shares the right file collection. For example, Egnyte has a number of controls for adding passwords to files, allowing or disabling downloads, and giving notifications, as shown in the screenshot below.

  • Audit Trail To understand and fix if someone accidentally shares a file with the entire internet. Alternatively, if you no longer need the shared file, you can delete it immediately.

Many of these products have free trials (all of the above, except SugarSync, do not require payment details) and you can use those periods to rate them. Asking yourself these questions should also help you choose:

  • Do you regularly share very large files?, PowerPoint documents with videos and illustrations, etc.? Some services have restrictions on individual files. For example, SugarSync has a web client upload size limit.
  • Other software tools that work with file sharing services?? Some (such as Egnyte) are integrated with Salesforce, Google Workspace, and Slack, so you can easily share files as part of your normal workflow. If this is important to you, check out the fine print.
  • Do you need a room?? Some services provide a common shared “data room” that can be a cloud equivalent to a shared network file server. Both ShareFile and SecureDocs provide unlimited space for shared rooms. Others like Egnyte limit the room to 1TB. This is still a lot of storage, even if you’re not a video producer.
  • What other professional services do you need??? Some services integrate with digital signature apps (ShareFile works with Citrix RightSignature) to enable custom workflows (such as document approval) and other tasks that save real time in a corporate environment.

Using enterprise shared services requires some tweaking, but I think it’s worth the effort to add peace of mind, increased security, and collaboration capabilities. Why you need a secure file-sharing service when you’re working from home

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