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One of the largest elephants in the cloud space today, is a result of one of the “hottest” trends, “the consumerization of IT”.  The moniker that we know so well may be pushing companies to adopt new technologies more quickly than is adviseable, and is also producing one of the biggest holes in data and file security we have yet to see. Not since the widespread adoption of email, and the ability to attach and send documents have we seen a plastering of corporate files across the internet with such little control. Who is the culprit?  Consumer grade cloud storage and file sharing solutions.

Imagine one of these scenarios:

Employee A, for whatever reason, has not worked out at the company, and it’s been decided that it is necessary to terminate them. Because there was no solution for file sharing in place, they created a free account with one of the free cloud file sharing providers. Employee A is fired, but while their computer is returned and the local files are safe, a copy of several critical files, useful to partners or competitors, remain in the cloud in a private account. While that account may have been opened to help them do their job, it now provides them with easy access to proprietary files from a company that just fired them.

Employee B got an offer from the competition to go work for them. They also signed up for a free file sharing account and since their departure was unexpected they were able to upload whatever files to the cloud they thought might be useful before giving notice. Unfortunately, without some kind of tracking and auditing, who knows what they were able to take. Is it worth the risk?

Departments C, D and E have several employees, all of whom are bright and dedicated go-getters. In their drive to succeed, they individually realized they did not have a good way of sharing and collaborating on files with employees and partners onsite and off. Without a solution they all, unbeknownst to each other or IT, opened up different free cloud file sharing accounts.

Without thinking about the bigger picture, and most concerned with being successful in their own tasks, they inadvertently created footprints, littering proprietary corporate files across the Internet, and very likely the world. Some of those proprietary files may even be resident in countries with laws that prevent easy retrieval or protection.

What does this all mean? You need a solution that will give you control while offering your employees much needed access to sharing and collaboration. What should you look for? A solution that:

  • Offers a standardized service that allows coworkers, consultants and partners to collaborate on files, no matter where they are located
  • Stops access to files instantly
  • Creates an audit trail of who has looked at what files, and what they did with them
  • Gives different people different types of access to files (read/read, write/read, write, delete),
  • Better enables collaboration with sync across multiple devices both behind the firewall and in the public cloud
  • Provides enterprise grade encryption to protect your data both up in the cloud, and on any resident devices your employees have

Don’t litter your critical company files across cyber space and open yourself up to serious potential threats. Take control, while still giving your employees the means to share and collaborate with each other and business partners. The longer you let free cloud file sharing services proliferate at your company, the more your important corporate data will find it’s way around the Internet.

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