How Financial Companies Can Share Files Internally and Externally with High Security

File sharing is an important practice for any business and is generally considered part of business operations.  However, in today’s cyber threat environment, hostile actors have demonstrated capabilities in being able to gain unauthorized access and steal such information. Therefore, it is incumbent on all organizations to be mindful of ensuring that their information and electronic files are both properly secured as well as easily accessible to authorized users. This challenge seems to almost work at cross purposes--- trying to restrict access while facilitating internal collaboration.

There are two primary ways in which files are shared internally – either via the onsite network or via a third-party cloud file-sharing platform. In both instances, there are several file-sharing tools and services available for organizations. To identify the right solution, organizations need to evaluate how these tools are to be deployed, taking into account current and future operational requirements and scalability, compliance to existing technologies already in place, and of course, budgetary expense.

Whether onsite or via the cloud, there are some features that are inherently important and should be a part of any file-sharing solution. One, data security is of paramount importance and should include robust permission controls, encryption, and visibility of activity on the network in order to maintain data integrity. Two, data backup and storage need to be available to provide assurance that all data will not be lost by accident or some other malfeasance. Finally, a collaboration between appropriate stakeholders must be present in order to be able to access, share, edit, and save work products since that is the goal of file-sharing programs.

If internal sharing poses difficulties, then sharing files externally is an even more daunting challenge. As more and more organizations embrace telecommuting and being able to work in places outside the office, the need to guarantee the security of files is underscored even more given the myriad of devices – laptops, tablets, smartphones – used to access these files.  Again, the goal is trying to effectively marry security with ease and convenience of use. 

There are several features needed to ensure that remote file sharing is done safely and securely without hindering the business process. Encryption is essential not just for the transfer of documents but also for ensuring that the information is protected while “at rest.”  The use of Virtual Private Networks helps reduce the risk of exposure and compromise from outside elements.  Additionally, system administrators should be able to permit and rescind permissions as needed to prevent data leakage or damages suffered by disgruntled insiders. Since many different devices may be used to support these activities, the file-sharing solution must work reliably across many different platforms-- from PCs to smartphones. Whether a large organization with several offsite workers or an individual trying to access files from a remote location, maintaining a reliable file sharing program for external use is an essential component in today’s professional mobile environment.

In the end, file sharing enables the business. Fortunately, there are several solutions to support this critical business need, and it’s each organization’s responsibility to determine which one best suits its unique environment. It’s not just enough to have a file-sharing program in place; in order to reduce risk and safeguard information, it’s more important to have the right solution.