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Steps to Deploying Secure Enterprise File Sharing and Sync Solutions

cloud file sharing

Introduction

In today’s distributed enterprise the need to share information has gone beyond what traditional systems can provide. Enterprise users have gotten used to the ease of cloud file sync and share (FSS) consumer-grade applications such as Dropbox, and are looking for a simple, easy way to share files in their business environment. The collaborative nature of work today requires enterprise employees to be able to easily share information with co-workers, partners and customers. With BYOD (‘Bring Your Own Device’) becoming the norm, and in the absence of enterprise IT-sanctioned alternatives, users are often using consumer-grade public cloud services to share files, putting sensitive corporate data at risk.

Enterprise IT, are now concerned with controlling where data is sent, how it is shared and how secure it is both in-transit and when stored in the cloud. Recent breaches into public consumer cloud services have proven those concerns to be justified, and the only solution is creating a secure, easy-to-use alternative.

Steps to Deploying Secure Enterprise File Sharing and Sync solutions (EFSS)

An ideal approach to implementing EFSS is to start small and move methodically through all steps below to ensure the project achieves the desired results. Particularly sensitive files, such as board and executive communications or IP are good places to start before moving to larger data sets with more owners and business processes.

1.   Identify and calculate the value of your data.

The key to solving this problem is working with your executives and information owners. Identify sensitive data, and determine a simple formula to estimate the value of your data.

One of the best examples comes from the research group Securosis. Data value, frequency and audience is quantified within a table and allotted a score. Examples of data types include board and executive communications, IP, personally identifiable information (PII), sales data and any other specific data you are required to protect. An overall score is then defined based on the type of data.

By scoring the data types, you can prioritize the importance of the data. Including frequency and audience also helps determine the likelihood of data loss, and assists when prioritizing where and when to apply an action.

2. Make your business case with ROI

A properly implemented EFSS solution typically saves one hour a week per user in productivity – that’s one extra work week each year. More specific ROI can come from less printing and shipping costs. For example, board books, event brochures or training materials can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

When using a secure EFSS solution, you can make your security ROI case, per the table above. You can demonstrate additional ROI for your security sponsors. This means clearly quantifying the immense value that comes when you know where your data is, who is accessing it and how it’s being used. It’s important to analyze, communicate and share the financial and organizational impact of stolen and lost data.

3.   Identify business owners and solve for a few low hanging fruit

Start with a small-scale deployment. Identify initial groups that have high-value data, and are also feeling a sense of urgency around solving their collaboration and security needs. For example, senior executives may want to access their files on iPads and corp dev or legal teams may need to collaborate with external parties by sharing many sensitive files.

It’s important to identify the stakeholders, including who is going to manage the system and support it. For example, board documents may be managed by the corporate secretary, product design IP may be managed by the R&D group, and finance audit projects can be delegated to the individual project managers.

Clearly identify success criteria in security as well as productivity terms. High level executives using the solution can prove its value and give it a lot of visibility in the organization going forward.

4.   Deploy to wider groups

After proving success on a small scale, you will likely see more demand throughout the enterprise. A gradual rollout is recommended to address additional groups and use cases. This stage typically encompasses a few hundreds of users and can go on for several months.

5.   Integrate with your repositories and workflows before deploying enterprise wide

To achieve wide-scale adoption, it is helpful to make sure the EFSS system is tightly integrated into user workflows. For example, if a content management system such as SharePoint is in use, it’s important to have your EFSS solution pull data directly from that system in a seamless manner. Additionally, custom apps such as partner portals, document workflows, should be integrated via APIs into the EFSS system to provide consistent security and productivity across all enterprise systems. Once this is done, the system is truly ready for enterprise-wide adoption.

6.   Leverage the compliance benefits

Once the secure EFSS solution is in place, your organization will have significant auditing capabilities. It will be easy to prove compliance in the event of a lost or stolen device, terminated employee, eDiscovery requirements and more. You will gain full tracking of files residing on lost devices, or being sent exchanged by employees and third parties.

Conclusion

Enterprise File Sharing and Sync (EFSS) technology can be a double-edged sword, and the risk of allowing vast amounts of data to be easily taken out of the enterprise can outweigh the productivity benefits. At easySERVICE™ Data Solutions we provides an EFSS solution that allows you to take back control over your data as it is shared, combining the benefits of productivity and collaboration with the type of security you need to protect your IP anywhere it travels in the course of doing business.

easySERVICE Data Solutions, provides an enterprise-grade alternative to consumer cloud applications, utilizing private cloud infrastructure and providing end-to-end security. Managed web portal solution allows enterprises and service providers to set up file share and sync services for their users based on a variety of object storage platforms. Our file sync & share solution can be used as:

  • FTP alternative and large file transfer
  • Secure file access for BYOD users
  • Shared team workspaces
  • File syndication (one-to-many or few-to-many)

Our enterprise cloud storage solution is a platform that enables deployment of integrated cloud storage applications to the distributed enterprise, including mobile workers, remote offices and branches. It utilizes a combination of cloud storage gateways, end-point agents, mobile apps and a cloud service delivery portal to deliver a secure, WAN-optimized solution that doesn’t require development or custom integrations.

With the help of easySERVICE cloud storage solution companies are able to address following multiple needs that would otherwise require separate solutions at a much higher total cost of ownership:

  • Remote Office / Branch Office (ROBO) storage: A complete solution for storage, data protection and file sharing that is physically distributed but centrally managed.
  • Enterprise File Sync & Share: Addressing the needs of employees and business associates to easily access and share files within predefined teams or ad hoc.
  • Mobile file access: Providing a secure riposte to the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) phenomenon and consumer cloud services
  • Managed NAS: Replacing expensive file servers with centrally-managed, cloud-enabled appliances with local storage capacity, and no need for on-site IT staff.

To cope with these security challenges, you must start off with comprehensive risk understanding and analysis, as well as the creation of a proper governance, risk, and compliance program that is tailored to the cloud. You must then lay out a high-level security architecture for your cloud-based services.

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One comment on “Steps to Deploying Secure Enterprise File Sharing and Sync Solutions

  1. StellarPhoenixS
    May 20, 2014

    Reblogged this on Stellar Phoenix Solutions.

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