Sharing data and information is one of the key aspects of running business operations seamlessly.
Whether it is to be done within teams or with the clients, file sharing should be secure and convenient.
But unfortunately, there are risks involved and they are often serious, considering the confidentiality of the information and data being transferred.
The problem gets only worse because many small businesses fail to implement proper file-sharing systems and policies and do not educate their employees in this context as well.
The latter is a matter of concern because employees often end up using solutions that are not officially approved or implemented by the business, just because of the sheer lack of awareness.
So it makes sense to create awareness and educate your employees to avoid some risky file-sharing habits that can jeopardize the critical business and customer data.
Here are the ones you need to highlight.
Relying on consumer-grade cloud solutions
Employees across the globe end up risking business data with indiscriminate use of unauthorized file-sharing services on their desktops and mobile devices.
And to make things worse, they don’t even realize their mistake because they rely on these consumer-grade cloud solutions.
As bring-your-own-device (BYOD) becomes a norm for companies, the threat becomes greater than ever.
The better alternative is to have enterprise tools that bring together a combination of productivity and security which is just what businesses need to have.
Enterprises too shouldn’t cringe on buying and implementing these solutions because they will have to share files and a secure solution will serve as a long-term asset.
Using flash drives
Another common yet risky file transfer habit that your workforce should steer clear of is using flash drives.
Apart from the concern of data leakage, these devices make an easy tool for spreading malware and virus because they bypass network security.
If there is an infected file on a flash drive and someone insets it into a system, there are definite chances of the system getting compromised.
Things can get even worse if the systems are set to autorun. While discouraging the use of flash drives in the organization should be a priority.
You should implement the standard defensive actions such as using the latest antivirus tools and scanning USB-attached devices and their files as well.
It is also important to apply encryption.
Sharing files via email
Sending across files via email sounds easy but it is perhaps the most dangerous behavior.
There are inherent risks associated with email because anyone having access to an intermediate mail server may be able to get the files that come through email.
Rather, senders should resort to encrypting files and using secure file-sharing services for eliminating the drawbacks of remote file server access effectively.
This is something that your employees absolutely need to know because sharing files through email is something they would do without even thinking twice.
Peer-to-peer file sharing
Also known as P2P sharing, this technology is widely used for sharing data over peer networks.
Despite its popularity, P2P is at high risk when it comes to hacking. By installing P2P software, anyone can access your client’s data and this includes criminal hackers as well.
Curbing this practice makes sense because it aggravates serious risks like security breaches, identity theft, and credit card fraud.
A business should have stringent P2P security policies to prevent employees from installing P2P software on the company and personal devices used for business purposes.
In fact, setting administrative privileges for preventing the installation of any new software without the knowledge of your IT security team is a good idea.
Mixing business and personal data
Many times, employees do not realize the criticality of drawing a line between organizational and personal data and end up mixing them on their BYOD assets.
This is where the danger starts, particularly when there is a lack of visibility related to who is accessing the data when they are doing so, where they are doing it from and how many times it is being done.
Ensure that the company IT security environment is fully regulated so that you have all the visibility you need to check the activities of individual employees.
Further, it also gives you the advantage of the required audit information you would need for compliance.
Managing file sharing securities takes some work but it can go a long way in safeguarding the critical data of your business and clients.
Taking a proactive approach is the best thing to do and this is where educating your employees can make all the difference. Ensure that they are aware of these wrong practices and also give them up for good.