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File sharing in general has completely changed the way that many businesses across the world operate on a daily basis, regardless of the specific industry that they happen to be operating in.
It's never been easier to quickly send a file over to a client for approval, for example, or to collaborate with one or more people on a particular project.
Many people assume that all file sharing techniques are inherently the same, however, which is not only contrary to the truth but is actually a pretty dangerous line of thinking. Email file sharing, for example, lacks a degree of security that is required in today's modern environment and can actually put your business at risk in a number of ways.
Perhaps the biggest risk that you open yourself up to by practicing email file sharing stems from good, old-fashioned user error. It is common to accidentally send an email to the wrong person before you realize that you've made a mistake. When you send an email confirming lunch plans to the wrong person, that's one thing. When you send a confidential file to the wrong person, that's something else entirely.
And it’s not only accidental disclosure you should worry about. There is nothing to prevent a valid recipient from forwarding your email to another recipient. Then there are the postmasters -- those who administer both the senders’ and the recipient's’ email servers. A copy of your message will reside on both email servers and you have no control over who might access it (email administrators) and when it is deleted (likely never).
Bonus: Is Your File Sharing Solution Protecting Your Business? Learn 20 File Sharing Stats.
Another one of the major email file sharing risks involves staying logged into a shared computer. If an employee signs into their email account in a public place and forgets to log out, suddenly anyone with physical access to that machine now has unfettered access to all of the confidential documents that they've ever shared.
Personal email accounts are inherently insecure, which is another one of the major risks that you open yourself up to with email file sharing. Regardless of your provider, a hack is always right around the corner. Millions of email accounts for both Google and Yahoo, the two biggest consumer email providers on Earth, were recently hacked. If you had shared sensitive information through one of those accounts, those files could now be in the hands of hackers.
These are just a few of the many reasons why email file sharing puts your business at risk. FTP and SFTP, on the other hand, adds in features like network authentication, individual usernames and passwords for each employee, logging functionality and more to address these issues head-on. You shouldn't let the inherent risks of email file sharing put you off of the practice altogether. Instead, you should invest in a solution that will allow you to be as productive as you want with all of the security features that you need. SFTP in particular is that solution.
Email file sharing may enable productivity, but the loss of security and control that you experience at the same time is in no way worth it.
FTP and SFTP allow you all of the flexibility of email file sharing with none of the risks thanks to the wide range of different security measures that they employ.
Founder of Sharetru (Formerly FTP Today) and a respected voice in secure file transfer and Internet protocols. A software and IT geek since a young age, Martin has successfully led his companies through the digital age by spotting market niches and filling them with quality IT services.
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