October 20, 2016

    How to Grant Employees Secure File Access: Key Security Steps

    As a business leader, one of the most challenging battles you've likely been facing over the last several years has nothing to do with your team and its relationship to the marketplace, or even your company as it relates to its closest competitors. Instead, it's the internal war that is constantly going on between the IT department and the rest of the staff.

    In a world where the average cost of a data breach has ballooned to $4 million dollars per incident over the last few years, it's understandable that IT wants intense security at all times. However, as we continually move into not just a digital but a mobile world, staffers require the ease of use and flexibility that allows them to access files and other materials when they want to, how they went to, where they want to - something that is also completely understandable.

    So how do you service two different groups that seem at constant odds with each other, offering a single solution that creates a win-win scenario for everyone involved? Luckily, the answer can be summed up in three beautiful little letters: FTP.

    Taking "Ease of Use" to the Next Level

    In terms of pleasing your staffers, secure file access solutions give new meaning to the term "ease of use" in a number of ways. For starters, secure file access solutions are completely hardware independent. So long as a person has been given access to a particular file or directory on the server that they're trying to access, they'll be able to obtain that information on any computer or device with an active Internet connection.

    This means that whether they're in the office hard at work or are halfway across the country in an airport trying to remain productive during their vacation, they won't be limited to what they can do or what they can access in any way. With additional features like batch uploads and more that automate what used to be menial (and heavily time consuming) tasks, FTP doesn't just make the lives of your employees easier - it empowers them to work smarter, not harder at the same time.

    Meet Industry Compliance Safeguards

    Another one of the ways that secure file access solutions like FTP allows you to please both your IT department and your staffers at the same time has to do with the ways in which it is built with regulatory compliance in mind. FTP Today, for example, is just one of many hosting providers that offers a compliance-ready environment to all customers - regardless of the specific industry they happen to be operating in.

    FTP Today has features that make it compliant with not only HIPAA and PCI, but also ITAR, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, SOX and more. In terms of PCI compliant secure file access, FTP Today meets all requirements by maintaining a secure firewall at the perimeter of its network, never using default system passwords, allowing you to pre-encrypt cardholder data prior to uploading files to your FTP server and more. Secure file access solutions such as these can also address compliance concerns by allowing you to maintain a vulnerability management program, allowing you to implement strong access control measures and beyond.

    Restrict Individual User Authentication

    Another one of the many ways that secure file access solutions like FTP will please your entire business has to do with how user authentication can be restricted down to the individual. Each person with computer access is assigned a unique ID, meaning that ALL of your employees (and the activities they engage in) are immediately identifiable at all times. Your IT team will love this because of the superior levels of oversight and accountability that it provides, and your staffers will love the fact that they have their own unique user accounts that nobody else can interfere with.

    Restrict Global Access by Country

    Finally, one of the major features that will make the lives of your IT department easier in terms of secure file access has to do with the way that FTP Today allows you to restrict access to your site by country. If you're a business that is based in the United States, only has employees in the United States and only has customers in the United States, there is absolutely no reason why someone halfway around the world should be trying to access your server unless they're up to no good. With just one feature,you can instantly fend off the vast majority of cyber attacks that you're likely to face.

    The effort to strike a balance between the intense security required by IT managers and directors and the ease of use championed by staffers is a constant one. Luckily, thanks to technologies like FTP and providers, it isn't nearly as challenging as it once was. However, it's important to understand that just because you're using FTP or SFTP doesn't necessarily mean you're as protected as you think you are. Is your SFTP provider doing whatever it must to protect all of your external files at all costs? Take this SFTP Provider Security Quiz to find out more.


    Martin Horan

    Martin, Sharetru's Founder, brings deep expertise in secure file transfer and IT, driving market niche success through quality IT services.

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