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File sharing has exploded in popularity in recent years in both the personal and the business world, particularly due to the availability of solutions like Dropbox that allow cloud-based file storage in a manner that is easier than ever before. While this may be doing wonderful things for productivity, it's leaving a lot of potential vulnerabilities for businesses when it comes to things like data security and compliance. If you're looking for a way to solve shadow IT issues in your business without compliance risks, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
What is Shadow IT File Sharing?
Shadow IT is the idea that your employees are installing applications on work computers to accomplish a particular task (in this case, to facilitate the sharing of files) without the knowledge of your IT department. If an employee installs a basic cloud-based file sharing app because they're comfortable, that may be great for their own productivity but it can mean very serious issues in terms of your business as a whole, particularly when it comes to compliance.
One of the biggest potential issues that this causes has to do with file sharing compliance risks. Depending on the industry that you're operating in, you probably have very strict rules that you have to adhere to in order to protect the privacy and the security of sensitive client information being stored and shared across your servers. Your own in-house solution may provide the features necessary to remain compliant, but it is highly unlikely that whatever third party app your employee just installed without your knowledge does the same.
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Solving Shadow IT for File Sharing
One of the most important steps to take to solve shadow IT for file sharing without compliance risks is to understand the ultimate needs of your users. If you want to know why your employees would rather pay for their own third party account with some file sharing provider than to use what you've provided to them, the best thing to do in all honesty would be to ask. What does the solution they've chosen do that the one you've provided doesn't? Is it just that they're more comfortable with the option they've selected? Do they find it easier to use? Does it lack one or more important features that they feel they need on a daily basis?
Maybe they're unhappy with e-mail attachment size limits, or they assume that SFTP and FTP solutions are too complex. Finding out why these decisions are being made and educating them on how the proper use of file sharing options like FTP Today natively address all of their concerns and more is the key to both giving your employees what they feel they need and remaining compliant at all times. FTP Today’s WebApp, for example, is just as easy as Dropbox, but it is a heck of a lot more secure.
Take our short quiz to find out! It may be time to make a file sharing provider switch.
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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