3 Security Shortcomings to Sharing Files Over the Cloud
One major advantage of the cloud is that it allows users to easily share files. Although, due to just how easy it is to share files, this advantage may also prove to be a disadvantage, especially when inexperienced users are the ones doing the sharing. The next time your business shares a file with a cloud-based file sharing service, be sure to account for these three risks.
Files Shared to Accounts With Poor Password Security Virtually every cloud service provides individual users with their own account in order to use the service. Each account is protected by a password, often times selected by the user. It is this password that stands between a hacker and the account information, which often includes files sent to the account by multiple users.
As you’re probably already aware, a lot rides on the strength of a password. Hastily made passwords can be easily cracked, and while you may have the most complex-secure password known to man, what guarantee do you have that the person you’re sharing the sensitive file with isn’t using the password “12345”?
From the perspective of an enterprise utilizing the cloud service for file sharing, the security of all the data stored in the cloud is only as good as the weakest password. Therefore, IT administrators will want to take action and make sure that every password connected to sensitive data in any way is strong, and that no sensitive data gets shared to an account with poor password security.
Files Shared With Unauthorized Hardware An employee may think nothing about accessing their company cloud account using an old laptop at home that isn’t cleared with IT, and that’s a problem. Every new device that connects to your network opens up one more access point to your data. While this might not be much of a concern with a device that’s been cleared by IT, an unapproved device may be riddled with malware or have weak security protocols.
Think for moment if an employee is traveling and decides to check their company email over public Wi-Fi, or they may use the public PC found in the hotel lobby to send and receive files via their company cloud account. You can see how a seemingly innocent move like this can so easily put all of the data connected to the company’s cloud service at risk.
The Security of the Cloud Service Provider Itself While you may have taken painstaking measures to secure your company’s cloud hosting solution, a random cloud-based file sharing service utilized by an employee may not have such high security standards. This can prove problematic, especially if multiple employees are utilizing multiple file sharing solutions. This is one reason why it’s a smart move to assign a designated cloud-based file sharing solution for your company. Otherwise, your employees may take matters into their own hands and share company files using whatever file sharing app is found on their mobile devices.
With these risks in mind, it’s imperative that you have a secure and uniformed file sharing solution in place. To get started with implementing such a solution, you’ll first want to ask questions like, who should be able to move files? Who is allowed to receive them? What protection needs to be in place when those files are on the move and at rest?