File sharing in a workplace is an integral part of teamwork. Employees working on the same project regularly share essential information on the project. Employees also share data with their superiors to ensure the smooth running of organizations. Even though file sharing plays a critical role in the completion of projects, it comes with a few security issues. If not addressed, the security issues can put the running of your company at jeopardy. Employees can use an array of options to share files including removable storage media, file transfer protocol programs, and file hosting services and peer-to-peer networks. Every file sharing method comes with its own risk. Therefore, every company must develop a comprehensive policy that covers all types of file sharing. Some of the things you can do to secure file sharing at your workplace include:
Define your data
The first stage in securing file sharing in the workplace is defining secret, confidential and public information. The company should have a clear description of the information that should be kept secure and protected at all times. The secret information should be locked down to prevent its leakage to the public. It should also not be shared broadly within the organization. Instead, it should only be known by a few employees. Confidential information should also be protected. A comprehensive security policy should describe how sensitive details like customer data are kept secure within the system. The employees should also have a clear understanding of the information they can share with the public.
Analyze risks by their type
The goal in this stage is to identify and mitigate risks that put your company at risk. You should first determine how critical information is safeguarded and shared. The risks of file sharing through removable devices are different from the likely dangers of sharing data through peer-to-peer networks. You can only protect the data if you have a clear understanding of how interacts with the information in their daily activities. This step helps you understand the vulnerability of your system to enable you to set defenses that match the scope of vulnerability and review them from critical to the least.
Mitigate the risks
The vulnerability risks in a workplace can occur at three levels that include the network, people and device. At the network level, you should ensure that the control systems are capable of analyzing network traffic and detect unauthorized access and where necessary, prevent data from being transmitted. At the device layer, you should implement various security remedies such as anti-malware protection, authentication, remote wipe and full disk encryption among security controls. The policy should also cover end-user education on the best practices and things that they should avoid. The policy should also define software and applications that can be used. Different applications have different limitations and privacy policies. Furthermore, instead of using multiple applications, you should look for a superior application that offers everything your business needs. Efilecabinet alternative software can smooth out bumps in your business by providing multiple features like standardized file naming, email documents as PDF and scan to emails among other features.
Human errors can put your company data at risk. You can minimize the risks by training your employees on the best ways to protect data as well as things that put the company data at risk. The employees should be trained on proper password management, social engineering, identity theft, smartphone data and malware. The company should have a defined training schedule. The company should also provide ongoing, real-time notifications of violations, risks, and proper practices. The employees should also be made to understand the consequences of violating file sharing security measures. Here are some effective tips from Forbes about training employees.
Define password parameters
Passwords are essential in safeguarding data. However, the majority of system breaches are as a result of weak and stolen passwords. You should ensure that the employees are using the strongest password possible. You can implement that by defining and programming the length and characters that should be used as a password. A strong password should feature at least eight characters. You can also set the system only to accept a mix of alphabets, caps, numerals and special symbols to make passwords as sophisticated as possible. You should also set how often the passwords should be changed. You may go through this video and learn how to define strong password for your important files.
Create Email security awareness
Email is usually the standard medium for remote communication. It means that your employees spend significant time sending and replying to emails. Today, cybercriminals target emails to gather sensitive data a process known as phishing. To protect your business, you must understand what makes email safe and secure. Today, most email platforms are capable of flagging the normal ‘win a free ticket’ spam, which leaves businesses vulnerable to more dangerous emails that disguise as legitimate. Through emails, the employees should be on the lookout for phishing scams and malware. Malware comes as attachments that turn your PC into a remote-controlled slave. The employees should be regularly reminded to observe caution and follow the best precaution when opening and replying to emails.
Manage Mobile, Smartphone and BYOD
Creating a mobile-optimized work environment can improve workforce productivity. A mobile-optimized work environment lets employees use their favorite mobile devices for work. The benefits of creating a mobile-optimized environment include reduced overhead expenditure and increased flexibility. Nevertheless, it is imperative to note that mobile devices come with an increased risk of malware and data leak. To mitigate the risks of mobile and BYOD devices, you should manage the number of mobile devices a user can use to access the system. You should also ensure that the remote entry is only through an encrypted connection.
Creating a secure file sharing environment at the workplace is a holistic approach that requires the input of IT experts, management team and employees. IT experts must implement the best tools and policies to mitigate risks. The management team should also come up with training schedules while employees should adhere to the laid down security policies.