With many organizations still working remotely, there’s been a rise in the need for safe and secure ways to share files with both internal staff, clients and vendors. There are plenty of free tools out there that are relatively easy to use, like Dropbox, Google Drive, ShareFile, etc. But we caution any business who is thinking about using one of these platforms to be aware of the dangers of sharing sensitive data. This article exposes the risks associated with some of these free platforms and explains why you’re putting your company in harm’s way by using them.
Instead, there are more secure and compliant sharing services that you should consider. Self-hosted solutions offer many of the same features and benefits of public cloud services like Dropbox, but they don’t have the drawbacks of public cloud SaaS services such as:
- Issues related to control over critical company and customer data
- Concerns about security and privacy of data
- Issues connected to regulatory compliance for many industries
- Issues related to data residency, sovereignty and ownership of critical data
Here are three options that our clients have had success with. Which one is best for your business is dependent on how you plan to share data.
FileCloud by Cloudlathe
FileCloud is a secure and compliant file transfer and management application. It’s user-friendly and can be branded with your company’s logo. FileCloud is suitable for companies that want their remote staff to have access to a network file server. FileCloud supports file sharing in three ways:
File Stubbing is a technology that keeps only the names of folders and files on a user’s desktop or laptop. It has the same look and feel as any other folder or file in the File Explorer, but the actual files and folders are stored on a file server and not the workstation. This saves a substantial amount of storage space on a user’s PC or laptop while giving the user full visibility of all files and folders available. The downside is that to open a file or folder, the user must download it to access the data and this process can seem slow.
File Syncing is another method employed by FileCloud. This version allows for users to access files offline and then automatically update them when back online within their company’s network. This mitigates the risk of having conflicted versions of files that are edited offline.
File Drive is a version of FileCloud that we typically would not recommend. File Drive gives you real-time access to your files, but it can be slow.
CenterStack is similar to FileCloud in that it is a self-hosted file sharing and syncing solution that can be hosted either on-premises or in your IT provider’s data center. It also offers centralized control over permissions and has a user-friendly interface that allows them to access drives on their computer just like they would any other drive. Like FileCloud, CenterStack is suitable for companies that need to securely share files and folders internally.
CrushFTP is a good option for companies that need to share files with business partners, one-time users or clients. Its web interface is similar to File Explorer, making it simple to use. It uses a process called ZipStreaming which allows for downloading files in compressed formats and then automatically expanding the zipped files as they are received. Files are uploaded and downloaded directly to your file server. Because there is no public cloud component, it’s a secure way to share files.
These three solutions – FileCloud, CenterStack and CrushFTP – are more secure options for file sharing because:
- They offer single tenancy solutions, meaning server resources are not shared by multiple customers
- You maintain control of how and where your data is backed up and stored
- They meet strict compliance requirements
- They subscribe to Zero Knowledge Encryption, meaning they don’t maintain access to your encryption keys
If you’re looking for a file-sharing solution that is secure and compliant, consult with your Client Account Manager to determine which platform is right for your business needs.