When it comes to sensitive information, there’s no such thing as being too careful. Work-related documents are incredibly sensitive and often confidential. But with more companies turning to digital file storage and sharing options (and more clients expecting the convenience), do you know how to securely share files?
Using document sharing software that takes security as seriously as you do is the first step. The second is to make sure they use encryption, preferably bank-level. Here’s what every business needs to know about using an encrypted file sharing service and how to safely share documents.
What Is Bank-Level Encryption?
Banks are privy to some of our most personal information. It should come as no surprise that security is one of the top priorities of any financial institution.
You’re sure to find standard precautions, like security questions, two-factor authentication, and firewall software in a bank’s toolkit of security measures. But when it comes to protecting social security numbers, bank accounts, and credit card information, bank-level encryption is a must.
Bank-level encryption refers to a certain level of encryption imposed over digital files and online transactions. There are different degrees of encryption, including 128, 192, and 256 bits. Most financial institutions utilize 256-bit. Any level of encryption makes it difficult to access or decipher data, but bank-level encryption is virtually impossible to crack.
Here’s why. 256-bit refers to the exponent that represents the number of possible encryption combinations data has been coded with. This equates to an overwhelming number of combinations, preventing hackers from easily accessing or deciphering your data.
How difficult is it for hackers to crack the code? Let’s put it this way. 128-bit level of encryption has 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456, or 2128 different combinations. 256-bit has 2256 combinations (a number with 78 digits!) and is 340 billion-billion-billion-billion times harder to crack than 128-bit. It’s easy to see how an encrypted file sharing service has your security in mind.
4 Ways an Encrypted File Sharing Service Protects Your Business
Saying that bank-level encryption keeps your documents safe is just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other benefits to keep in mind if you’re worried about how to securely share files with clients and other companies. Here are four reasons why working with document sharing software that uses file encryption is so important.
1. Protect business documents
This is the most obvious benefit of bank-level encryption, and there are several layers to it. But first, let’s explain how encryption works a bit more.
Think of data as a picture. When it’s encrypted, it’s cut into billions of puzzle pieces that are then scrambled and mixed together. Now should a hacker come across these puzzle pieces, they’ll be hard pressed to put them back together, not just because of how many there are, but also because they have no idea what the final picture is supposed to look like.
So why can you still see your picture, or data, when viewing it through secure file sharing software? Ownership of data, or being assigned privileges, grants you access to an encryption key that puts the picture together for you.
This means that any documents your clients share with you through your document sharing software will be protected from hackers, while approved parties can still access data as needed. Your clients will sleep easier knowing that any documents shared between them and your business are safe and secure.
Your internal documents are also protected. This could include employee applications containing social security numbers and birthdates, confidential data about upcoming product releases or services, and marketing research that could be devastating should it land in the wrong hands. Knowing your data is encrypted and protected can let you focus on other important business tasks instead of security.
Protecting business documents also comes with financial benefits. Notification costs related to breaches can add up to $740,000 while the average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million. Can your company afford to not encrypt data?
2. Secure more business
Imagine that you’re looking for a new insurance provider for your business. You’ve narrowed down your choices to two contenders. Both premium quotes are similar in price and comparable in coverage, and both providers use data sharing services. But only one offers bank-level encryption. Which one would you choose?
Now consider your own industry. If you market that your company uses document sharing software, and that you provide bank-level virtually unbeatable security protection for client data, you can connect with more leads and potentially boost business.
3. Safe and simple backup protocol
Backing up data isn’t always a top priority for businesses. And those that do take the time to create a copy of data that can be recovered should their primary data fail, often put themselves at risk for a breach with less than secure methods.
30% of companies with over 1,000 sensitive folders allow open access to the contained information. Backing up documents that aren’t needed on a daily basis is one way to save resources and prevent a major fallout from compromised data. Backing data up through a file sharing service means it will be encrypted and kept safer than storing it on an external hard drive.
4. Protect financial information
Your financial institution is doing its part to protect your bank account and credit card numbers. But are you doing your share to protect your financials (and those of your customers)?
Making sure tax information, payroll data, and financial records are safe and secure with encrypted data storage is crucial. You also need to make sure any saved transactional data from clients is encrypted and protected. When it comes to sharing financial documents with clients, knowing they can be shared through a secure client portal instead of potentially being hacked in an email is beneficial for all involved parties.
When working with a document sharing software provider, make sure they’re clear on when data is encrypted. You want to make sure your data is being protected at all times and from all angles. Just as seatbelts are worn when a car is moving and stopped, data needs to be protected in transit and at rest.
How can your business know it can securely share files in today’s virtual offices with the constant threat of ransomware and data breaches?
While there’s always a risk, companies who work with document sharing software that use 256-bit encryption, like Onehub, are less likely to experience the consequences of a breach.