More than 90% of American small businesses utilize cloud storage today. While not all are comfortable working within the cloud yet, more companies are turning to additional cloud services. However, many make the mistake of believing the cloud offers infinite protection.
Cloud services offer a variety of security features. The majority of data breaches are caused by human error, but to avoid putting your data at risk, read through our top four file sharing security risks to avoid when taking part in B2B file sharing.
Mistake #1 – Not Limiting Access
As already mentioned, the cloud offers great security for company data. But it’s not foolproof. A common mistake businesses make is not limiting access to certain folders or files. Whether they do so intentionally or on accident, an employee with access to data they shouldn’t be privy to is a recipe for disaster.
Cloud storage services typically enable file owners to decide who has access to a file. You should also be able to determine not just who has access, but what permissions they have. Allow some employees to edit, download, and print certain files while only allowing others to view them. If you’re skipping over this feature, you’re leaving your data (and your clients’ data) at risk.
Solution – Limit access to administrative settings. Develop a protocol that helps decide which departments and/or team members have access to certain types of files to speed up the process. To make sure your administrative settings are being properly utilized, check in on data logs to make sure the only people accessing confidential files are the ones who should be.
Mistake #2 – Using Vulnerable Devices
If you’ve gone through the work of choosing a secure cloud storage platform, only to access it from a computer or smartphone with minimal security features, you’re essentially canceling out the security advancements cloud storage offers and potentially causing file sharing problems.
Make sure that people with access to your critical data are using only approved devices with the most up-to-date software and security patches. If you are working with different freelances or contractors and cannot control the devices they use, then be sure to limit their permissions and access in a way that won’t compromise your overall cloud storage should they get afflicted with malware, a virus, or somehow otherwise compromised.
Solution – Ensure the security of any device that is being used to download files from the cloud is up to date. This includes all computers and tablets within the office, but also anything used by employees at home. If you work with contract or remote workers, you’ll need to either provide a secure device or require the employee to secure their device with a product that meets your standards.
Mistake #3 – Not Having a File Sharing Policy
Virtual data rooms are great for collaboration. When a team is working together on a project, file sharing problems can be eliminated by having one place for documents to be viewed, edited, and stored as needed.
But what happens when an employee downloads a file, completes their portion of the project, and then emails it to the next employee rather than keeping everything safe in the cloud? Or what happens if they print a confidential document and then drop it on the way out to their car? Make sure employees understand the importance of file security and respect it before granting them access to crucial data.
Solution – Make it a company policy that all files are shared via a secure cloud platform. Prohibit file sharing through email, flash drives, or freely accessible links. Encourage collaboration within cloud workspaces by utilizing comment and notification features.
Mistake #4 – Not Taking Advantage of Cloud Storage Features
While we’ve already mentioned a few cloud storage features that can help protect your files, there are plenty of others worth mentioning.
Look for sharing features, like branded invitations that can be emailed to recipients rather than sending a file as an attachment. Being able to add password protection to files along with expiration dates are both great features to use for confidential and time-sensitive data.
For additional security, look for custom session timeouts to protect data in the hands of forgetful coworkers along with two-factor authentication. Finally, the most secure file sharing service will allow you to immediately revoke access to a specific workspace, folder, or file should you believe data is at risk.
Solution – Schedule a demo with a cloud storage provider that you’re considering or one you’re already working with to make sure you’re using the platform to its full potential.
Using a cloud storage service for online file sharing between businesses is a safe and practical solution for many common file sharing security risks. If you’re ready to see how a cloud service can help provide your business with smart security and storage solutions, reach out to Onehub today.