The Definitive Guide to Choosing a Secure File Sharing Service

Working from home has become the “new normal” for many business owners and their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet businesses have found new ways to share work without slowing down productivity through file sharing services. 

While cloud based file sharing services provide easy and convenient access to work-related documents for employees anytime and anywhere, that’s not to say there isn’t a level of risk that comes along with the practice.

Finding a secure file sharing service doesn’t always happen on the first try. But having one central place to share, edit, manage, and complete projects is crucial for small and large businesses alike, especially those with no return-date to the office just yet. If you’re looking for a secure file sharing service, consider the following five important criteria to look for.

1. Security requirements 

A 2020 Data Risk and Security Report revealed that organizations named data security as their top IT priority in 2020. And for good reason. America experiences a hacker attack every 39 seconds.

Security should be one of the top criterion to research when shopping for a file sharing service. You should be greeted with transparency and plenty of security features, including but not limited to:

  • Role-based permissions (not every team member needs to access every document)
  • Custom session timeouts (prevent curious passersby from accessing company data)
  • Revoke access (prevent employees with ill-intent from doing irreparable harm by revoking their document privileges)

2. Collaboration 

Collaborating easily and efficiently is key to the day-to-day operations of your business. Difficult collaboration will only add to the frustrations your employees may be feeling when working from home, especially if they’re simultaneously caring for their family. In addition, research shows that improving collaboration can help raise productivity as much as 25 percent.

Look for services that not only offer plenty of collaborative features but are always developing new ways for teams to work together, whether they’re in the same office or in different countries. 

When searching for a secure file sharing service, the following collaborative features are a must:

  • Comments (share thoughts in any file or folder without having to leave the platform)
  • Workflow tasks (make sure everyone knows the next step without the back and forth)
  • Notifications (know exactly when a task has been completed and avoid “checking-in burnout”)

3. Mobile functionality 

It is not worth having a file sharing service available to your employees if they cannot access it on different operating platforms or mobile devices. Keep in mind that in a work from home setup, employees might not be sitting at a desk for a certain number of hours as they would in a traditional office setting.

Your employees will appreciate the ability to edit and share their company files on mobile devices – at a minimum, Apple, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. Before choosing a provider, see if they offer an app for better mobile access.

But working on mobile devices, especially if they’re using several different networks, comes with risk. Providers that offer secure links and high levels of encryption to keep your company data safe are always worth consideration. 

4. Synchronization 

What makes file sharing so convenient is having the ability to move files between a file-sharing environment and local resources, such as a mobile device or desktop, in a matter of seconds. 

As long as security measures are in place, a great file sharing service should allow multiple team members, multiple devices, and countless documents the ability to synchronize in real time.

Nearly half of 1,000 surveyed full-time U.S. workers admitted they have difficulty finding documents when they need them. By finding a file sharing service that makes it easy to move, organize, and search for documents, you can remain confident that a team working from home can get just as much, if not more, done in a day.

5. Auditing abilities 

While you want to make sure your team is remaining productive, you don’t want to spend a substantial amount of your day checking up on which documents were downloaded or uploaded, who commented on a file, or who updated a list of tasks.

A secure file sharing service with auditing abilities will help you check in without being invasive or inconvenienced. Audit trails will also help you protect client data by confirming only permitted employees are privy to confidential information.

What are the signs of the wrong service?

Maybe you’re already using a file sharing service. Does it tick off all the boxes or is it lacking in several features?

There are many signs to look out for, all which point to using the wrong file sharing service. If you’re worried about loss of control over your data, continuously experiencing glitches, or spending a large portion of your day calming down frustrated employees, you’re likely with a less than superior provider. 

Your file sharing service should give you the ability to communicate with your employees, your clients, and all members of your professional circle securely and seamlessly. If it does not, it’s time to shop.  

Whether you’re looking for a secure file sharing for the first time or have come to terms that it’s time to find a new provider, keep your team informed that you’re looking for a new service and, above all, maintain transparency with your clients. It may take a little effort to train your employees and adjust to the new system, but in the end it will secure your company’s work and client base.

Reach out to Onehub to learn more about their features and what makes them a secure file sharing option.