The Top 7 Security Risks of Consumer-Grade File Sync Services

On April 7th, 2015, posted in: Security Threats by Comments Off on The Top 7 Security Risks of Consumer-Grade File Sync Services

File Sharing Security RisksWith the rising popularity of consumer-grade file sync services like Dropbox, chances are, employees within your company are using dropbox on their mobile devices or desktops in the workplace. If you are concerned about the security of your company data, one of the easiest ways to avoid accidental data loss, theft or worse, is to avoid using consumer-grade file sync services in your business.

Most businesses remain unaware of the wide range of risks these consumer driven solutions pose in a work environment, so these are the top 7 security risks you need to be aware of:

1. Data Theft & the BYOD Trend

With the rising popularity of the BYOD (bring your own device) to work trend, business owners lack control over which employee devices can or cannot sync with a corporate PC.

As a result, you run the risk of syncing sensitive company data with personal devices – without company approval. When employees bring their personal devices on public transit, to coffee shops or out with friends, this exponentially increases the chance of sensitive company data being stolen or ending up in the wrong hands.

2. Accidental Data Loss

While it might not immediately come to mind when you think of consumer-grade file sync services, when an employee modifies or deletes a file on their personal device, data loss becomes a VERY real possibility – particularly when files are improperly backed up or not backed up at all. This lack of visibility translates into the inability to restore the most recent version of a file, if any version at all.

3. Corrupted Data

A study by CERN observed that silent data corruption occurs in 1 out of every 1500 files. Most consumer grade file sync services don’t have integrity assurance measures in place to avoid bit-rot or corruption of cloud based data making data corruption a very real concern.

4. Lawsuits

The flexible nature of consumer-grade file sync services gives end-users the option to share or permanently delete files. With no safety measure in place, this can result in permanent loss of critical business documents. Companies also run the risk of breaching third-party and client privacy agreements as a result of shared confidential information.

5. Compliance Issues

Compliance violations are a risk in many industries, but they are of particular importance in health care, legal and financial industries, among others. A typical compliance policy states that files are to be held for a specific duration and only accessible to a select set of users. With the loose (or non-existent) file retention and access controls of consumer-grade file solutions, allowing these services in the workplace is positioning your business for compliance violations.

6. No Accountability

Accountability is critical in every business, so why would your file sharing company policy be any different? If you don’t have control over changes in user accounts, passwords and other important information, hundreds of hours of configuration time could be lost if a single malicious admin got access to the file system.

What’s worse, without an alerting system in place to notify other administrators of these changes, you would have no idea this malicious file activity even took place until it’s too late.

7. No History Tracking

Consumer-grade solutions don’t let you know which users and computers modify files at which times. If you’re trying to identify the events that led up to a file change or deletion, this can be a BIG problem.

The Solution?

You might think blacklisting common consumer-grade file solutions will resolve file sharing and security risks within the company, but ultimately, employees will find ways to get around company firewalls.

A better solution is to deploy a company-approved file sync sharing system that will allow administrators to control the data, while granting employees the access and functionality they need to be productive, regardless of what device they are using.

At Ontech Systems, our clients use a 100% secure and proven file sync system called Anchor that supports the BYOD trend and without hindering employee productivity.

Unlike consumer-grade file services like Dropbox Basic, Anchor arms administrators with an abundance of security features including:

• Limiting/controlling which devices are permitted to sync
• Auditing file syncs and changes
• Remotely wiping data from lost or stolen devices
• Monitoring and managing how employees use mobile their devices

If you are interested in learning more about how this robust, business-grade file sync and sharing system can meet the needs of your business and put you into compliance with industry regulations, contact us online or call our office at (262) 522-8560.

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