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6 Secure File Sharing Services for Businesses to Consider

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Enterprise file sharing is the only safe way for a business to share its data. Enterprise file sharing provides your workforce the collaborative environment they need to thrive and the security to keep sensitive data safe.

The basics of enterprise file sharing

Using consumer-grade file sharing for your business’ file sharing is like packing up your family onto the closest boxcar for your next road trip. It may go where you need it to, and it could even be fast, but why would you risk something that important when there are much better options available?

There is more than one class of file sharing. Consumer-grade file sharing may provide the functionality you need, but certainly not the security. In these systems, the security is lax and wholly inadequate for sensitive files and client data.

Enterprise file sharing allows the same remote access as its consumer-grade cousin, but it also provides additional security, control and customization. It guarantees a level of protection that makes working with sensitive data possible. Secure systems will offer encryption while your information is “at rest” (not being accessed) and while “traveling” (being shared).

For environments with many internal users, most enterprise file sharing systems allow you to assign different permissions to individual users or groups to restrict access to certain information. Not all solutions are the same. With a broad range of customization, you can establish sharing rules and a system structure that works for your organization.

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Drawbacks to consumer-grade file sharing

File sharing has never been easier. Simply being able to do something easily, by itself, is not necessarily a good thing when your company’s security is on the line. There are several drawbacks to consumer-grade file sharing in an Enterprise environment. Without a process in place for enterprise file sharing, you invite threats that include the following.

Sensitive data loss

Perhaps the largest threat of improper file sharing is sensitive data loss. Sensitive data loss can happen through an unauthorized user accessing your system or an authorized user improperly handling or sharing a file. Depending on the data lost, the impact can be devastating.

Network vulnerability

Your file-sharing is an extension of your cybersecurity. When you add a component that leads directly to your data storage, you are introducing a potential vulnerability. Authorized and unauthorized users alike can install malicious software and tamper with settings if poorly protected.

Work interruption

Every company has some need for file sharing at some point. Leaving file sharing up to an inadequate system invites potential delays that could bring your workflow to a halt. You need a file-sharing system with responsive support for when outages and delays do occur.

Security and consistency are by far the most important considerations with file sharing, but there are more details worth examining.

Other features to consider for your business file sharing solution

Ease of setup and use

Ease of setup and use can enhance or limit your team’s effectiveness. When user interfacing is not intuitive, it doesn’t just lead to frustration: it introduces vulnerabilities. Teams will find ways to work around inefficient systems and often cut security corners to be more efficient. Your solutions should be easy to install and easy to use.

Data breaches

Encryption is a necessary but incomplete aspect of data protection. For data to be truly secure, the company storing and transferring the data cannot have vulnerabilities. When users find vulnerabilities and access sensitive information, it is called a data breach. Data breaches can occur at various points in the data storage process, so you must be able to trust the security of your enterprise file sharing service.

User controls and optimal team size

File sharing services are often designed with a specific team size in mind. Some solutions offer robust user controls and are easily scalable to large teams, whereas others are designed for small teams with close collaboration. Comprehensive user controls and the ability to create groups of users with specific privileges sets the best services apart.

Auditing tools

Auditing tools are necessary in the event that data goes missing or unauthorized changes occur. Auditing allows you to monitor what files users are accessing and what they are doing with them. If a file has been deleted or modified, auditing tools will tell you who modified it and when.

Not all enterprise file sharing solutions are up to the task or align with these specs. Here are six of the best enterprise file-sharing services.

The 6 enterprise file sharing services

  1. Dropbox Business

  2. Google Drive Enterprise

  3. OneDrive

  4. Box

  5. Citrix ShareFile

  6. GoSilent Share

 

1. Dropbox Business

Dropbox excels at being a solution that is easy to install, easy to use and simple to scale. Dropbox focuses on the file transfer aspects of file sharing and they do that well. While you may lose some security features, the system replaces that with straightforward transfers, easy sign-ups, and no downloads or installations at the base level.

With Dropbox, you can access data anywhere and from any device. Dropbox Business is a good fit for companies that need to quickly deliver non-sensitive data to users and clients.

The highlights:

  • Easy to implement
  • Access from any device
  • Backup recovery
  • Unlimited storage
  • Simple Interface

 

2. Google Drive Enterprise

Google Drive Enterprise takes the storage-oriented, consumer-facing Google Drive one step further. With Google Drive Enterprise, you get a system made for small businesses that value real-time collaboration. While not explicitly designed for them, large companies will see benefits in workflow simplification from Google's machine-learning processes. It also fully integrates with the Microsoft Suite, so you can edit shared files seamlessly.

Its process management system Nintex, paired with K2—the machine learning application—can predict how users work and design workspaces for them. And with their continuous updates to the workflow process, the capabilities are continually evolving. It does require users with somewhat advanced skill sets to take full advantage of these tools.

The highlights:

  • Flexible pricing
  • Integration with Google Docs
  • Real-time collaboration in the Microsoft Office Suite
  • Machine learning integration
  • Continuous improvements to workflows

 

3. OneDrive

Microsoft integration is the name of the game for OneDrive. It’s an ideal system for when an IT staff can take full advantage of the Microsoft administrative capabilities and the team primarily uses Microsoft programs.

There is seamless integration between programs in the Microsoft Suite, such as Word and Access. An unexpected benefit is full integration with machine learning tools such as Delve, Sway and Clutter that only Microsoft can offer.

The highlights:

  • Full integration with Microsoft Teams
  • Full integration with the Microsoft Office suite
  • Built-in backup system
  • Easy synchronization for local and offline access
  • Excellent mobile support

 

4. Box

Box was founded as a cloud computing company. As such, it is no surprise that its file sharing is well suited to small to mid-sized teams looking for constant collaboration. After the initial setup, file access is fast and syncing is real-time.

Box has numerous features that allow users to work together on creating visual assets, sales tracking, engineering design specs and more. Its integration with upwards of 1500 apps makes working with various programs and client-provided devices simple.

The highlights:

  • Numerous collaboration tools
  • Integration with over 1500 apps
  • Real-time syncing
  • Clean, logical user interface

 

5. Citrix ShareFile

Citrix Sharefile is an enterprise solution designed for small to medium businesses. It specializes in simplicity, mass data storage and easy access from any device, and its user interface is the most straightforward available. It is tailor-made for the business that needs to share data with its clients often and securely. For instance, real estate agencies that need to share sensitive files with clients daily find it a great fit. Those clients will value a clean user interface and simple operation. When clients value simplicity and ease of use, ShareFile will be an excellent option.

The highlights:

  • Unlimited clients with unique secure logins
  • Unlimited Storage
  • In-depth auditing
  • Customizable landing pages for every client

 

6. GoSilent Share

GoSilent Share from Attila Security is an ideal choice for enterprise file sharing, particularly in highly regulated environments, in terms of security, user controls and scalability. It is a secure, cloud-based file sharing solution with true end-to-end encryption. For internal users, the setup could not be simpler.

Once the GoSilent server is configured to your specifications, all the user needs to do is plug into the GoSilent Cube, which is Attila’s portable hardware firewall, VPN and WiFi hotspot. This combination creates a secure tunnel across even the least secure network. Nobody, aside from those you have issued Cube's to can access your data, ever.

Because GoSilent works as a conduit to your network, remote collaboration is as easy as in-office collaboration. It is only limited by the software your enterprise has. It boasts Commercial National Security Algorithms (CNSA) Level Cryptography, National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) compliance and they are rated for Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).

Highlights:

  • Complete data ownership. Your data never leaves your network.
  • Comprehensive audit controls
  • Granular user access controls
  • Simple Installation
  • Compatible with all IP enabled devices

 

Even with only a short summary on each option, the information can still be overwhelming. Here are the simplified that contain the most relevant data as you decide which file sharing service to use:

 

Dropbox Business

Google Drive Enterprise

OneDrive

Box

ShareFile

GoSilent Share

Data Transport security

TLS

TLS

TLS

TLS

TLS

IKEv2 IPSec tunnel with X.509 certificate authentication

Setup simplicity

Simplest 

Simple

Average*

Complex

Average

Simple 

User Interface simplicity

Simple

Average

Average 

Average

Simplest

Simple

Storage Capacity

5TB 

Unlimited available

Pay per GB**

1TB Unlimited available

Unlimited 

100GB unlimited available

Unlimited

Data breach free?

No

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

User controls and team size

Fair controls for small to mid-sized teams

Fair controls for small to mid-sized teams

Versatile controls for small to mid-sized teams

Limited controls

Good controls for any size team

Versatile controls for any size team

Auditing Tools

Full auditing tools 

Full auditing tools 

Full auditing tools 

Full auditing tools 

Limited

Full auditing tools

*Full functionality does depends on Microsoft Suite installation
**Unlimited Google file format storage

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