File sharing is a method used by some organizations where multiple employees have access to the same files. How the files are accessed does vary depending on the user environment. The files could be shared between two computers, where the files are stored on one computer and another user accesses them from their workstation.
The files might be stored on a network file server instead of on a local workstation. Multiple users can access the files simultaneously, with various permissions, such as read-only. For cloud-based environments, the files are also stored on a server that is accessed via a secure internet connection.
As part of your organization’s secure data solutions, you need to evaluate the potential benefits and risks of using file sharing. By doing so, you can determine what type of data loss prevention system could help prevent data loss and data breaches.
The Pros of File Sharing
1. Saves Time
Employees don’t have to worry about sending files via email, uploading, or downloading the files. Instead, they can quickly access the data they need when they need it.
2. Eliminates Multiple File Versions
Instead of having multiple versions of the same file with different information, all the information is current and is always the most up-to-date version of the file.
3. Saves Money
You don’t have to worry about users having sufficient storage space on their workstations to save files when you save data on a network server or cloud-based server.
4. Prevents Lost Data
If the event of a computer crash, data is not lost when it is saved on a server with nightly data backups.
5. File Permissions Limits Access
You can configure network file structures so that only those employees who need access to the data have it. Additionally, you can even control what they do with the files, such as read-only, update, save, etc.
The Cons of File Sharing
1. Potential Proprietary Data/Plagiarism Issues
If one employee takes another employee’s thoughts, ideas, etc., or proprietary data and uses it themselves or sells it, they are breaking the law. Yet, catching them can be difficult if you don’t have an application for file sharing and piracy monitoring.
2. Requires Sufficient Network/Bandwidth Speeds
File sharing does require sufficient speeds so that data can be accessed quickly and easily. If you lack the necessary speed, then accessing files can be very tedious.
3. Higher Risk of Files Being Shared Publicly
When files are shared, there is a higher risk an employee or external hacker could attempt to share company data in a public forum online.
4. Increased Risk of Files Being Infected
There is an increased risk of malware, ransomware, and viruses of infecting shared files. For instance, the virus is on a workstation used to access the files and uploads itself onto your server or to the other workstation where the files are located.
Fortunately, these cons can be overcome and further reduced with the right file monitoring software application like PA File Sight.
To learn more about PA File Sight, how it helps protect data when using file sharing, and how it can help with data loss prevention, please feel free to explore our website or contact Power Admin at 1-800-401-2339 today! We are pleased to offer a FREE 30-day, no-obligation, full-access trial.