The Security Risks of File Sharing & Cloud Storage (with a solution!)

What is File Sharing and Cloud Storage?

File sharing and cloud storage is a way of storing and sharing files online that many companies and organizations are using. Some organizations have migrated entirely to the cloud. However, there still seems to be some confusion as to what the cloud actually is.

Essentially, the cloud is a digital space online where companies can store data, instead of on a company hard drive.

Why Are So Many Companies Using the Cloud?

Many companies and organizations are turning to the cloud because it is easier to use. In effect, all files and data are stored online and can be accessed by any device with an internet connect. In addition, in a world where huge numbers of people are working remotely and in different offices, cloud storage and sharing allows users to share files easily between themselves and clients.

What Are the Data Security Risks of File Sharing and Cloud Storage?

The cloud sounds great, right? And it can be, but there are risks involved in storing and sharing files via the cloud, which can lead to data leaks, loss of time, and even financial penalties. There are many reasons that companies use cloud technology, but some of those exact reasons can pose security risks if you’re not using a hyper-secure cloud storage and sharing system.

Cloud Storage Safety

Those risks include:

Employees Using Their Own Devices/Non-Secured Devices

One of the benefits of storing files in the cloud means that users can access those files anywhere they have an internet connection—on any device. However, this can also be a security risk. Employees using company computers is one thing, but policies like BYOD (bring your own device) often result in employees using personal laptop or cell phone. Security is often not up-to-date on these devices, and if they’re hacked, lost, or stolen, that could lead to a data breach for your company. It’s best to look for a system that has a robust device management dashboard, along with the option for admins to remove devices from the system at any point.

One Size Fits All Sharing

Sharing permissions are a vital part of using cloud tech. After all, you don’t want just anyone having access to your data, right? If you pick a system that doesn’t offer advanced sharing permissions and simply sends all shares publicly, you could be in trouble. You’ll want to look for a cloud storage and sharing system that has advanced and customizable sharing permissions.

Unrestricted Sharing

Data leak prevention (or DLP) is a necessary part of any cloud system that stores and shares data. Essentially, DLP stops leaks before they happen (whether from malicious or accidental user error). A system without DLP in place can cost you time and money, especially where compliance regulations are in place. Look for Smart DLP that is flexible and rule driven, with admins having complete control.

No Centralized Fail-Safe for Document Retention

Retention policies are a way of managing data, like having restrictions on data being deleted in the case of HIPAA, or restrictions on files being deleted in case of a lawsuit. These regulations are increasingly needed in a world where compliance regulations are being added and updated yearly. Regulations like GDPR, ITAR, and HIPAA have strict requirements for data security, safety, and storage. A cloud system without a top-notch retention policy system likely won’t comply with expanding regulations and could lead to a huge loss of money, and even the ability to operate. Finding a cloud storage system that also has robust retention polices is vital.

Lack of Audit Logs

Audit logs are the best way to know who is using your system when, and how. This can help keep data secure and compliant, but many cloud systems, especially consumer-grade solutions, won’t have these audit logs available. Ideally, you want the ability to have a complete audit of the whole system with easily-downloadable logs for audit and regulatory overview.

How FileCloud’s Hyper-Secure System Helps Companies Avoid Risks

FileCloud is a hyper-secure cloud storage and file sharing system that was created to help companies avoid risk, keep data secure and compliant, while making files easy to share.

It has all the necessary features we talked about above, in addition to other amazing tools like workflow automation, a compliance center, and advanced security.

To learn more about FileCloud, take our quick tour here.