Archive for the ‘Enterprise File Sharing’ Category

Data Leak Prevention: A Vital Part of Your Armor

According to a recent study, the projected cost of cybercrime to businesses by 2025 will be $10.5 trillion per year. With the worldwide massive increase in distributed workforces through remote working since 2020, it has never been more critical to protect your digital assets. Data leak prevention (DLP) is a vital part of this process.

DLP describes a series of steps organizations must take to prevent eventual data breaches. These steps can differ, depending on the enterprise and its systems. Smart DLP, however, also describes a feature that is an inbuilt part of the FileCloud architecture. Along with other FileCloud security features, Smart DLP helps to minimize the time and costs involved in taking the steps necessary to prevent data leaks.

Here we discuss how the two definitions of DLP interact, and how FileCloud’s Smart DLP feature can be of huge benefit to any organization’s overall DLP strategy.

What is Data Leak Prevention, in General?

When it comes to protecting your digital assets, data leak prevention is infinitely better than cure. It’s undoubtedly better and less costly to avoid a data breach than to deal with the headache of remediating one.

In the general definition, a data leak is a part of an overall system that is exposed, and therefore vulnerable to attack from cybercriminals. A data leak provides cybercriminals with a possible attack vector.

If a malicious actor becomes aware of a data leak before you do, this can quickly turn into a data breach scenario for your organization. For this reason, identifying data leaks before they become data breaches is vital to the ongoing viability of any business. Data breaches are not only financially costly, but they can also cause significant reputational damage to an organization.

What Causes Data Leaks?

The causes of data leaks are many and varied, and unfortunately, there is no shortage of bad actors waiting in the wings to exploit them. Data leaks are caused by various factors, from poorly configured software to staff who are untrained to spot social engineering attacks, such as phishing emails. These vulnerabilities can result in the loss of sensitive information, such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII) relating to customers, proprietary company information, and the valuable contents of internal analytics databases.

Cloud is Now the Norm, Posing Fresh Challenges

According to a 2022 report by Radware Ltd., 99% of companies now use either public or private cloud for their application deployments. This means that cloud security and cybersecurity are increasingly the exact same discipline.

Approximately 58% of organizations are deploying on multiple public cloud environments, and this figure is set to increase in the coming years. Multi-cloud deployments provide useful failover solutions for enterprises in the event of outages, but they also provide more scope for malicious actors to find and exploit data leaks.

The same Radware report found that:

  • 70% of businesses are negotiating security with a shortage of qualified cybersecurity staff.
  • 64% have a low level of trust in the security provisions of their public cloud providers.

All of this suggests a highly challenging current cybersecurity environment. While it’s true that multi-cloud deployments ensure business continuity in the event of an outage or attack on a cloud vendor, they can also make data leak prevention more challenging for organizations. Almost two-thirds of organizations have experienced a data breach because of the inconsistent security provisions between different cloud vendors’ platforms.

Data Leaks: Handing Cybercriminals Attack Vectors on a Plate

An attack vector is a vulnerability in a system that provides cybercriminals with a potential route to enterprise assets containing valuable, sensitive information. Data leaks create attack vectors, leading to breaches. The average cost of a data breach in 2022 is $4.35 million. Potential attack vectors are many and varied, which means organizations’ cybersecurity strategies need to be equally multi-faceted, preferably employing a layered, defense-in-depth strategy.

Defense in depth is an approach to cybersecurity that is often compared to a Medieval castle. If an attacker breaches the outer layer (the moat), there are still various layers of physical, technical, and administrative controls they have not yet successfully penetrated.

How Can FileCloud Help with DLP?

Although many organizations are finding data leak prevention an increasingly complex process, FileCloud has multiple built-in features that are specifically designed to help.

Worldwide, organizations use FileCloud’s Smart DLP feature to protect highly sensitive information and achieve compliance objectives. It helps with:

  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII) protection
  • Personal Health Information (PHI) protection
  • PCI DSS, GDPR, HIPAA, and ITAR compliance

Applying Smart DLP in FileCloud

Applying Smart DLP to your sensitive data is a straightforward process. In the FileCloud Admin portal, under Governance -> Smart DLP, you go into the Smart DLP screen. There, you can view several predefined rule types. To add a new rule, you click Add DLP Rule. This opens the Rule Update dialog box.

Rule Update Dialog Box

Populate the following fields, as required:

  • Rule Name: In this field, you provide an identifier for your new rule.
  • Affected User Actions: Here you specify the user actions that trigger the rule. Options are DOWNLOAD, SHARE, or LOGIN.
  • Rule Expression: In this field, you define the trigger for the rule. Here you can use the Rule Expression Text Editor or the Rule Expression Builder.
  • DLP Action: Here you can define whether to allow or deny the user action if the user triggers the rule expression.
  • DLP Mode: In this field, you determine whether you should prevent attempted violations of the rule. Options are Enforce (preventing the action) and Permissive (allowing the action).
  • Rule Notification: This field allows you to create a message for users to view when they attempt to violate a rule, with the exception of login rules. It supports the <p>, <a>, and <br> HTML tags.

Additional Smart DLP Capabilities in FileCloud

You can also choose from several regular expressions by clicking Rule Creation Help. Once you are finished, you simply click Create. You have now provided your file-sharing system with a vital extra layer of protection!

FileCloud helpfully logs attempts to violate your DLP rules in the system for later viewing. You can also create rules that allow or deny users according to their geographical location.

You can apply these Smart DLP rules at user or group levels. This makes it painless to automate your file-sharing and access permissions throughout your organization, without any complicated coding requirements. Combined with FileCloud’s Smart Classification feature, you can easily streamline your data security to prevent unauthorized access. This is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to your overall DLP strategy.

To find out more about FileCloud’s Smart DLP feature, as well as other powerful security capabilities built into FileCloud, book a free demo now!

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References

INTRUSION Inc. (2020). Cybercrime To Cost The World $10.5 Trillion Annually By 2025. Retrieved November 25, 2022, from: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/11/18/2129432/0/en/Cybercrime-To-Cost-The-World-10-5-Trillion-Annually-By-2025.html

Radware Ltd. (2022). Report: Application Security in a Multi-Cloud World. Retrieved November 25, 2022, from https://www.radware.com/multi-cloud-report-2022/

IBM. (2022). Cost of a data breach 2022: A million-dollar race to detect and respond. Retrieved November 25, 2022, from https://www.ibm.com/reports/data-breach

Written by Deirdre Clancy, Technical Content and Communication Manager

Competitor Series: FileCloud vs CTERA

In our blog last week we went over the difference between FileCloud and Egnyte and what you might want to look for when selecting a top-notch CCP (content collaboration platform). This week, we’re continuing our competitor series and reviewing FileCloud vs. CTERA.

FileCloud vs. CTERA

Like FileCloud Server, CTERA is an on-prem solution, which means files and data are kept on your servers, behind your own firewalls. CTERA was founded in 2008 and is a solid CCP solution.

Of course, one of the valuable aspects of FileCloud is that while we provide a hyper-secure, on-prem solution with FileCloud Server, we also have options for hybrid and cloud-based solutions such as FileCloud Online. This gives your organization flexibility no matter how your needs change over the years.

Another aspect of FileCloud Server that we consider vital for enterprises? Top-of-the-line compliance features.

FileCloud, CTERA, and Compliance

Compliance is like a keeping an emergency kit in your car—you hope you don’t have to use it, but you’re sure glad you have it when it’s needed.

Data privacy laws are only getting stronger since one of the biggest ones—The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR—went into effect in 2018. In fact, the large majority of countries have enacted or are enacting privacy laws. If you collect or keep data, you are required to comply with these laws, whether you want to or not.

Of course, these ever-changing laws raise challenging questions on how to sort, protect, and control the data your enterprise uses.

That’s where FileCloud’s compliance features come into play.

FileCloud’s Compliance Center is a hugely popular tool that allows enterprises to connect complicated compliance regulations with FileCloud’s powerful security and DRM options. Current compliance configurations include ITAR, GDPR, and HIPAA.

On top of FileCloud’s Compliance Center, users can configure FileCloud to comply with a host of other regulations and guidelines including:

  • CJIS
  • EAR
  • DoD Cloud Computing SRGs
  • FIPS 140-2
  • IRS-1075
  • CMMC
  • NIST 800-171
  • GxP

CTERA does offer compliance support options, like a FIPS-140-2 Compliant Encryption Model and some compliance dashboards, but it doesn’t have the plethora of compliance support options available with FileCloud.

Secure Content Collaboration and Productivity

Another important aspect of any CCP comes down to collaboration and productivity tools. After all, what would a content collaboration platform be without features to support organized file sharing?

It’s easy to lose or forget about files during a busy day (week/month/year). This is why FileCloud strives to make collaboration easy through features like file sharing requests, commenting, tagging and notifications.

CTERA does not have these options available, which can pose a significant barrier to streamlined collaboration.

File Locking and Lock Management (via MS Office/DocIQ)

Enterprises must be able to control who can make changes to a file. This is necessary for both compliance (in the case of files not being able to be changed) and collaboration. With FileCloud, files can be locked to ensure only one person can make changes to a file. In addition, admins can manage locked files directly to ensure no files are permanently locked.While CTERA does have collaboration tools such as Team Folders and unlimited file versioning, it does not have the more advanced features that FileCloud provides.

Streamlined, Automated Processes

Enterprises often start looking for CCPs because they want to protect their data, but also because simple file sharing and storage can save enormous amounts of time.

Enter Workflow Automation. Workflow automation helps automate tedious yet important administrative tasks like document review, signoffs, and reminders.

Any good CCP now has the option for Workflow Automation, and CTERA is no different, with approval workflows and workflow automation.

The problem? It’s hard enough to get users to adapt to new technology, including CCPs. Ask them to create complicated workflows and they’ll dig in their heels.

That’s why at FileCloud we’ve created a simple, no-code, drag-and-drop workflow builder that anyone can use to create workflows in minutes. In addition, FileCloud also has a convenient dashboard for running workflows, which give managers and users a bird’s eye view on work as it’s being completed. Workflows can also be updated, edited, and shared from this dashboard.

Maintaining your Brand

When it comes to your organization, there’s almost nothing more important than maintaining your brand. Your brand is what creates trust between you, your customers, and your employees. Wouldn’t you rather buy from a company you’ve used before and like, rather than a generic brand who could be selling you “who-knows-what?”

The same is true when it comes to the tech tools you use, like your CCP. If you need to share or accept files from clients, partners, or customers, you want submission forms and web portals to be recognizable as an extension of your brand. This is especially true with rising cyberattacks that include sophisticated phishing efforts. A discerning customer who doesn’t recognize your submission form may choose to send their business elsewhere.

We understand the value of branding at FileCloud, which is why, in addition to the custom domains and communication that CTERA provides, FileCloud also allows you to use your own logo, colors, and background images. This branding helps ensure that your enterprise is visible in all aspects of your business and that customers and partners feel comfortable engaging with you.

The Cost of External Users

One big problem that enterprises face is the cost of external users. With almost all CCPs, you have to buy licenses for your users. That is, the people who’ll be using the product every day.

But there’s always going to be more people needing to use the software. What about when your team lead shares something with a customer? Sure, they can use email or an FTP – but let’s face it, the increased risks of these unsecured methods can end up costing a company thousands or even millions of dollars in regulatory fines or remediation costs from a breach.

Alternatively, CCPs offer sharing through a centralized platform that includes basic features like identification authorization and other security tools to protect data. But these shares must be between users.

Imagine Joe from Sales wants to share some information about a contract with a client; but to do so securely, that client needs to be added to the platform as a user. They don’t need access to the full platform though; they just need simple file access.

The downside? Most CCPs like CTERA require that you pay for those users as part of your license, even though they’re not using the platform every day or leveraging the full suite of platform tools. Those user costs add up fast and can be an enormous drain on your resources.

At FileCloud, we think you’ve spent enough. That’s why we offer unlimited, external user accounts with simplified dashboards for file sharing and review.

That means if Joe in Sales wants to share something with a new customer, he doesn’t have to wonder if it’s worth the cost or take a gamble with unsecured methods. Instead, he can share it, all the while knowing that any files shared are secure and compliant within FileCloud’s top-notch CCP solution.

What Do the Customers Say?

One Software Development Manager who also looked at CTERA as a solution had this to say about FileCloud,

I have been using FileCloud for a long time and I must admit, this is a super secure platform as well that provides an end to end security. FileCloud user interface is simple, seamless, and easy to use, this is one of the best user interfaces I have ever used. […] The file sharing option in this platform is effective and I can send files in just a second to others. I can send the files with security like the view only file, edit the only file and comment only files. The file recovery and the file backup feature are simply great, this provides me full flexibility, and even if I lose the files by mistake, I can recover those files easily […] the technical support function of this platform is really good and effective and I can say they are customer-centric.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that CTERA is a solid CCP solution. However, when it comes to an all-in-one CCP, we think FileCloud has it beat. We offer in-depth compliance options, content collaboration tools, and easy workflow automation, as well as the ability to maintain your brand and enable sharing with unlimited external users.

Of course, you don’t have to take our word for it. Check out our detailed competitive matrix and decide for yourself how FileCloud stacks up against the competition.

Want to see these features in real-time? Just sign up for a quick product demo and learn how FileCloud can work for you.

Written by Megan Barnard, Digital Content Specialist at FileCloud

 

FileCloud’s Secure Content Collaboration Platform Creates a Buzz at GITEX 2022

GITEX (Gulf Information Technology Exhibition) GLOBAL 2022 took place from October 10-14 in Dubai. Members of the FileCloud team were excited to attend this pivotal event.

The event attracts 100,000 visitors each year. It is held at the Dubai World Trade Center to highlight the rapid developments in the tech sector in the overall Middle East, North Africa, and Asia (MENA) region. FileCloud already has a strong MENA presence and welcomed the opportunity to strengthen existing partnerships and foster new ones.

Customers at the GITEX FileCloud Booth

Focus on Vision 2030

Much of the talk at GITEX this year was about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious and far-reaching Vision 2030 roadmap. This series of projects aims to strengthen the social, cultural, and economic development of Saudi Arabia on a grand scale.

Cutting-edge development of the country’s technology sector is at the center of Vision 2030. For example, the building of the technologically advanced, sustainable smart city of Noem, next to Jordan and the Red Sea coast, is the key project. The plans for Noem include artificial clouds producing rainfall, flying taxis, and holographic teachers in educational settings! The government will expand the luxury tourism sector via the Red Sea Project alongside the development of Noem.

Vision 2030 was the Focus at GITEX

Digitization and the Regulatory Landscape

Although Vision 2030 is a roadmap for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it is indicative of the entire MENA region’s focus on investing in digital infrastructure. To facilitate the digitization of government and industry, many countries in the region have recognized the need for a more sophisticated regulatory environment to govern digital operations and have acted accordingly.

To that end, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE have both published draft Personal Data Protection Laws in recent times. They have also legislated for, and invested in, the vital area of cybersecurity.

Compliance and Vision 2030

To facilitate the digital governance aspects of the Vision 2030 framework, the Saudi Arabian Government has published various regulations. In 2018, the Essential Cybersecurity Controls (ECC) were enacted by the National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA). This established 114 Cybersecurity Controls that describe the minimum cybersecurity measures to which organizations within the jurisdiction must adhere.

In March 2022, a draft version of the PDPL was published. This represents the first comprehensive data protection legislation in Saudi Arabia. The regulatory authority for the PDPL is currently the Saudi Data & Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA). Its responsibilities and powers in relation to the PDPL are broad ranging, and include offering advice and imposing hefty penalties for non-compliance. It will supervise the legislation’s implementation for two years. Then these responsibilities will likely be transferred fully to the National Data Management Office (NDMO).

The PDPL has a broad scope, and organizations are looking for ways to simplify and secure their compliance obligations, including:

  • Facilitating explicit consent from data subjects at point of collection
  • Devising, documenting, and implementing robust data security measures
  • Keeping detailed records of processing activities
  • Determining if cross-border data transfers are viable under the new legislation
  • Enacting personal data subjects’ requests speedily, such as requests for access or copy, correction, data destruction, or restriction of processing

Due to this increasingly robust regulatory environment, organizations throughout the MENA region are seeking ways to achieve compliance and ensure data sovereignty and security with relative ease. Members of Team FileCloud were on hand at GITEX to answer multiple inquiries about FileCloud’s secure Content Collaboration Platform (CCP), with its fully integrated compliance capabilities.

FileCloud Forging Partnerships at GITEX

Dubai Eye 103.8 Interviews the FileCloud Team

Dubai Eye 103.8 conducted interviews with several key people from FileCloud at GITEX. Abdelhakim Ababsa, who leads EMEA Sales at FileCloud, spoke about digital transformation in the MENA region and the escalating need for compliant content collaboration solutions. He pointed out that government agencies cannot use public cloud solutions due to legal restrictions. This is why so many local governments, ministries, and enterprise organizations choose FileCloud as a secure, collaborative solution.

FileCloud CRO, Peter Melerud, explained the benefits of the FileCloud solution in allowing customers to operate private cloud deployments. This enables compliance with data residency and sovereignty requirements, as well as better security.

FileCloud CRO, Peter Melerud, Talking to Dubai Eye 103.8

Finally, the VP of Global Sales, Leigh Bradford, outlined the importance of the MENA region as a market for FileCloud. This is evidenced by the numerous government entities already using the solution. Leigh aims to develop new channels in the region, including government contractors, service providers, and systems integrators. He is optimistic about this goal. Governments in the region already trust FileCloud to provide a robust, bulletproof solution that complies with increasing regulatory demands.

For more information, and to get a taste of the GITEX buzz, see the interviews with the FileCloud team below!

 

Written by Deirdre Clancy, Technical Content and Communication Manager

Making Content Lifecycles Easier with Workflow Automation

As we talked about in last week’s blog post, content lifecycles are a vital part of every organization. We learned in that post how FileCloud makes content lifecycles easy with features like Smart Classification, Metadata, and Retention Policies.

FileCloud also provides the option for users to automate certain parts of their content lifecycles with Workflow Automation.

As a reminder, the 4 main steps in a content lifecycle are:

  1. Capture

Employee receives files or collects/gathers incoming paper and scans them into the system.

2. Add to Content Repository

Employee stores content in a specific, pre-designated spot (folders on a computer, a company drive, an online cloud storage solution).

3. Collaboration/Processing

This step might take the longest time, as the content is being collaborated on by team members; for example, a PR release is reviewed, edited, and then officially published.

4. Archival/Long-Term Storage

Once a document has been finalized and its purpose completed, that document or file is usually stored somewhere, either in a digital folder or archived in your system.

Step Three of Content Lifecycles is all about collaboration/processing, where essentially, documents are reviewed, edited, or approved by various employees and departments. This step in the content lifecycle process can actually take the longest since it’s often where documents and projects can be lost or forgotten.

That’s where FileCloud’s Workflow Automation comes into play.

Use Workflow Automation to Speed up Content Lifecycles

Workflow automation is simply a way of automating these time-consuming and repetitive workflows, relieving employees of these tedious burdens. Instead, tasks are completed automatically, further empowering your paperless office to run smoothly. Workflow automation has many benefits, but the top ones are that it:

Saves Time:

Employees no longer have to spend time on these administrative tasks. Instead, employees, managers, and teams can automate these tasks by creating a workflow that takes care of these repetitive tasks.

Here is a simple example: an employee from finance creates an automated workflow that sends out an email asking for expense reports at the end of the month. Now they no longer have to type it up and send it out each month.

Saves Money:

Workflow automation saves businesses money by allowing employees to focus on more important tasks that help a business’s bottom line, instead of spending hours (some studies say 16 hours) each day on tedious but necessary admin tasks.

Reduces Employee Errors:

recent report showed that it’s easy for employees to get lost in the weeds when searching for documents and files. The report also showed that there are 236 lost hours per year on duplicated work! Workflow automation helps reclaim these hours by automating tasks and reducing the burden on employees.

Additionally, workflow automation ensures the completion of tasks like client intake forms, email responses, and document reviews, which helps teams stay on task and complete projects.

FileCloud’s Business Workflow Automation

FileCloud’s workflow automation takes place within FileCloud’s hyper-secure system. Users can quickly create workflows with a no-code, drag-and-drop design. Workflows have a built-in logic that makes them easy to create and use.

Share workflows with team members and across departments with just a click of a button. You can also view all running workflows in a dashboard for oversight purposes.

Within minutes, employees and managers can create automated business workflows for a variety of tasks including:

  • Budget approval
  • File review
  • Client intake
  • Employee on/offboarding
  • Automatic emails
  • Signoffs

Conclusion

FileCloud exists to make life easier for you. Our Content Lifecycle strategy helps ensure that your content is protected and compliant once it’s in our system. Our Workflow Automation helps make the longest and most difficult part of a content lifecycle quick and simple—freeing your employees up to work on more important tasks.

Want to learn how Workflow Automation can work for your specific needs? Set up a quick demo today!

~Written by Megan Barnard, Digital Content Specialist 

Back in Action – FileCloud Sponsoring International Trade Shows

After a long delay stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, FileCloud is delighted to be sponsoring several trade shows in October.

We love showcasing FileCloud through client demos and webinars, but we’re even more excited to demo FileCloud in person! We’re also looking forward to meeting prospects, customers, and partners.

FileCloud is sponsoring two trade shows: GITEX Global and it-sa Expo&Congress.

GITEX Global: October 10-14, 2022 | Dubai, UAE

GITEX is a major conference for technology and innovation across business, society, economy, and culture. It has been branded as the world’s largest meetup for the developer and coding community to push the boundaries on what’s possible for technology.

Major exhibits and debuts will be taking place, addressing topics like artificial intelligence, cloud computing, cryptocurrency, 6G wireless connectivity, quantum computing, and startup innovations.

The GITEX mainstage is also where to find the metaverse debut, which will include a hands-on, live introduction to X-VERSE. This virtual reality ecosystem offers a spectrum of integrated solutions to suit over 20 business models.

The metaverse isn’t just for business either – GITEX will also be showcasing music and art shows as well as a virtual fashion show. Industry and tech leaders from Artisant, H&M, METAV.RS, Sensorium, Hololux GmbH, and Digital Twin Consortium will also be speaking.

GITEX is reporting that over 4,500 exhibitors, 800 startups, and 1,000 speakers will present, with 100,000 attendees, cumulatively representing over 170 different countries.

This specialized gathering gives industry leaders like FileCloud the opportunity to showcase products and collaborate on ideas, while building and strengthening important relationships.

You can find the FileCloud team at Booth #H6A-11.

 

it-sa Expo&Congress: October 25-27, 2022 | Nuremburg, Germany

it-sa Expo&Congress is Europe’s all-in-one exhibition, conference, and trade fair for IT security. Industry leaders, security providers, and managers come together to unveil new products, collaborate on ideas, and showcase services

This trade fair opens up discussion related to cloud and mobile security, data and network security, and critical infrastructure security. Over 600 companies will be represented, with novel solutions across consulting, services, hardware, and software.

Attendees can visit the open forums, which will host over 350 expert lectures presented by over 90 companies, organizations, and associations, on practical security knowledge. These lectures are a great way to glean information on trends and industry insights.

Meanwhile, the it-sa Congress will be hosting longer programs addressing specialized topics:

  • Trends in IT Security
  • Learnings from Incident Response: What matters in cybersecurity today?
  • Expert roundtable: cyber insurance versus IT security risk
  • External Attack Surface & Risk Management
  • Automated Services – Advantage through Technology & Automation
  • New ISO/IEC 27001 requirements: 93 times to rethink?
  • The truth about the (in)security of ID verification
  • Digital Identities: Smart, user-friendly and secure nonetheless?
  • And many more!

The it-sa conference is also a great place to discover promising startups. The ATHENE Startup Award UP22@it-sa was run as a live community poll through September 22. This award is granted to the best cybersecurity startup in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland – the winner will be announced at the conference!

You can find the FileCloud team at Nürnberg Messe, Booth# 7A-125.

 

Why is FileCloud Sponsoring?

FileCloud’s mission is to build a hyper-secure content collaboration and

processes platform that customers love to use. We are constantly looking for new ways to improve the platform and respond to developing needs across industries.

The increasing sophistication of cyber threats has reinforced the need for data privacy and security, even as networks become ever more connected. To increase data security and privacy, we want to make data harder to access.

However, if data is harder to access, it’s harder to put that data to work. This means delays, inefficiencies, and lost value (across productivity, market resilience, and/or profit).

Yet businesses and organizations around the world have been pressed to find a solution to this problem. This pressure comes not only from consumer advocacy and cyber threat damages but also from the advent of major regulations like GDPR. Regulations like GDPR recognize the rights of citizens to data privacy and sovereignty; organizations that do not comply face steep penalties.

The FileCloud Solution

Companies like FileCloud are finding unique solutions to this equation between security and access. The FileCloud platform emphases ease-of-use and access for authorized users. It provides admins and users the tools they need to share data and collaborate, all within FileCloud’s hyper-secure environment.

FileCloud can even support compliance requirements! The Compliance Center offers configurations for ITAR, GDPR, and HIPAA, which connects these complex requirements to features and settings within FileCloud. It’s an easy map for admins to ensure their FileCloud environment is compliant.

Of course, there are a lot more regulations beyond those three. That’s why FileCloud has a library of compliance support documents and white papers, covering regulations like NIST, FINRA, CMMC, SEC, GxP, CJIS, FDA Title 21, and more.

FileCloud University provides on-demand user and admin training, so you can leverage the full power of your FileCloud environment to secure your data. If you need more customized help, FileCloud also offers best-in-class support with our Professional Services that can help you configure your environment.

These are just some of the solutions FileCloud offers as an enterprise-grade content collaboration platform. Trade shows emphasizing security and innovation (like it-sa and GITEX) bring together a robust array of innovators, developers, and tech leaders. It’s an excellent opportunity for FileCloud to connect with our community, show off what FileCloud can bring to the table (or in this case, the booth!), and find inspiration for new directions.

Will we see you there?

Are you attending either of these events? If so, let us know and stop by our booths! We’d love to chat with our fellow community members on security, compliance, collaboration, and how FileCloud can answer these needs across industries.

GITEX Contact: abdelhakim.ababsa@filecloud.com     |     it-sa Contact: mark.cipcic@filecloud.com

We’re also handing out some commemorative (and useful!) gifts that can make your travel a little easier: take your pick from baseball caps, key rings, luggage tags, and mints!

Lastly, FileCloud is running a raffle at both events! Don’t forget to submit your information for the chance to take home a great prize. The winner will receive a Remarkable 2: the smart writing tablet that helps transcribe and organize your notes. It’s one more way FileCloud aims to make your work more efficient, accessible, and secure.

 

Written by Katie Gerhardt, Jr. Product Marketing Manager

 

FileCloud Best Practices: How to Maintain External User Accounts

Following our blog post about secure file sharing with external accounts, this blog post will cover how to maintain those accounts (remove/delete after a custom number of days).

Enable Automatic Deletion/Disabling of External Accounts

In the previous “Best Practices” post, we outlined how to automatically create external accounts. We also explored the benefits of automatic account creation and how this process improves your security and your internal and external user experience.

Those accounts will stay on your FileCloud server even after the shares have expired. FileCloud offers unlimited external accounts, so you don’t need to worry about exceeding a certain limit. However, these accounts can accumulate over time and become messy to manage.

You can remove them manually, but there is a better way: configure a “Workflow” action to remove them periodically.

Create a Workflow to Disable/Delete External Accounts Automatically

Log in to your admin portal and create a “New” admin workflow:

Manage External Accounts with Workflows

Choose the condition “If a user’s last login is older than….”

Select Workflow Condition

Define the Workflow Parameters

Define workflow parameters

In this example, we are setting the following parameters:

“last_login_days_ago”:”60″ -> If the user hasn’t logged in the last “60” days.

“day_interval”: “1” -> How often do we want this workflow to execute? We are configuring it to run every day: “1”

“user_account_type”:”USER_ACCOUNT_LIMITED_ACCESS” -> Restrict the workflow to only execute on External accounts.

Set the Automated Action: Delete the Account

In this next step, set the action that will be executed when the parameters are met. To delete the account, simply select “Delete user account.” However, as you can see from the screenshot below, there are a variety of options you can take to suit your operational needs.

Select workflow action

Define Notification Rules

Now you can define the notification rules, which can include sending an email to an admin and/or informing the user that the account is being deleted (set to the option to “1” if desired)

Define notification rules in workflow

Name the Workflow

Name workflow

This workflow will run daily and remove external accounts that haven’t logged in within the last “60” days. You can set the number of days you prefer and the action you want; for example, disable the account, change user status, notify the user that their account will expire soon, etc.

Conclusion

With this automation in place, you can maximize the benefits of secure file sharing by automating the creation and maintenance of external user accounts. It’s one solution within FileCloud among many that contribute to a more efficient and secure content collaboration platform. In the next blog post, we’ll cover how to set up external accounts with two-factor authentication (2FA) to maximize security and prevent unauthorized access to your FileCloud environment.

 

Article written by Daniel Alarcon, Technical Support Manager | Edited by Katie Gerhardt, Junior Product Marketing Manager

 

 

Broadband-Testing’s Comprehensive Report on FileCloud

In an increasingly online world, data is one of the most valuable aspects of any company. Many industries such as government, legal, healthcare, finance, and others have realized the importance of being able to control and protect that data.

Enterprises need a secure, easy way to share and store files more than they ever have before. In addition, enterprises need a way to govern their stored and shared data according to compliance regulations.

FileCloud aims to provide a hyper-secure, on-premises solution (though it has options for online and hybrid as well) that still has the ease-of-use, collaboration, and sharing tools available with most cloud-based solutions.

Broadband-Testing—an independent third-party reviewer of technology services—recently completed a comprehensive review of FileCloud to see if it could provide the protection, security, and ease of use that enterprises need in a content collaboration tool.

Below you’ll find some of highlights of Broadband-Testing’s assessment. To access the complete report with all the details, download the report here.

Broadband-Testing’s Findings on FileCloud

FileCloud’s focus is to provide the elements needed for enterprises, including:

  • Extensive security options like Smart DLP and DRM
  • Workflow automation
  • Data classification options

The below graphic goes over FileCloud’s content model and shows how content/data is protected and controlled under the many layers of FileCloud’s system like metadata, access control, compliance, and more.

Ease of Deployment

Broadband-Testing found that FileCloud has a “‘cloud-like’ ease of deployment” where the basics of the system are set up within minutes. Other factors that add to the ease of deployment include:

  • Windows/Linux platforms support
  • Mobile endpoints for Android and iOS
  • Manageable from a single GUI
  • Alerts sent to admin as soon as platform is used
  • Setup checklist in admin dashboard

Migrating Data

FileCloud does not require all content to be migrated at the same time. It also supports Active Directory (AD) integration and standard network share paths.

Endpoint User and FileCloud

Broadband-Testing says the user experience is familiar and simple, making it easy for users to access their content. Activity summaries can be seen on the user’s dashboard, and FileCloud can be downloaded directly to employees’ phones, so content is always at their fingertips.

Security and Data Retention

FileCloud keeps data secure and easy to access. Broadband-Testing explored FileCloud’s lifecycle data approach that ensures data is stored and governed properly. Since data is always being added or content strategies/compliance changed, admins need the ability to track and handle data properly.

FileCloud provides this data lifecycle management with tools like:

  • Data retention policies (with a defined policy that stays in effect)
  • DLP rule-based management to prevent and control data leaks
  • Archiving via retention policies that define when content can be stored/deleted/changed and constant monitoring for content changes.

Broadband-Testing then stated, “No less a body than Gartner made the point that FileCloud’s only real competition is a do-it-yourself approach, manually gathering together and integrating the many and various components that the FileCloud platform consists of.”

Access Control

Broadband-Testing found that both users and admins have very flexible access controls over files that ensures access feels as easy as public cloud sharing, backed by the security of the enterprise’s own firewall.

The Importance of Metadata

Metadata provides extra info about files/folders and admins using FileCloud can use already-created metadata sets (or customized sets admins create themselves) and create permissions based on the metadata attached to files/folders. This can automate file tagging and help apply retention policies (in conjunction with FileCloud’s Smart Classification system).

The Broadband-Testing report gives this example:

“…an invoice – say in PDF format – has been tagged to search on the word “hardware”, which has been added to the metadata. The system could then automatically identify that invoice as a hardware invoice for classification purposes… From a human search perspective, it could literally save hours or even days of manual effort, often in a scenario where time is precious and the inability to track that content down expensive.”

Proactive Compliance and DRM

Broadband-Testing found that compliance was handled in a preventative way within FileCloud, with alerts for the admin that show if a file/folder is not compliant.

In the same way, digital rights management or DRM can be managed before files/folders are shared with an integrated DRM viewer and options like control over document views (including only allowing part of a file to be viewed).

Other Voices – Gartner Peer Insights

Broadband-Testing also reviewed what the Gartner Peer Insights Customer survey thought about their experience with FileCloud. You can read more in the report, but some of these insights were that FileCloud was, “The Best Cloud-Based Substitute Solution For Data Sharing And Collaboration” and an “Efficient Content Collaboration Tool”.

Use Cases for Data Residency and Access to Existing Enterprise Content

Broadband-Testing found that FileCloud’s On-Prem solution addressed the worry over data residency by giving total control over data to enterprises.

“FileCloud’s approach is a multi-layered and fully interconnected…It provides secure file and document sharing and completely controlled – and secure – team collaboration… all in a single system, fully secured and managed OnPrem, but with the flexibility of a cloud-based solution.”

FileCloud also solves the issue of moving huge amounts of data into the platform, with full integration for files, shares, and storage.

Shares can also be extended to:

  • Amazon S3 bucket
  • Azure blog storage

Broadband-Testing’s Conclusion about FileCloud

Broadband-Testing found that FileCloud provides, “a secure, ultra-flexible and ultra-comprehensive Enterprise-level OnPrem solution for file and content storage and management.”

To read Broadband-Testing’s detailed report and view their FileCloud user and admin experiences, click here.

 

 

Connect Your SFTP to FileCloud

What is SFTP?

SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol; it is a secured version of the File Transfer Protocol or FTP, which is itself part of the Secure Shell or SSH Protocol. As their names imply, these protocols are used to easily transfer data and access permissions over an SSH data stream.

As vulnerabilities were discovered and access points exploited, SFTP was developed from FTP protocols, ensuring the availability of a secure connection that can be encrypted to transfer files within and between local and remote systems. Files can be transferred using WinSCP and SFTP clients.

FileCloud is a fine-tuned, enterprise-grade file sharing, sync, and storage solution. Admins and users can leverage granular sharing permissions and user/group policies to protect their data and efficiently collaborate on files.

Considering the existing file sharing solutions within FileCloud and the hyper-secure features that are built into the platform, SFTP/SCP protocols are not directly supported by the FileCloud platform.

However, for clients and consumers who wish to use SFTP with FileCloud, the Solution Experts team has prepared instructions on how to access and leverage SFTP resources using a Linux-based FileCloud on-prem server.

Step 1: Set Up the Connection

Host Name (IP address): The Full Domain Qualified Name or IP address of the SFTP server you are going to connect to.

Username: used to access the SFTP resources

Password: used to access the SFTP resources

The user used for mounting the SFTP resource must have Read/Write permission to the resource.

Step 2: Verify Your Information

It is important to verify the details of your software so that you can choose the appropriate installation. Install the relevant SFTP client for your operating system. Windows, Mac, and Linux users can use the following solutions or another of their choice.

Connect to the SFTP server using the client and your collected credentials. The example below is using the WinSCP solution:

Press the “Login” button:

If your login process is successful, switch to the Linux server where FileCloud is installed.

Step 3: Prepare the Server

Ensure that the following packages are installed on your server. All operations are performed as root user.

CentOS:

[root@server01 ~]# yum install -y fuse-sshfs sshpass

Ubuntu:

[root@server02 ~]# apt install -y sshfs sshpass

Step 4: Prepare the Folder Structure

Create a folder: /NetworkShares

CentOS/Ubuntu:

[root@server02 ~]# mkdir /NetworkShares

Then create a folder for the SFTP mount point:

CentOS/Ubuntu:

[root@server02 ~]# mkdir /NetworkShares/sftp

Check the folder owner for the newly created folders to ensure they are owned by the Apache running user.

CentOS:

[root@server01 ~]# chown apache /NetworkShares -R

Ubuntu:

[root@server02 ~]# chown www-data /NetworkShares -R

Step 5: Perform a Manual Mount

Acquire the Apache UID:

CentOS:

[root@server01 ~]# id apache

uid=48(apache) gid=48(apache) groups=48(apache)

Ubuntu:

[root@s02 ~]# id www-data
uid=33(www-data) gid=33(www-data) groups=33(www-data)

Establish the manual test mount:

CentOS/Ubuntu:

[root@s01 ~]# sshfs -o allow_other,idmap=user,uid=48  testsftp@192.168.101.58:/home/testsftp  /NetworkShares/sftp/

Enter the password for testsftp@192.168.101.58.

The UID value here should be the UID of the apache/www-data user, though this depends on the Linux distribution.

Ensure the mount has been established:

CentOS/Ubuntu:

[root@s01 /]# mount |grep sftp

The output should be similar to this result:

testsftp@192.168.101.58:/home/testsftp on /NetworkShares/sftp type fuse.sshfs (rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime,user_id=0,group_id=0,allow_other)

Check if resources are accessible:

CentOS/Ubuntu:

[root@s01 /]# ls -al /NetworkShares/sftp

The file listing should be presented as seen below. All file owners should be Apache or www-data user (depending on the Linux distribution).

Step 6: Set Up Automatic SFTP Resource Mount After Server Reboot

Create a file containing a secret SFTP user password:

CentOS/Ubuntu:

[root@s01 /]# echo ‘You_Super_Secret_Password’ > /root/sftp.pass

Create the /etc/fstab entry:

sshfs#user@sftp_server:/ NetworkSharessftp fuse ssh_command=sshpass\040-f\040/root/sftp.pass\040ssh,_netdev,rw,allow_other,reconnect,user,kernel_cache,auto_cache,uid=48,allow_other 0 0

The UID value here should match the UID of the Apache/www-data user, depending on the Linux distribution. (This should be one line in the fstab file, though it may be wrapped due to terminal settings.)

Perform a test command:

CentOS/Ubuntu:

[root@s01 /]# mount -a

Verify:

CentOS/Ubuntu:

[root@s01 /]# mount |grep sftp

On the output, you should see your mounted SFTP resource.

Step 7: Expose the Resource in FileCloud

Login to the FileCloud admin panel.

Go to the “Network Folders” option and click the “Add” button.

Choose “Local Area Network”, then “Next.”

Enter the name of the Network Folder and click “Next.”

Select “Normal mount” and click “Next.”

Enter the path to the mounted SFTP resource (/NetworkShares/sftp) and click “Next.” The path is case-sensitive!

Select “Use assigned permissions” then “Create share.”

Assign a user or group to this share, and click “Finish.”

The shared path will be displayed in the list. You can always manage permissions by clicking on the edit icon:

When users assigned to this share path log in to their FileCloud, they will be able to see and access the Network Folder.

Conclusion

FileCloud is a powerful, hyper-secure content collaboration platform (CCP) with a wide range of features, integrations, and customization options. FileCloud’s mission revolves around creating software that customers love to use, which means supporting the tools and protocols customers prefer, including SFTP.

With these step-by-step instructions, you can integrate your FileCloud environment with your SFTP shares, so you can collaborate with internal and external teams. Use your established folders, permissions, and processes while discovering how FileCloud can support your security, governance, and collaboration goals.

 

Article written by Marek Frueauff (Solutions Architect) and Katie Gerhardt (Junior Product Marketing Manager)

 

FileCloud Best Practices: How to Use Private Shares and External User Accounts

One of the most frequent use cases of FileCloud is “sharing files securely with an external user.” By default, FileCloud enables all types of shares (public, public with password-protection, and private shares), with a focus on security and collaboration.

In this article, we will review the recommended configuration to securely share files to external users and use External Accounts (free user accounts) to improve traceability and auditing.

Types of Shares in FileCloud

FileCloud gives you the option to use public and private shares; in essence, you can do the following:

  1. Share a public link.
  2. Share a public link with a password.
  3. Allow selected users or groups to access the link (private).

Share a Public Link

The default share option in FileCloud is to share a public link. This will allow anyone with the link to view, download, or upload (depending on your choice).

Allow Selected Users or Groups

The third option is to share a link to a selected list of users or groups. These users can be external users, and their accounts can be created while creating the share.

You can “Invite users” with this type of share and create their accounts on the fly in the background. First though, you need to configure some settings to enable the account creation option.

Configure FileCloud to Create User Accounts with Shares

To create accounts when creating a new share, the following settings need to be applied in the admin portal:

Adjust the Admin settings to allow the creation of new accounts for external users.

Log in to your admin portal and go to Settings > Admin, and set the following values:

Allow Account Signups -> True

This will allow accounts to be created automatically in the background.

Automatic Account Approval -> 3

This configures the system so that “Limited” or external accounts are the default account to be created in the background.

Note: External User Accounts don’t count towards your license; you can create as many as you need. These accounts have a few limitations: they can only be accessed via the web browser (no applications), and you can only share files with external user accounts from the User UI, not from the Admin UI (for example, Team Folders cannot be shared).

Allow accounts to be created when creating a new share.

In your admin portal, go to Settings > Policies and edit the “Global Default Policy.” Then go to “User Policy” and change the following values:

Disable Invitations to New Users -> No

This configures the system to “send” invitations to new users. (Default Value: No)

Create account on new user shares -> Yes

This configures the system to “allow” the creation of new accounts “when” creating a new share. (Default Value: No).

Changing these settings will allow accounts to be created in the background when creating the share.

Configure FileCloud to Only Create Private Shares

Now that external accounts are allowed to be created in the background, the next step is to restrict the type of shares that can be made. For that, go to Settings > Policies > Edit the Global Default Policy. Then select the “General” tab.

Share mode -> Allow Private Shares Only

This configures the system to only allow the creation of private shares.

How Sharing Works After Configuration Changes

After the configuration changes are made, when you create a new share, this is the result:

The option to “Allow selected users or groups” is selected by default, with the options to “Allow anyone with the link” and “Allow anyone with link and password” disabled.

Note: The ability to invite users and enable “Private Shares Only” is a setting based on Policy Group. This means that you can apply these restrictions to a subset of your users and still allow other groups of users to create different types of shares.

Add an External Account to the Share

To invite a new user, you need to click on the “Invite Users” button; this will open the invite window; write the email address of the external user you want to add, then click on the “Invite” button below the email address. You can add multiple new users in the same way; once completed, click on the “Add Users to this Share” button.

Once you have added all the emails necessary to your share, you can check the sharing permissions desired for the users in the original share link box.

Now, those two accounts have been created as “Limited User Accounts” in the background; you can confirm these external accounts have been created by visiting the Admin UI > Users section.

The External User Experience

After adding the account to the share, the External User will receive two emails. If you checked the “send email” box when adding them, they only receive one.

Welcome to FileCloud Email

The first email they receive is the Welcome to FileCloud! Email. This email includes the Server URL, user email, and login password.

Shared Files Notification Email

This email includes the name of the “Full User” that has shared files with the “External User.” Additionally, it consists of the Folder Name (if you share a single file, they will get the single file name) and the share link URL to directly click on it.

Once the external user logs in, they will gain access to the shared content.

Improve Traceability and Auditing with External Accounts

Following our example, the external user uploads a PDF file.

The Full User can view shared document and folder details, including “Activity,” which shows who uploaded the file, to which folder, and when. Without an External User account, this file information would show as uploaded by “ANONYMOUS.” With an external account, the file information includes the user’s information.

If you click on the “i” icon to the right of the username, you can view details like the IP address, date, and time of when the file was uploaded.

Collectively, external user accounts provide more information about your external shares and help you identify when a user uploads/downloads or takes any action on shared content.

In following blog posts, we will discuss how to maintain these External User accounts automatically and enable 2FA.

 

Article written by Daniel Alarcon and Katie Gerhardt