Archive for the ‘Enterprise File Sharing’ Category

Using Common Workflows for Content Management to Save Time & Money!

What is a Workflow?

When it comes to working in business, everyone is always looking for an extra edge to keep them competitive. Often this all comes down to the efficiency of processes. After all, the faster work is done, the more that can be completed.

You’ve probably heard people talk about workflows before, and you probably already have multiple workflows in place without even realizing it. Even in our day-to-day lives, most people have workflows in place for things as simple as getting your morning coffee. You probably switch your water to heat up before grinding beans, right? That’s because it’s more efficient to get the water heating before it’s needed. That in itself is a simple workflow that maximizes your efficiency.

In the end, a workflow is really nothing more than a set of processes that are combined to maximize efficiency. Yet they can do even more when implemented across processes and in collaboration with others, especially when you work in business.

Why Are Common Workflows Helpful for Content Management in Business?

Efficiency

Efficiency is one of the top reasons why workflows are important to use in business. They help speed up processes that can be long and complicated (like budget approval or signoffs) by giving employees steps to follow each and every time that a process is begun.

Fewer Errors

Workflows also help reduce overall errors in work. If a business has a process in place for budget approval it can be as simple as: Karen creates and sends her budget to finance -> Lucy at finance reviews and signs off on it. If Lucy doesn’t sign off on something and money that shouldn’t have been allocated has been, that can cause problems. With workflows in place, Lucy will review all budgets, so she can track funds and prevent budget issues from developing.

Saves Money

In addition to speed and fewer errors, workflows can help save money by ensuring that important tasks (say client onboarding) are completed within a specific timeline/process. Without a workflow in place, it can be easy to lose track of important reminders, files, and even clients, which can create costly operating delays, lead to industry or compliance fines, and prompt clients to pursue relationships with your competitors.

Workflows for Different Industries

Of course, different industries can have wildly different types of workflows. While a law firm might need to use a workflow for collecting client information, those working in the education sector might need to use a workflow to have curricula approved.

One guarantee though? Almost every sector uses workflows, whether they realize it or not.

Common Content Management Business Workflows

Of course, even within different industries, there are common workflows that nearly all industries use including budget approvals, client intake, employee onboarding/offboarding, expense signoffs, and travel. Here are just a few examples:

Employee onboarding

No matter what industry you work in, employees have to be onboarded. For most companies this will look something like this:

  1. Employee is welcomed by HR/manager
  2. Employee signs important documents from HR (e.g., direct deposit forms, NDAs, etc.)
  3. HR gives employee handbook for review and signature
  4. Employee goes over policies
  5. Supervisor/Manager introduces Employee to office
  6. Employee works with IT to gain access to necessary tech information.

That’s a fairly simple workflow, but one that most industries have in place.

Document Review

Almost all industries have document review workflows, even if it’s just as simple as:

  1. Employee 1 writes document
  2. Employee 1 sends to Employee 2 for review
  3. Employee 2 reviews and sends back edits
  4. Employee 1 completes edits from employee 2
  5. Employee 1 submits document.

Vacation time off

Vacation time off might seem simple, but usually, a business goes through several steps before requests are approved, including:

Employee time off request –> manager reviews request/schedule –> manager does/does not approve time off.

Other common business workflows can include

  • Budget approvals
  • Client intake
  • Employee offboarding
  • Expense signoffs
  • Travel

Workflow Automation for Content Management

All laid out here, it can look overwhelming. However, it’s important to remember that most businesses have some type of workflow already in place.

Of course, even these familiar workflows take effort and can cost a lot of time in terms of administrative work. That’s why workflow automation has begun to rise in popularity.

Workflow automation can help by transferring already-created workflows to automated systems. Your employees don’t have to take the time to oversee workflows anymore. Instead, they’re automatically completed for you.

Workflow automation makes workflows even more efficient as it takes away the admin responsibilities from your employees and allows them to focus on more important work.

Of course, not all workflow automation systems are created equal. Workflow automation is essentially made to save you time and money. While some workflow automation systems promise this, you might find that they take an enormous amount of time to set up, while also costing more money than they’re worth.

That’s where FileCloud comes into play.

Workflow Automation and FileCloud

FileCloud is a hyper-secure cloud storage and file-sharing system that allows businesses to securely store, share, and collaborate on their files.

FileCloud has many benefits and features including a helpful Compliance Center for governance and security of files, advanced file-sharing options, and workflow automation.

Workflow Automation is a part of FileCloud’s system, not an additional system that users have to learn and buy. It was created with business workflows in mind, to make your work easier.

The no-code, drag-and-drop design makes it possible for anyone to create workflows.

Workflows have a built-in logic that makes them easier to create and edit. These workflows can be shared with team member and across departments for ease of collaboration. All running workflows can be viewed in a dashboard to track processes in real-time, which helps correct oversights. In addition, anyone can download reports and logs for internal reviews and external audits.

With just a click, any employee can automate their workflows for their tasks including:

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

Conclusion

The tasks that make up workflows are a vital part of all organizations. Workflow automation with FileCloud makes sure these tasks are done quickly and easily. It’s easy to set up FileCloud’s workflow automation, which means your employees can focus on creating value within their unique expertise.

For more information on how FileCloud can support your business or organization, check out our tour or sign up for a free trial here!

Enable FIPS Encryption in FileCloud

enable FIPS in FileCloud

FileCloud officially supports FIPS mode with CentOS 7.x version. This post explains how to enable FIPS encryption in your FileCloud installation.

Important Note – 

Please make sure you have the FIPS component enabled in your FileCloud license. If you do not have the component, please contact our sales team at sales@filecloud.com for further help in adding the component to your license.

Step 1: Enable Dracut Modules

To enable FIPS encryption, you must first enable Dracut modules in CentOS; this can be installed by running the below commands:

yum install dracut-fips
yum install dracut-fips-aesni
dracut -v -f

It should yield the following results:

FIPS certification - enable dracut modules in CentOS

Step 2: Add the FIPS flag to the Grub Configuration

Once the Dracut module is configured, the next step is to add the FIPS flag to the grub configuration. To make the necessary changes, modify this file /etc/default/grub by adding fips=1 to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX.

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”crashkernel=auto rd.lvm.lv=centos/root rd.lvm.lv=centos/swap rhgb quiet fips=1″

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”crashkernel=auto rd.lvm.lv=centos/root rd.lvm.lv=centos/swap rhgb quiet fips=1 boot=UUID=34c96d6b-a43c-fec3-a2a6-e6593c977550″ #if /boot is on a different partition use blkid of the boot partition 

Step 3: Regenerate the Grub Configuration

After modifying the grub configuration, we will need to regenerate the grub configuration using the below command:

grub2-mkconfig -o /etc/grub2.cfg

If prelinking is installed in the server, you must first disable prelinking by modifying this file – /etc/sysconfig/prelink – and setting PRELINKING=no

Step 4: Reboot the Server

After the above changes are made, reboot the server and check this file – cat /proc/sys/crypto/fips_enabled – to ensure FIPS is enabled.

[root@cnfc ~]# cat /proc/sys/cryto/fips_enabled
1

Step 5: Install FileCloud

The next step is to install FileCloud.

yum install wget
wget http://patch.codelathe.com/tonidocloud/live/installer/filecloud-liu.sh && bash filecloud-liu.sh

Install FileCloud with the above script and configure the components required depending on your use case. Once completed, your FileCloud server will run under the FIPS mode.

Alternative Options

You can also download and install a FIPS-enabled OpenSSL.
NOTE: This is only needed if safelogic modules are required. Once FIPS mode is enabled, CentOS installs FIPS-enabled packages by default.

yum install unzip
wget http://patch.codelathe.com/tonidocloud/live/3rdparty/fipsopenssl/fipsopenssl.zip
unzip -q fipsopenssl.zip -d /root/fipsopenssl
rpm -Uvh –nodeps /root/fipsopenssl/*.rpm

We also recommend enabling strong ciphers and TLS 1.2/TLS 1.3 in your Apache SSL configuration:

#SSLProtocol all -SSLv2 -SSLv3
SSLProtocol -all +TLSv1.2 +TLSv1.3
#SSLCipherSuite HIGH:3DES:!aNULL:!MD5:!SEED:!IDEA
#SSLCipherSuite HIGH:!aNULL:!MD5
SSLCipherSuite HIGH:!MEDIUM:!LOW:!EXP:!aNULL:!MD5:!EXPORT:!eNULL:!kECDH:!aDH:!RC4:!3DES:!CAMELLIA:!PSK:!SRP:!KRB5:@STRENGTH

Conclusion

For greater security and governance over your data, FileCloud supports FIPS encryption. With this step-by-step process, you can now enable FIPS on your own FileCloud installation (provided it is available with your license.) For additional support or clarification, please get in touch with our support team at support@filecloud.com.

 

Article written by Nandakumar Chitra Suresh

 

 

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.

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.

6 Security Risks of Enterprises Using Cloud Storage and File Sharing Apps (and how FileCloud can help!)

Increasingly companies—specifically enterprises—are turning to the cloud to resolve struggles with data storage and file sharing, which has proven costly to manage on internal servers. This is especially true for enterprises in highly regulated industries that have to think about compliance, efficiency, and security.

However, there can be security risks involved in using the cloud, which we’ll go over below. The good news is, with a top-notch cloud storage and sharing system like FileCloud, these security risks can be addressed.

1.    Employees Using Unapproved File Sharing Systems

One big risk when enterprises use cloud storage and file sharing apps comes up if there’s no one approved system or app. In this case, employees—often trying to remain secure—might use free file sharing/cloud storage systems available like Dropbox or Google Drive.

While these systems definitely have their benefits, the free versions that employees are likely to use don’t usually have the security and retention policies needed for enterprises. This can cause major problems due to the security risk of shared/stored files in a public cloud.

That’s why enterprise IT managers need to find a hyper-secure cloud storage and file sharing system that will meet their varied and specific needs.

FileCloud’s Hyper Secure Cloud Storage and File Sharing System:

Thankfully, FileCloud is a hyper-secure cloud storage and file sharing system that is used by many enterprises, including Toyota, NASA, Deloitte, and more.

FileCloud is easy to use and learn, with hyper-security tools and features needed by enterprises such as two-factor authentication, SSO login integration, advanced encryption standards, comprehensive audit logs, and more.

2.    Lack of Data Control

When enterprises start using the cloud, one security risk can be a lack of control over their data. Enterprise data must follow certain compliance and governance regulations. Without a robust but easy-to-use retention policy in place, it can be difficult for admins to maintain compliance.

How FileCloud Can Help You Keep Control of Your Data

FileCloud has a compliance center (which we’ll learn about in more detail below) but it also has robust retention policies in place to help keep data under your control. These policies include five different types of retention:

  • Admin Hold
  • Legal Hold
  • Archival
  • Retention
  • Trash Retention

These policies are hierarchical and can be adjusted as needed to reflect the right retention and disposition for your files.

3.    Lack of Data Privacy

Another security risk for enterprises can be a lack of data privacy. After all, when it enters the cloud, there are more ways for it to be accessed and shared with unauthorized users. Many compliance and governance regulations that enterprises have to comply with (such as HIPAA or GDPR) have strict regulations regarding data privacy. Violating these regulations can cost enterprises large amounts of money, lawsuits, and even criminal suits.

How FileCloud Keeps Your Data Private

FileCloud is all about keeping your data private and secure. That’s why we have advanced sharing features along with robust DRM. Our sharing features including options for shares that can be made public/private/password-protected, with limited viewing and editing capabilities, as well as user limits with granular folder and sub-folder permissions. In addition, shares can be sent with limits on screenshots/printing/copying with the option for shares to be revoked at any time, even after they’ve been sent.

4.    Weak or Nonexistent Governance/Compliance Tools

As mentioned above, enterprises often have to comply with complicated regulations regarding how data is stored and shared. When enterprises are sharing large amounts of data, compliance becomes even more complicated. It can be a major security risk if an enterprise is using a file sharing system that doesn’t have compliance tools in place.

FileCloud’s Governance and Compliance Tools

FileCloud’s Compliance Center is a tool that simplifies compliance instantly, with separate tabs for common regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, and ITAR. The Compliance Center connects FileCloud’s security and privacy options with each regulation, making compliance easier than ever.

5.    Lack of Employee Training

One of the biggest security risks for cloud storage and sharing is employees, mostly due to a lack of training. Employees can be resistant to new tools, especially if they’re complicated to learn or difficult to use. Employees that aren’t trained can share sensitive files incorrectly, leading to huge problems of compliance and security.

FileCloud Makes Training Employees Easy

FileCloud is an easy-to-use system that employees can begin using in minutes. Its seamless UI and drag-and-drop options make it easy to upload and edit files. In addition, it has multiple integrations with common tools like Teams, Office365, and Google Docs, so employees don’t have to stop using the tools they love. In addition, users can learn more about FileCloud through our FileCloud University page and other end user training videos.

6.    Not Having Proper Password Protection

The last big security risk enterprises must contend with is passwords. This risk again involves employees, particularly when users employ common phrases or even the same passwords across their systems. When accounts use the same passwords for indefinite periods of time, this can also introduce weakness to an entire network. Collectively, these practices can lead to a major data breach, loss of trust with clients, and compliance issues.

FileCloud’s Advanced Password Protections

There are some simple solutions to password protections, and FileCloud has them. To start with, admins can enable two-factor authentication (2FA) at any time. This means that users must enter two types of information in order to log in, so even if a password is lost or stolen, a malicious user still can’t access the system.

In addition, FileCloud has single-sign-on (SSO) which allows users to have one username/password to access the system, which can help prevent the need for multiple passwords that can get lost or stolen.

Lastly, admins can enforce password strength requirements, including disallowing common phrases and setting password age limits. These policies encourage stronger passwords and close security gaps by routinely changing passwords.

Conclusion

All told, there are security risks when enterprises store and share files via the cloud, however, there are ways to avoid these risks, and the advantage of having all your data in one convenient place that can be accessed at any time is worth the risk, especially if enterprises use a hyper-secure system like FileCloud.

Competitor Series: FileCloud vs ownCloud 2022

In the expanding horizon of cloud technology and global work environments, companies need a dynamic, powerful, hyper-secure platform that can safeguard their data throughout the document lifecycle and enable that data to be easily shared between authorized users. It’s a delicate balance to maintain, privacy versus access. There are a variety of solutions available on the market for content collaboration platforms (CCPs) that meet customer needs for privacy and accessibility, but not all of them offer true value, scalability, and resilience (attributes that Gartner points out are increasingly in demand). Today, we’ll focus on FileCloud vs ownCloud, examining their strengths and weaknesses across common platform functionalities to determine how they respond to customer needs and market development.

Deployment in FileCloud vs ownCloud

When we talk about deployment, this indicates how the CCP is delivered and maintained.

FileCloud and ownCloud are both available as on-premises, cloud, or hybrid solutions, which offers a fair bit of flexibility. Both solutions can also integrate with different storage services, like AWS and AWS GovCloud.

However, there is a key difference between the two. FileCloud offers more variety and flexibility when it comes to syncing up different storage services, including Azure/Azure Blob/Azure GovCloud, Alibaba, Wasabi, Digital Ocean, Scality, and EMC ECS. Clients can rest assured with FileCloud, knowing that their preexisting storage solutions can be easily integrated with their new FileCloud platform, without sacrificing security or ease of access. Additionally, FileCloud can be self-hosted natively on Windows as well as Linux; ownCloud can only be hosted with Linux.

Admin Capabilities

One of FileCloud’s strengths is the power and information it delivers to administrative users. With a recently updated interface, the admin dashboard can be easily customized to deliver the intel admins actually need and use. Widgets can be added, discarded, shifted, and resized to emphasize and prioritize different information.

ownCloud also offers an admin console, but it cannot be customized to suit the admin users or clients, which leaves them with a one-size-fits-all solution that may not support optimal efficiency. This ease of use is a major advantage FileCloud offers over ownCloud.

Going deeper into the actual admin powers, FileCloud and ownCloud overlap on such features as role-based administrative control, the ability to create and modify policies, and access to comprehensive audit reports.

However, FileCloud provides admins with more tools to leverage eagle-eyed scrutiny over system behavior. This includes dashboard reporting on system and user activity, as well as an intuitive map widget that displays all user access by geo-IP.

Furthermore, ownCloud does not offer essential features like the ability to block or wipe remote devices or export system statistics, unless you upgrade to their enterprise edition. FileCloud includes these features as part of the standard plan (on-prem or cloud).

Security Settings in FileCloud vs ownCloud

The Admin features discussed above are critical elements of maintaining a solution’s overall security, which already gives a leg up to FileCloud.

One major security difference between FileCloud and ownCloud concerns Smart DLP, a feature that automatically applies rules to all data within the environment. These rules modulate or restrict file permissions according to metadata. It’s a crucial element of modern security for content collaboration platforms, in that it removes the risk of human error and the monotony of updating permissions for every file uploaded. FileCloud offers a Smart DLP solution within the platform.

ownCloud, on the other hand, offers the option of integrating with an external DLP solution. Relying on an external integration to protect your CCP creates a potential opening for malicious exploitation. ownCloud also forces users to upgrade to the enterprise edition to take advantage of alerts on suspicious or unusual behavior, as well as anti-ransomware protections. These features are included in FileCloud at no extra cost.

Compliance/Governance Tools

FileCloud’s enterprise plans are designed as hyper-secure compliance and governance solutions. This focus has led to heavy investment in developing intuitive, powerful features that can make compliance easier.

One such example is the Compliance Center. This dashboard provides customized configurations of best practices and recommendations to support compliance with major regulations like ITAR, HIPAA, and GDPR. These configurations monitor the CCP, flagging any potential issues for swift resolution. Rules provide links to external documentation of the regulatory requirement and a brief description of how FileCloud supports compliance. Reports and audits can be easily exported for management or external regulatory reviews.

ownCloud does offer compliance support for HIPAA and GDPR through its own enterprise plans, but it does not offer a coordinated, easy-to-use dashboard, which is a major difference between the two platforms. Nor does ownCloud offer compliance support for as many regulations compared to FileCloud.

Content Management in FileCloud vs ownCloud

With endpoint backup, archival support, and content analytics, FileCloud ensures consistency and security across the document life cycle. These powerful features are essential in preserving a large array of files and records, particularly in medium-to-large businesses and organizations that store and analyze reams of data on a daily basis. ownCloud does offer these features, but they are only included with the enterprise edition.

Furthermore, FileCloud offers sophisticated metadata within the platform. Default metadata sets can be applied immediately, in conjunction with Smart DLP. Admins also have the option of creating custom metadata sets to capture and tag relevant information.

In ownCloud, custom metadata sets are not available at all, and metadata tagging occurs automatically. To manually adjust tagging, clients must, once again, upgrade to an enterprise plan.

Collaboration & Sharing

In this list of features, ownCloud and FileCloud are fairly comparable. They both offer the ability to edit files in a web browser (without leaving the secure environment). File activity is recorded in activity streams, users receive notifications on files they have shared, and a built-in document preview makes it easy to find and quickly review in-progress files.

Other functional features support ease-of-access and one-platform collaboration, such as commenting on files and folders, @ messaging to send notifications directly to users, and drag-and-drop uploading. Furthermore, users can take advantage of granular sharing of files and folders, public, private, and password-protected sharing, and the ability to set expiration dates. These are time-tested features that any CCP must have to compete in the current market.

Integrations are becoming a key element in facilitating collaboration across different teams, geographies, and external partners. These include integrations with application suites like Microsoft, Google, and OnlyOffice. Both FileCloud and ownCloud offer integrations with Microsoft Office and 365, Outlook, Gmail, and OnlyOffice. However, FileCloud distinguishes itself through its swift development of a Google Apps integration, in response to customer feedback. Now, FileCloud users can open, edit, and sync files with Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides; ownCloud does not yet offer this integration.

Remote (Mobile) Access

Remote or mobile access is a major component in providing an accessible CCP. Both FileCloud and ownCloud offer iOS and Android apps so clients can utilize their platforms on a mobile device or tablet. Additionally, admins in both solutions can extend policies and rules to mobile access. However, only FileCloud includes automatic media backups for iOS and Android devices, as part of its commitment to hyper-security.

Conclusion

After conducting this deep dive into features and functionalities across ownCloud and FileCloud, it’s apparent which one provides better ROI.

One caveat to note is that customers can use the community edition of ownCloud, which is completely free. However, this CCP is not for the faint of heart or those without IT experience. For any troubleshooting needs, customers would need to take advantage of the forums and implement any solutions themselves. To gain access to official support from ownCloud, clients must opt in for one of the paid plans.

For a company focusing on exchanging and collaborating on documents with low-security requirements, ownCloud may be an appropriate option. The company has focused on optimizing and streamlining core services related to content sharing and storage. Other features pertaining to security and data control are lacking though.

For organizations that need advanced control over their data, hyper security, content management options, and governance features, FileCloud offers a robust, adaptable solution appropriate for any industry.

Also Check out the comparison between ownCloud vs Nextcloud

To learn how FileCloud can support your company, check out the tour page or sign up for a free trial!

 

Article written by Katie Gerhardt

 

Features You Pay Extra for with Competitors

When it comes to picking a solid Enterprise File Sync and Share software (EFSS) it’s important to look not at just the stated pricing, but also at what you’re not getting.

At FileCloud, we’re open about our pricing and the included features, whether you’re looking for FileCloud on-premises or online.

FileCloud is a hyper-secure cloud storage and sharing software with certain features included no matter if you use FileCloud online, hybrid, or on your own server. These features include hyper-security, workflow automations, free (unlimited) guest accounts, and more.

FileCloud also offers important features that other EFSS make you pay extra for.

Multi-Tenancy

Many large organizations have multiple branches/offices, and maintaining multiple instances is complicated, difficult, and slow. Having the option of multi-tenancy where one instance services multiple users/groups can save both time and money. Unfortunately, even large EFSS like Google Workspace requires the Enterprise version to use multi-tenancy.

With FileCloud Server, you have the option to enable multi-tenancy at no extra cost. This can greatly reduce the overhead costs of maintaining multiple instances for data and access abstraction.

With FileCloud’s multi-tenancy, each site can be customized with a user limit, storage quota, and expiration. Adding and removing a site is easy and takes just a few clicks.

When multi-tenancy is enabled in FileCloud Server, a “super” admin has control over multiple sites. One simple screen contains all the info for the sites. However, super admins have the option to delegate other admins for the sites, which helps spread workloads out and maintain Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

Smart Data Leak Prevention (DLP)

Smart DLP (or data leak prevention) detects data leaks (accidental or malicious) and prevents these breaches before they happen by monitoring, protecting, and blocking important data from unauthorized users.

This can be a vital tool especially when companies are storing and sharing sensitive data that has regulations or requirements for protection. Smart DLP is an aspect of security that many EFSS offer, but which may be limited to upgrade or enterprise clients.

FileCloud’s simple, flexible, rule-drive Smart DLP offers users 360* protection by bringing DLP closer to the content and the users. Admins can control user actions (downloads/shares/logins) based on multiple options like IP range, user type, user group, and much more. FileCloud’s Smart DLP evaluates rule expressions and variables as events occur to allow or deny access while also logging any violations.

FileCloud’s Smart DLP protects companies from data leaks, allowing them to comply with regulations and keep their sensitive data secure.

Workflow Automation

As work is continually done remotely and with people in multiple different offices, workflows carried out in-office are becoming less useful or entirely obsolete. As such, many companies are turning toward workflow automation.

Workflow automation is an incredibly useful tool that saves companies time and money by automating certain tedious but important tasks like contract reviews, signature retrievals, email reminders, and more so that workflows are still completed and work is done on time.

Some companies, like ownCloud, have the option for workflow automation, but only at enterprise level. At FileCloud, users have access to workflow automation without any extra cost.

 

Workflows can be created by any user with a no-code, drag-and-drop design with just a few clicks. All running workflows can be viewed in a dashboard for oversight and audit purposes. Users can respond to workflows with built-in actions to facilitate speedy workflow completion. These workflows make work easier and more efficient, all without extra cost.

Branding

Companies and organizations have to be aware of branding at all times. Branding is what establishes and continues trust between a company, its employees, and its clients, and not having branding on everything, including your EFSS solution can lose to a loss of trust and security.

At Nextcloud, users have to upgrade in order to brand their EFSS solution, including for simple things like their logo or background image.

At FileCloud we understand the importance of branding which is why users are able to brand almost everything, including logo/background image, a custom domain, and complete white labeling.

You can even customize the mobile apps to reflect your brand, a feature that many competitors don’t offer at all or one that requires an upgrade.

Integrations

Any good EFSS solution has integrations with other tools that users commonly use. Microsoft Office is one of these common integrations, a tool that many people every single day. At Nextcloud, users will have to upgrade in order to edit Office documents within a browser, but at FileCloud that’s one of our included integrations that don’t cost a dime extra. FileCloud also has integrations with other important tools such as:

  • AWS S3
  • Azure Blob
  • Gmail
  • MS Teams
  • Office365
  • Sales Force

FileCloud is the Ultimate EFSS Solution

At FileCloud, we’re always working to make your life easier. That’s why we make our pricing simple and easy to understand, with important features like retention policies, DRM, pattern search, branding, and integrations included in our basic pricing.

We also offer a free trial so that you can get started today!

Cloud Computing Across Industries: Gaming and CAD 3D Design

Cloud computing

In the 1950s and 60s, John McCarthy, an outstanding American computer scientist who coined the term “artificial intelligence”, argued that in the near future, all processes related to the operation of computers and the use of their computing power will be made available for public use and will use shared data centers. We now recognize this position as “cloud computing,” though it hadn’t yet been named. And though it was hard to fathom for regular citizens and business leaders, McCarthy’s position was supported by other leading scientists of the time.

As it turned out, the ubiquitous availability of high network bandwidth, the decreasing costs of computers and devices, and the widespread adoption of hardware virtualization have led to a huge increase in the use of cloud computing across diverse industries.

The Potential in Cloud Computing

In the past decade, and specifically within the past few years, work environments have migrated from local infrastructure to the clouda t an exponentially increasing pace. This migration is made possible by shifting the entire service, from data storage through software to computing, to a remote server and granting access to clients.

This relationship between server, network, and machine offers certain benefits and disadvantages. Cloud migration has the advantage of transferring the responsibility for security and reliability to the cloud service provider. At the same time though, the speed of operation becomes dependent on the computing power of the server and connection speed with the server.

The development of network infrastructure and cloud technology has extended the possibilities of cloud computing. Migration to the cloud means that users don’t need top-of-the-line hardware, huge amounts of memory, or special software to take advantage of sophisticated programs. All they need is a browser and internet connection.

With the widespread adoption of cloud technology, particularly fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more industries are realizing how they too can take advantage of cloud infrastructure. This “cloudifying” potential extends to the gaming and engineering industries.

Cloud Gaming

Cloud gaming is a trend that is slowly beginning to transform the gaming industry. Rather than running a game off a disc or downloading game files to a player’s machine, cloud gaming is hosted on servers, accessed through a browser or web client. Gameplay is then streamed to the user’s device. This approach to gaming means that players do not need a computer or console with high computing power. Often, a tablet, TV, or mobile phone is enough. Thanks to the use of these cloud platforms, the player does not have to download or install the title, which significantly reduces the time needed to start playing.

The phenomenon of cloud gaming concerns the processing of the game in the cloud – graphics, characters, background, operations – basically all the game’s content. We already use similar technologies in other sectors, although then we don’t use the term cloud computing. These are similar concepts with slight differences.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is generally described in relation to collaborative work on text files, spreadsheets, and other office processes. Cloud business solutions differ from cloud gaming solutions through their target audience and objectives. Unless that business is in the gaming industry, they likely aren’t striving to create an immersive gameplay experience through low latency, stable internet connection, and high bandwidth. In fact, there is nothing to prevent an average business professional from establishing a cloud storage and sharing solution to handle offline content and automatically sync files.

Cloud gaming, on the other hand, is fully dependent on a constant network connection. This is the biggest technological barrier so far, but due to the development of technologies such as 5G and WiFi 6, the widespread adoption of cloud gaming phenomenon has a slightly rosier outlook. Ever faster networks will be able to maintain a high level of immersive detail and allow for comfortable gameplay.

The main requirement of cloud gaming, as previously mentioned, is a high-speed internet connection, without which smooth gameplay is impossible. Its parameters vary depending on the provider – e.g., Stadia recommends a 10 Mb / s connection, Boosteroid says that to play in Full HD resolution and 60 frames per second, you should have a 15 Mb / s connection, while in the case of GeForce Now – 25 Mb / s. For comparison, Netflix recommends 25 Mb / s for watching movies in 4K resolution.

Engineering and CAD 3D

Engineering firms increasingly rely on 3D CAD software in the cloud. This technology provides the user with a complete work environment, from the design application to document management tools, all via web browser. Thanks to the available software in the cloud, the user buys access to a given application rather than paying for each tool as a native application. This strategy reduces the huge start-up costs related to hardware and software for designers.

Benefits of Cloud-Based CAD Tools

– integrated data management

– granular/secure file sharing for projects

– minimum or no installation,

– lower costs

cloud computing

From a product development perspective, engineers need to explore many different options for their projects and be able to communicate freely with various team members, contractors, and of course, the end client. Exposure to different concepts and access to tools that streamline communication supports engineers in producing informed and inspired designs.

Traditional CAD software can bog down the design process, because these tools don’t offer the same collaboration capabilities that cloud CAD offers. With a cloud-based platform, multiple users can access and edit a design at the same time, and projects can be streamlined through notification, comment, and workflow tools. Thanks to these capabilities, multiple teams can provide feedback on projects and facilitate high-quality deliverables.

Challenges to Cloud-Based CAD Tools

One of the biggest challenges in introducing cloud CAD design to engineering firms and businesses is security. However, there are more and more counterpoints that prove users have nothing to worry about. Security is a major point of competition for cloud service providers, which makes for excellent measures to protect servers from data breaches.

These cloud service providers employ encryption, network separation, and authentication tools to secure client data. Additionally, they may conduct regular penetration testing to spot security vulnerabilities and respond to developing trends in cybersecurity.

Another challenge is connection timeouts and reliability. Cloud-based tools require stable internet connectivity. No internet means zero access to CAD programs, which also means no work done – unless those files are stored on a cloud service with integrated off-line solutions or sync clients. Additionally, a high-speed internet connection is a prerequisite, especially when working with large data sets. Design files are in the tens of MB range, often reaching GB. Consequently, low internet speeds will have a major impact on user experience.

The same performance considerations for cloud gaming are identical to the requirements of a full-blown, cloud-CAD solution. Delivering high computational power with minimal lag and out-of-the-box, co-working capabilities are at the center of creating a streamlined, cloud-enabled engineering ecosystem.

Summary

It’s worth emphasizing how many possibilities are hidden in cloud technology – we can see how quickly various industries are using the cloud to solve a diverse array of challenges. Not so long ago, the cloud was considered mainly a business solution.

Today, in addition to the streaming platforms we already know, such as Netflix or Spotify, the cloud unveils possibilities across personal and professional verticals, including gaming in the cloud and developing engineered solutions. Cloud-based tools and platforms can replace equipment worth several thousand dollars at a fraction of the cost, providing greater accessibility and activity scope for the average user.

The obvious downside is that as soon as you stop paying for the tool (cloud technologies are often billed as a subscription service), you will no longer have access to the products and services upon which you have come to rely. In the event of an outage, the disruption in service may result in lost data, and you may have to restore files or tools from your backup files.

The main barrier to cloud gaming and 3D CAD design is the speed and stability of the internet connections. However, consistent strides in network optimization, including the introduction of 5G connectivity, are rendering these concerns to the past. Cloud-based technology is here to stay.

Further Reading

[1]SaaS-Based CAD is Taking Over

[2]Cloud Based CAD Software 101: How It Works and Top 5 Picks

[3]Cloud gaming przyszłością rozrywki. Pomaga pandemia i 5G

[4]Nowe rozdanie w świecie cloud gamingu

[5]Czym jest cloud gaming i dlaczego wkrótce wszyscy będziemy grać w chmurze?

[6]5 Reasons to Avoid the Cloud for 3D CAD

 

Article written by Piotr Slupski

 

Meet ITAR Requirements with FileCloud’s Compliance Center

ITAR Compliance Banner

In the last few years, network security has become more relevant, as cyberattacks and ransomware become both prevalent and increasingly sophisticated. To ensure information safety, government security agencies have created “compliance” requirements to manage the storage, exchange, and retention/destruction of protected or sensitive information. Depending on the data managed by a company and with whom they do business or share information, they will be required to meet certain requirements to be considered compliant. This blog post focuses on ITAR compliance, but there are plenty of other regulations across different industries.

For example:

  • EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
  • GLBA (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act)
  • HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
  • PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act)
  • CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act)

What is ITAR Compliance?

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is a United States regulatory regime to restrict and control the export of defense and military-related technologies to safeguard U.S. national security and further U.S. foreign policy objectives.1

In summary, if you are a government entity or a business that needs to share documents with a government entity related to the Department of Defense, you need to follow specific steps to secure your documents and communicate using a secure environment.

Does FileCloud support ITAR compliance?

FileCloud will enable you to make your “shared information” comply with ITAR through its on-premises FileCloud Server solution and the option to enable FIPS 140-2 encryption, along with storage options with AWS GovCloud or Azure for Government. FileCloud has a large set of features to help compliance officers and IT managers fulfill requirements for businesses and organizations. Additionally, FileCloud offers an extensive list of security settings that can be configured in such a way that supports compliance with ITAR requirements.

FileCloud Compliance Center

Setting up your FileCloud environment to comply with ITAR (or other compliance requirements) is a straightforward process. In previous versions, this was made possible by following a provided checklist. Since FileCloud version 21.2 (October 2021), we now offer an admin UI feature, the Compliance Center.

The Compliance Center was developed to offer a simple and effective compliance tool that supports government requirements such as ITAR.

FileCloud supports GDPR, HIPAA, and ITAR compliance

Today (March 2022), the Compliance Center supports ITAR, HIPAA, and GDPR. FileCloud will add new requirements in future versions of FileCloud (for example, NIST, CMMC, and others).

FileCloud Compliance Center – ITAR

To help you comply with ITAR, the Compliance Center includes 14 different rules that you need to enable and configure to help you comply, track, and secure your FileCloud Server.

ITAR Compliance

This comprehensive feature set helps you configure each of the 14 items needed to secure your system. Each item in the list includes:

  • Rules: This identifies the ITAR rule you are configuring; If you click on the rule number, it will open a new browser tab with the rule’s definition from the Code of Federal Regulations official website.
  • FileCloud Configuration: This summarizes the action you need to take in FileCloud to secure compliance with the specific rule.
  • Enable: You can enable/disable each rule. This will depend on your specific requirements.
  • Effective Date: The date the rule was initially enabled. This helps you identify when the Compliance Center began measuring the status of this rule.
  • Status: Can be “OK”, “Issues”, or blank (if disabled). If the status shows as “OK”, it will tell you the last check timestamp. If it shows “Issues”, you can click on the status, and it will show you a list of events/configurations missing that you need to fix to comply with the specified rule.
  • Actions: Some actions have an edit button, and all have an info button. The edit option will let you pick and choose the specific setting required to comply with the rule (for example, a metadata set, a SmartDLP rule, etc.)

For more details on setting options and additional information on the Compliance Center, please check the Compliance Center Documentation page. You can also read about the different compliance requirements available (ITAR, GDPR, HIPAA) by visiting the More Information section.

 

Article written by Daniel Alarcon.

 

References

  1. “U.S. State Department – Policy – Directorate of Defense Trade Controls.” Pmddtc.state.gov. Archived from the original on September 14, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2010.

 

FileCloud Recognized as a Gartner Peer Insights™ Customers’ Choice for Content Collaboration Tools

FileCloud has been named a Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Content Collaboration Tools. This is the fourth occasion that FileCloud has been recognized in Gartner Peer Insights ‘Voice of Customer’ report.

“We believe Gartner Peer Insights provide a key measurement of what customers think of our product, and we are very excited to be chosen as a Customers’ choice. Providers who end up in the “Customers’ Choice” Quadrant represents those who meet or exceed both the market average Overall Rating and the market average User Interest and Adoption,” said FileCloud CEO Ray Downes. “The demand for high-quality, easy-to-use content collaboration tools is higher than ever as enterprises focus on control, security and compliance.”

According to Gartner, “content collaboration tools provide an easy way for employees to use and share content both inside and outside the organizations. Since these tools can be used to collaborate with customers, partners, and suppliers, they often provide rich security and privacy controls.”

As of February 2nd, 2022, FileCloud had received 277 verified reviews from end-users, with an average score of 4.6 out of 5.

“There’s nothing in the market that stands out like FileCloud in terms of price, usability, support and features. If you’re looking for a file-sharing solution for small companies up to enterprise organizations, don’t miss this gem,” read a review from a Senior Director of Technology Operations at a large ($50-$250 million) firm. Read the full review at Gartner Peer Insights.

To read more reviews of FileCloud, visit their page on Gartner Peer Insights.

About Gartner Peer Insights:

Gartner Peer Insights is an online platform of ratings and reviews of IT software and services that are written and read by IT professionals and technology decision-makers. The goal is to help IT leaders make more insightful purchase decisions and help technology providers improve their products by receiving objective, unbiased feedback from their customers. Gartner Peer Insights includes more than 350,000 verified reviews in more than 340 markets. For more information, please visit www.gartner.com/reviews/home. 

Gartner Disclaimer:

Gartner and Gartner Peer Insights are registered trademarks of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved

Gartner Peer Insights content consists of the opinions of individual end users based on their own experiences with the vendors listed on the platform, should not be construed as statements of fact, nor do they represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in this content nor makes any warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this content, about its accuracy or completeness, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

FileCloud was recognized as CodeLathe until 2020. The report was named Gartner Peer Insights ‘Voice of the Customer’: Content Collaboration Platforms in 2018,19. Gartner Peer Insights ‘Voice of the Customer’: Content Collaboration Tools, Published 28 January 2022.

Should You Use a Password Manager?

It’s the beginning of 2022, and now is an excellent time to improve your privacy and security measures. One of the more essential aspects of your security is updating and securely saving your passwords to access all the online services you use, as well as your offline password, such as your computer password.

In the last decade, the use of online services has increased dramatically; they are more convenient for various reasons (minimum maintenance, less overhead, easy to escalate, etc.). Since many have switched to this model or have mixed-mode (online and offline software and tools) usage, maintaining the safety of your login credentials is crucial.

Today, we can manage our credentials in different ways:

  1. Use a password manager to save login information.
  2. Use a centralized login method like Login with Google, Apple, Facebook, etc.
  3. Use an authenticator app like Google auth, Microsoft auth, Open auth, etc. (not widely supported)

There are other methods, but these are the main three options supported by popular online services. While the three are valid, there are pros and cons of using one method over the other. We will focus our attention on the first option: using a password manager.

What is a Password Manager?

A password manager is a software tool (online or offline) that can save the login credentials of different tools and services. Most of these tools will use a master password that will grant you access to the list of your saved credentials.

The Benefits of Using a Password Manager

The main feature is, of course, saving your credentials, so you can remember them when you need to access your service; however, there are other reasons why this is convenient. Password managers:

  • help you choose a unique, strong password for each service. Since you don’t need to remember the password for each service, it enables you to select a strong password for each service account, making them less likely to be hacked.
  • help you keep track of your online services. It is an excellent place to keep an inventory of accounts that you have; in many password managers, you can also use special features like password expiration (to make sure you update your password on a schedule) and warnings for duplicated passwords across different services.
  • ease the login process across all your accounts. Most password managers have browser extensions that make logging into services as easy as clicking the password field or hitting a keyboard combination.

There are other interesting features of password managers, like cross-checking your password with hacked DBs of passwords or account form fillers (general account information, credit card, etc.). It all depends on your requirements and preferences.

The Cons of Using a Password Manager

Even though there are many benefits to using a password manager, that doesn’t mean it’s without risk. These are some of the more relevant ones.

  • Your password manager can serve as a single point of failure. The convenience of only remembering one master password means if your master password is exposed, someone can gain access to your password database. Naturally, this poses a significant security issue.
  • You need to have access to the password database. If you solely use an online password manager and you lose internet access for any reason, you won’t be able to log in to any of your services. That’s why I recommend that any service you use maintains a local copy of your database in your computer or mobile device. This can save you trouble in case of emergencies.
  • If you use an online service, you are relying on someone else’s security. When using a third-party service, there’s always going to be the risk of trusting that it keeps your information safe. Many services advertise that your information is encrypted and can’t be accessed if their system is exposed. However, this is often proven to be a false advertisement or not as secure as they claim to be. If you choose to use an online service, make sure to research your options, check the reputation and user ratings, and their security history.

What Password Manager Should You Use?

After reviewing what a password manager is and the benefits and risks, the convenience of using one is often found to outweigh the cons. You have two options: an online password manager or an offline password manager.

Many popular online services have a great feature set and strong security reputations. If you want to go that route, you can use the likes of 1Password, LastPass, or Dashlane, among others.

If you want to focus on security, the fact that your passwords are only available to you and not saved in external services is essential. In that case, I recommend an Offline Password Manager.

The industry preference has been KeePass, but there are many other options like KeePass variants, Safe In Cloud, or even tools provided by antivirus services.

Security Recommendations

No matter what option you choose, keep a record of your login credentials.

Review your options and choose the one that best suits your needs. There is no perfect tool for everyone, but there is a suitable tool for each use case.

Web browsers include password management functionalities in their engine; however, it’s important to use other options dedicated to keeping your information safe.

Though this may seem like obvious and oft-repeated advice, it is important to distinguish your accounts with different usernames and passwords; doing so will help preserve your online security.

Article written by Daniel Alarcon