File sharing is important for an organization’s everyday activities. It allows employees to work together on various projects and transfer files across devices. However, research shows that companies are oversharing files with employees. A study found that 21% of all folders in a company are open to everyone, showing that employees are able to access data that might not be relevant to their work. File sharing, whether it’s through email USBs or cloud access, needs to be secure.

file sharing

Source: Help Net Security 

How File Sharing Puts You at Risk

Insider threats: Insider threats are bad actors that are working within an organization to steal company data or other confidential information. They are harder to detect since they are working from the inside. Insider threats can cause as much damage as a hacker; the average yearly cost of an insider threat is $8.7 million.

Too much access: The more people have access to sensitive information, the higher risk of the data being vulnerable. If hackers are able to take over the account of a privileged user, they also end up having access to all the data that employee is privy too.

Lack of security: Failing to secure your shared data files with security measures like multi-factor authentication and encryption can increase your chances of data leakage.

Human error: Your employees can accidentally share files with an unknown source or delete critical files.

Tips to Protect File Sharing in Your Organization

Consider a Zero Trust network strategy: A Zero Trust strategy is based on a concept that is already implied in the name – trust no one.  It’s about shifting a company’s security thinking to trust nothing outside or inside the parameters of the organization and always verifying before gaining access. Implementing this strategy involves gaining deep visibility and insight into all network traffic. This can be done through things like multi-factor authentication and next generation firewalls.

Educate staff: We speak about cyber awareness a lot because we feel it is a key point in protecting your data. As cybersecurity awareness month comes to an end, we would like to emphasize the importance of training your staff. Employees should be informed about the security risks, like data leakage and unauthorized access, that comes with file sharing. Additionally, they should practice safe file sharing habits like double checking who they’re sending a file to.

Use permissions access: File access should be limited to specific users depending on their work needs. That way if a hacker compromises an account, they would only be able to access a limited number of files. It also prevents unauthorized employees from accessing files and allows you to keep track of who is accessing each file.

Backup your files: A backup solution can help restore your data in the event it goes missing. Our Store IT backup platform provides managed and secure backup options for your servers, mail and hybrid systems.