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The IT Risks of File Sharing Services and What You Can Do to Avoid Them
Martin Horan

By: Martin Horan on May 28th, 2015

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The IT Risks of File Sharing Services and What You Can Do to Avoid Them

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file sharing servicesFile sharing services bring with them a wide range of benefits that can't be ignored. You can effortlessly share documents and other files with fellow employees for the purposes of productivity, all without ever even thinking about clicking the "Print" button on your computer. They also introduce a wide range of IT risks that need to be addressed, however, to create the safest possible environment moving forward.

Avoid Risks of File Sharing

Data Theft

One of the most common risks of file sharing services has to do with just how easy it is for data to be stolen from a digital environment. All it would take is someone with malicious intentions learning, guessing or "hacking" a username and password to give that person access to all of the sensitive information that your employees are sharing with one another. What's worse is that this can often happen before you even realize you have a problem.

Other Risks

One of the other major IT risks of file sharing services has to do with an overall lack of data integrity. Many file sharing services lack the infrastructure required to keep proper track of document versions, assess who is accessing a file at what time and more. It can be difficult to make sure that all employees have access to the most recently available version, which is required for the most collaborative environment possible moving forward. Every file that you're uploading to a file sharing service will also eat into the amount of available bandwidth that your Internet connection affords, putting a potentially massive strain on your business network at the same time.

FTP

FTP (or "file transfer protocol"), on the other hand, is a file sharing service that addresses many of these issues head on. SFTP uses key authentication, for example, which gives you complete control over who can access files on a network and who can't. Folder access permissions give you the ability to take things even further by saying that "User X can access folders A, B and C, but not D, E or F" based on whether or not they need the information in those folders in the first place. Auditing features and on demand reporting also help to maintain data integrity by providing you a detailed breakdown of who is accessing the network, who is accessing which files, which edits belong to which users and more.

File sharing services are great, but the most certainly come with a cost. Data theft, a general lack of data integrity and unreliability are all pressing concerns - to say nothing of the amount of strain all of that bandwidth is putting on your network. FTP is a file sharing technique that comes with all of these benefits and also allows you to avoid risks of file sharing as much as possible.

Key Takeaways:

  • File sharing introduces a huge number of risks that your business can't afford to ignore, from unreliability to a lack of data integrity to everything in between.
  • FTP is a great way to guarantee all of the benefits of file sharing with as few of the downsides as possible.
  • SFTP key authentication, folder access permissions and more are all great ways to avoid risks of file sharing in a collaborative environment.

To learn more about the risks of file sharing, download our Free Ebook  and see how you can avoid the risks of consumer file sharing. 

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About Martin Horan

Founder of FTP Today and an expert in secure file transfer and Internet protocols. A software and IT geek since a young age, Martin has successfully led his companies through the digital age by spotting market niches and filling them with quality IT services.

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