In today’s hyperconnected world, digital collaboration and communication is not an option, but rather a requirement. We all need quick, easy and safe methods for sharing digital information.
However, there are right and wrong ways to file share.
From sharing important information with clients and employees to transferring sensitive information to professionals we trust, paying attention to file sharing habits can welcome or eliminate the risk of a data breach.
In fact, Ponemon Institute revealed 35% of data breaches are actually caused by the “human factor” which can mean an employee, personal or contractor negligence.
To decrease the risk of human error, learn about these five dangerous file sharing habits and correct your process accordingly.
1. Sharing files via email
This is an important tip for business and personal communication. Even though email is incredibly convenient for correspondence, is not designed to be secure.
For a relevant example, think of a few months ago when perhaps you needed to correspond with your accountant to meet the April 17th deadline. The information contained in your tax documents are private and sensitive — names, addresses, Social Security numbers and banking information. In other words, exactly what an identity thief is hunting.
And, anyone with access to an intermediate mail server or with the ability to track network traffic between mail servers could easily find this packet of information.
2. Using consumer-grade cloud solutions
If you’re like many employees or employers, it’s likely you’re working with at least one team member or client located in a different area. Maybe you’ve even used an unauthorized file-sharing service like personal Dropbox or Google Drive to share information.
This process is becoming more common. But, it needs to come to a halt.
If your content is sensitive, you should note that these consumer-grade cloud solutions are not created with enterprise security in mind, and in fact, they have been hacked in the past.
Consider using enterprise solutions, or at least learning about stronger password protocols to secure your data.
3. Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing
On its face, peer-to-peer sharing may seem like a great technology to share digital data. But, think again. Because multiple computers are interconnected, peer-to-peer software is an easy target for a hack.
Without proper security measures, peer-to-peer is an open invite to anyone, including criminal hackers, to access your data.
4. Using flash drives
To start, flash drives are becoming an outdated process. Not only are they difficult to efficiently use if your team or contacts are spread across different offices and different geographic locations, they also are a risk of infection.
Flash drives bypass network security when inserted into a new computer, which can lead to malicious attacks on your individual devices and connected networks.
5. Loose internal policies
If you’re in the habit of giving blanket authorization to all of your internal documents, or neglect placing policies for secure file sharing, it’s more likely than not you will run into trouble.
The danger of incorrect file sharing starts when employees take matters into their own hands and engage a file sharing service on their own.
Be proactive, and you can decrease human error and mitigate cybersecurity risks.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO FILE SHARE?
We’ve learned that sharing information is not the fundamental problem — you and your employees will always find ways to deliver files. The real challenge is maintaining control over the shared content. Here are two quick tips for transferring external and internal files safely.
Encryption, or the process of changing information to make unreadable by anyone except those with a key, protects the data you don’t want anyone else to access. Encryption protects your data when it’s digitally transmitted and from other factors like if your computer was stolen or lost.
Generate and regenerate shared passwords
For online programs, shared software, and password protected files, find a way to generate and regenerate passwords with the least amount of visibility.
EZPD is a program that allows consumers or businesses to intelligently create and share passwords while mitigating the risk of a breach. Shared licenses on EZPD mean that one person, with an authorized license file, can create a strong, complex password and another person, on another authorized device, can access the same password.
This process does not transfer information through a cloud. Rather, EZPD’s proprietary algorithm and node-locked system means that passwords can be created for the devices who need access and will remain invisible to those who don’t.
Remember, your passwords are always the first line of defense.