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Meeting the Challenges of Secure File Collaboration

It is really hard in our day and age to appreciate what document collaboration was once like. It is not as if the need didn’t exist: researchers at Universities and businesses co-authored papers, screenwriters collaborated on scripts, and huge international committees of professionals created standards such as ISO 9001. The printer and fax machine used to be an organization’s best friend, and ate up massive amounts of paper an toner in the process. Currently, the web and its many innovations, such as cloud computing, allow us to not only to share documents with anyone in the world at a near instantaneous speed, they allow us to collaborate almost in real time.

However, the hidden catch to this convenience is the issue of security. Some enterprise collaboration solutions, such as SharePoint, have been the subject of scrutiny due to security concerns. Some of these issues are design flaws, like the work needed to give sufficient access rights to the user, and others are training issues, such as people circumventing access controls by copying data and supplying it to someone who does not have access.

An effective and secure file collaboration solution benefits from the following features:

  • Fine-grained access controls as well as a good administrative interface that makes it simple to give the correct access to the collaborators who truly need it.
  • Data encryption, with algorithms that are secure as possible, to protect outgoing files. Furthermore, the encryption/decryption process should be as intuitive and seamless as possible so that users get in the habit of sending encrypted files over public channels.
  • The option to use private key encryption. Public key encryption is standard and convenient in this day and age because it allows an organization to share an encryption key publicly and still maintain security. However, there are situations in which the extra peace of mind of securing resources via private key is preferable.

Meeting security challenges such as these head on allows us to reap the maximum benefits of our newer, more efficient collaboration technologies. Contact us to learn more.