How Secure is Online File Sharing?

How Secure is Online File Sharing? As more small business and medium business owners, or SMBs, turn to online file sharing, questions about the security of this practice have been raised. Files often contain confidential or private information, making secure sharing a number one concern for SMBs.


Though sending files via weblink is often quick and convenient, it is not secure unless best practices are utilized. Here’s what you need to know:

1.Online File Sharing is on the Rise

In a survey conducted by Symantec, 74 percent of the respondents stated that they had adopted online file sharing to increase their own productivity. Additionally, 63 percent are utilizing mobile storage solutions, 64 percent are utilizing laptop and tablet storage, and 53 percent are using social media.

With this increase in employee use of online file storage, business owners must be cognizant of what their employees are storing and sharing.

2.Data Loss is a Risk

Using online file sharing services presents the risk of potential data loss. SMBs often realize this loss when file sharing is poorly managed. Risks associated with online file sharing include malware, breach of confidentiality, a violation of regulatory rules and a lack of policy enforcement.

To curtail these risks, SMB owners must implement and enforce policies for online file sharing. Employees should have various levels of accessing and sharing files as deemed appropriate by their position.

3.Sharing Solutions Need to be Consistent

When employees need help sharing files, many will approach the IT specialist in the company. Other employees may search online or download free solutions which can pose security threats. To prevent issues from arising, SMB owners need to put policies in place that clearly outline the type of assistance employees should seek when attempting to share large files.

4.Telecommuting is Growing

As SMBs find themselves growing larger, many employ telecommuters to handle specific job tasks. SMBs are also permitting current employees to work from home in an effort to reduce costs. As more telecommuters begin to work for their company, SMBs are finding it more difficult to supervise how employees are sharing confidential information.

SMB owners must choose online file sharing services that permit multiple employees to utilize the same services to prevent files from being shared across multiple sites.

5.Scalable Systems are Essential

As SMBs grow, the software that they utilize needs to grow with them. Many SMB owners make the mistake of choosing free or low-cost sharing services that remain stagnant as the company grows. SMB owners should choose sharing sites that allow for expansion and growth. If SMB owners insist on choosing free or limited sites, security risks are enhanced as files will need to be moved to a new site once the company has reached the storage cap on their existing, smaller site.

Online file sharing is as secure as SMB owners make it. By utilizing best practices, SMB owners can be ensured of the security of sensitive and confidential information.

It is the duty of SMB owners to establish policies, put practices in place and supervise the sharing of files; only then will online file sharing be 100 percent secure.

About the author


I am Vishal Gaikar, Engineer, Web Addicted, Living in Maharastra, India. Email Me @ vishal@techbucket.org

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