Secure File Sharing
Secure file sharing is the process of sharing one or more files securely or privately.
It enables sharing files between different users/organizations confidentially and/or within a protected mode, secure from intruders or unauthorized users.
Secure file sharing is also known as protected file sharing.
Secure file sharing is generally performed by encrypting the file, either before sharing or when being transmitted over the network. This is done through an encryption algorithm. The file can be shared within a local network or over a standard Internet connection. Secure file sharing can also be done through a private network connection such as a VPN.
Most file-sharing services or software enable secure file sharing by restricting access to the file, such as only granting authorized personnel rights to access, view and download the file.
F.A.Q about Secure File Sharing
What is file-sharing security?
File sharing has grown in popularity and frequency as people work remotely and enterprises move to the cloud. However, any time employees use technology to share files between devices, there are security risks involved. File-sharing can introduce risks of malware infection, hacking, and loss or exposure of sensitive information. Without proper security measures in place, the benefits of file sharing can be significantly outweighed by the potential for exposing your company’s sensitive data to new security threats.
What Are The Pros and Cons of File Sharing?
There are a number of factors to keep in mind before you start actively file sharing.
- It allows you to transfer large files over a network connection.
- It makes it easier to collaborate with other people across the globe.
- It reduces the need to maintain a central file server that is always online.
- The amount of bandwidth required can be costly.
- Hard to trace what happens to a file after it is shared publicly.
- Higher risk of acquiring a virus or other type of malware from a remote file.
What are file-sharing stats?
When the topic of file-sharing comes up, most people recall the days of tools like Napster which became popular methods for illegally transferring music content around the internet in the ’90s. Today, however, file sharing is a key function for many businesses and other use cases.
- 39% of business data that is uploaded to the cloud is used for file-sharing purposes.
- The average company shares files with over 800 different online domains, which includes partners and vendors.
- About 60% of files uploaded to a file sharing service are never actually shared with other people and are instead used as a backup copy.
- About 70% of shared files are spread to only internal users in an organization.
Secure file-sharing for businesses
Some of the best practices when it comes to ensuring your file-sharing sessions are secure at all times.
- Pick a service that offers end-to-end encryption. This protects you from external hackers and also prevents the host itself from viewing your data.
- Always double-check permission settings. Most services allow for a public sharing option, but that means that anyone with the right link can obtain your files.
- Run audits on your files to see who is accessing them. If a file is no longer needed, remove it from your cloud system entirely.
What are the types of file sharing?
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
FTP was one of the first methods invented for moving data across networks and it remains very popular today thanks to its reliability and efficiency. FTP actions can be run through a command prompt window or a tool with a user interface. All it requires is for you to specify the source file you want to move and the destination where it should be placed.
- Great for: Large files, unusual file types, or legacy data.
- Example programs: FileZilla, Telnet, WinSCP.
Peer to Peer (P2P)
The purpose of a P2P file transfer is to remove the need for a central server that hosts the data. Instead, individual clients connect to a distributed network of peers and complete the file transfers over their own network connections. P2P might eventually be used to create an unstoppable TOR. Whether or not The Onion Router (TOR) is a truly P2P environment depends on many factors, but its popularity in creating a more secure online connection is unquestioned.
- Great for: Sharing files with a small group of people, files that are unavailable in public repositories.
- Example programs: Limewire, Gnutella, BearShare.
With a cloud file sharing service, one user uploads their data to a central repository and then other users can download the files to their own devices. All data is hosted by a third party provider, although users can specify what types of permission levels to put on the files.
- Great for: Fast sharing of files, creating backups of data.
- Example programs: Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, iCloud.
Some people don’t realize that email can actually function as a file transfer system. Every time you attach a document to an outgoing message, you are initiating a transfer of that data over the open internet.
- Great for: Small files, data that need explanation.
- Example programs: Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo! Mail.
When no network-based option will fulfill your needs, you can always rely on a physical drive to serve as your file transfer operation. This means you are literally copying data to a USB flash drive or external hard drive and plugging that device into the destination computer.
- Great for: Massive files, sensitive data.
- Example programs: USB thumb drives or external hard drives.