The Era of Protecting by Enabling

In today’s era of protecting by enabling, users need a frictionless Ux to reduce the need to seek unauthorized paths which compromise data protection.

IT managers today are on the forefront of information delivery services. Users are demanding highly available and secure data transfers that are flexible enough to serve them on the road and multiple devices. The days of traveling physically to a secure location to access a file are fast becoming extinct.

Technology transformation has a major impact on how and where we share information, so it’s natural to expect it to also impact how we provide trust for that information. We stay connected across more devices than ever, in more places. It no longer makes sense to apply old methods of static controls and expensive locks, which mimicked our approach to security of physical locations, in a fast-paced, widespread environment. Traditional methods applied to modern data flows ultimately hinder even authorized processes and builds bottlenecks, which prompts users to seek out other service providers.

That is why new and more complete enterprise solutions have been developed to meet the requirements of the end-user as well as IT and Security; they are flexible enough to enhance whatever users have, wherever they are, and make enterprise file sync and sharing (EFSS) easy yet trusted. Better service means more visibility and control while delivering automated and safe EFSS. Users gain the access they demand and IT reduces risk, once the following three key elements are present:

  • Frictionless user experience
  • Industry-leading security and compliance controls
  • Flexible and trusted storage

First, a frictionless user experience means a convenient and integrated experience. This reduces the urge to seek unauthorized or unsafe paths to share information. How many times has an email server or a file server imposed limits that blocked an important business transaction? High performance with low overhead, as well as access online or offline, is critical for productivity in mobile and remote network environments. Productivity does not have to stop when working with large files, changing devices, or using various networks.

Second, industry-leading controls means giving IT the features and tools they need to trust EFSS in large deployments. These include capabilities such as:

  1. Integration with a directory to enable automatic provision and removal of accounts
  2. Granular access policies, set by group and user, to control allowable devices, what and how much storage can be used, and file types that are permitted
  3. File and usage tracking with continuous audit and reporting, to support risk analysis and response by the security team
  4. Policy-driven storage so IT can decide where files are stored, public cloud or on-premise, for privacy and compliance reasons
  5. Multifactor authentication to control devices authorization

Third, flexible and trusted storage means using independently certified infrastructure that can handle disasters and business continuity events. EFSS can be provided from cloud arrays that scale rapidly while also providing the highest levels of availability. Or files can be stored on scalable network storage devices deep within an enterprise perimeter, while still providing secure access to nearly any device from almost any network.

Ironically, sometimes the best way to secure a process is to not lock it down, but allow it to happen with the proper controls and IT reporting in place. Users today are sophisticated enough to get what they want by going around IT. That can effectively neutralize the investment IT is making in security and how they control information. When users go to consumer products, data is at risk and IT doesn’t even know about it. The ability to set granular policy controls and gain visibility into file sharing while providing a delightful experience is the only way IT can “manage the unmanageable.”

About the Author: Dave Martin