5 Must-Have Features In An Enterprise File Sync & Share (EFSS) Platform

Posted by Ankur Panchbudhe on May 19 2015

5 Must-Have Features In An Enterprise File Sync & Share (EFSS) PlatformPeople flock to Dropbox (often without IT’s permission) because it’s familiar and easy to use. While end users are happy to use Dropbox for enterprise file sharing, that’s not usually the case for IT teams dedicated to enterprise file security. 

As more users rely on multiple devices to access and share enterprise files from outside the corporate network, having a secure, reliable enterprise file sync & share (EFSS) platform is essential to maintain access control and enterprise file security.

Consumer-grade options are poor choices for enterprises operating in highly regulated markets, as well as companies that value complete control over access rights and end-to-end encryption.

So, what should you do to keep your end users happy and productive while maintaining end-to-end enterprise file security?

Start by looking for an EFSS platform that offers the features below. Consider it a red flag if your system lacks any of the following:

  1. Security: It’s now very common for one end user to access files with multiple mobile devices. Therefore, mobile content management (MCM) and digital rights management (DRM) are two of the most important security features an EFSS platform needs to offer. Without them, there’s little guarantee that your files remain under your control as they’re shared between devices. It’s important to achieve end-to-end file security and ensure your data does not fall into the wrong hands. Without MCM, what’s stopping someone from moving a sensitive file into Dropbox and sharing it across an unsecured network or with unauthorized users?

  2. Encryption: Many enterprise file sharing systems, including Dropbox, market the use of military-grade encryption to secure enterprise files. State-of-the-art encryption techniques are great, but if they only apply to the server your data is stored on, you’re only getting a portion of the encryption you truly need. Remember, if you’re sending data as plain text across the network to an encrypted server (like Dropbox), your data is still vulnerable en route. The most comprehensive EFSS solutions offer this same military-grade encryption for data at the source, data at rest and data in motion.

  3. Multi-Dimensional Access Rights: IT administrators require robust, granular access rights controls over enterprise files. This means managing who can access what files, from where access is granted, how and for how long access is granted, and more. You need to have the complete picture of your user base’s access rights; no holes should exist. This mean employing access rights control such as geo-fencing to control physical regions where file access is granted, as well as IP-fencing to control file access across a range of IP addresses within your network. Defining access rights based on timing might be another necessity for you business. For instance, if you want a file sent to a client for review to expire after one view or seven days, you should have that control.

  4. Information-Centric Approach: It’s fairly easy to control information as it moves through your corporate network. But maintaining control of your data once it leaves you network is another story. DRM provides you with an information-centric solution that’s connected to your data wherever it goes. With DRM your data starts protected and stays protected. The most advanced systems accomplish this information-centric DRM by placing access rights controls on your physical storage devices. With comprehensive on-disk DRM, you can have confidence that the files users share are secure and only accessible by authorized users.

  5. Flexibility: When it comes to deployment, many Dropbox alternatives are available only as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Platforms not offering a software license or on-premises option won’t work for IT executives who prefer to have control over everything in-house or to work with a data center of their choice. Moreover, flexible deployments give you options. If you want to start with a cloud-based SaaS deployment and later bring everything to an on-premises system, you should have that option. Look for an EFSS solution that meets all of your needs, not just some of them. This means finding an option that’s also available on-premises in a private or public cloud deployment.

When seeking a secure Dropbox alternative, look for an EFSS platform that includes the above features.

Learn more about secure enterprise file sharing by reading our free report, 5 Warnings You Should Heed When Searching For Dropbox Alternatives.

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