The Biggest Enterprise File Security Flaws Of Dropbox For Business And Google Drive

Posted by Ankur Panchbudhe on May 14 2015

The Biggest Enterprise File Security Flaws Of Dropbox For Business And Google DriveDropbox and Google Drive are household names. Everyone knows these applications as user-friendly file sharing solutions, but they’re the wrong choice for enterprises.

As consumer-grade services, they don’t provide the access controls, security features and flexible deployment options of an enterprise-grade file sharing solution. 

Think of a baker that puts on a business suit. Just because he’s wearing the right clothes doesn’t make him qualified to manage a hedge fund.

Dropbox for Business is like that baker. While it markets security features, including remote data wiping, audit trails and strong encryption, at its core Dropbox is still just a retrofitted consumer-grade solution, not an enterprise tool built from the ground up for secure file sharing.

What Dropbox Dropped

While Dropbox for Business touts integration with more than 300,000 apps, its list doesn’t include the enterprise content management (ECM) platforms that large organizations rely on every day, such as SharePoint, OpenText or Alfresco.

Enterprises invest significant time, money and other resources into an ECM platform. That’s why any enterprise file sharing applications, mobile content management (MCM) apps or data loss prevention (DLP) solutions need to integrate with the ECM. If your enterprise file sharing solution can’t leverage the existing ECM infrastructure, it’s not truly offering you anywhere, any device access.

Furthermore, if you’re using a public cloud-based service like Dropbox or Google Drive, how do you deal with industry regulations on privacy and data security? 

Stuck In The Cloud

Since Dropbox is hosted in the public cloud, its flexibility and capabilities are sometimes so limited that it’s not useful to enterprise clients. 

In highly regulated markets, such as finance, insurance, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, hosting personally identifiable information (PII) on public cloud servers may violate regulations.

In regions with tight data sovereignty regulations, such as the European Union, data is not permitted in third-party clouds unless it’s encrypted, and the encryption keys aren’t allowed to leave the jurisdiction. This means that Dropbox for Business isn’t even a legal solution in some nations.

What A Secure Dropbox Alternative Looks Like

The problem with Dropbox and similar consumer-grade solutions is foundational. Their primary goal is to provide a great user experience, rather than security and control. 

The best enterprise file sharing solutions offer a seamless user experience without sacrificing the security and control that IT departments need.

Look for a secure Dropbox alternative that seamlessly extends sync and share to mobile devices through containerization and MCM. Keep files under your control even when they’re moving outside of your network with enterprise digital rights management (DRM) that’s applied through content-aware DLP solutions.

Depending on how sensitive the content is, you should be able to apply varying levels of DRM to files. You may have strict controls on your most sensitive documents, with looser controls on other material as long as you limit users’ ability to edit, print, forward or copy/paste the content.

Final Thoughts

How many companies do you know of that have made using Dropbox a policy for their organization?

Remember, Dropbox and Google Drive are designed for consumers and small- to medium-sized businesses without dedicated IT departments — not enterprise clients. Such solutions aren’t designed to provide the high-level control and end-to-end security that CISOs and other IT chiefs require.   

When you’re looking for a secure Dropbox alternative, make sure your solution encompasses everything you truly need. 

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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