Today’s increasingly mobile workforce has established a new set of requirements for access to company data. No longer bound to a company-issued PC, employees want and need the ability to access and share their files on their favorite devices, from any location.
This has led many users to adopt cloud-based file sync and share solutions — often without the approval of IT. These services are popular because they are typically free and make it easy to store, access and share files in the cloud. Trouble is, consumer-grade file sync and share services lack effective protections against security breaches and data leakage. They also put organizations at risk of regulatory compliance violations.
As with other “shadow IT” solutions, users typically create personal accounts for file sync and share services. IT has no way of knowing that these accounts exist or what is stored in them, and cannot protect and manage the data. Because these services allow users to sync files across multiple devices, they create multiple vectors for data loss. And employees who leave the company will still have access to company data stored in these personal accounts.
Because consumer-grade file sync and share services create headaches for IT and the business, there is a tendency to try to ban their use. However, the ready availability of cloud-based services have made it all too easy for users to circumvent these kinds of policies. Instead, organizations should implement a secure, enterprise-class file sync and share solution that is controlled and managed IT.
There are a number of enterprise file sync and share solutions on the market, including public-, private- and hybrid-cloud options. In selecting a platform look for:
- A convenient, cloud-like user experience
- Centralized administration
- Active Directory integration
- User and group policies
- Visibility into where data is stored
- Strong security
Microsoft OneDrive for Business delivers all the capabilities you need for enterprise file sync and share. It provides a familiar Microsoft experience and tight integration with Windows 10 and Office productivity apps. It enables users to access and share their files across iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices as well as a browser-based interface. Users can set permissions for viewing and editing individual files, and build a team site with access control, rights protection and document archival capabilities.
IT maintains control over user credentials and permissions, service-level security and compliance processes. Industry-leading security features — including data loss prevention, advanced threat protection and machine learning — are baked into the platform.
Best of all, if your organization has adopted Office 365, your users already have access to OneDrive along with 1TB of file storage. OneDrive can also be provisioned as a standalone service.
In a recent Gartner survey, 78 percent of respondents said that their organizations were using Office 365 or planning to do so in the near term. The top drivers for Office 365 adoption are Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business and Office 365 ProPlus apps. As organizations recognize the critical importance of enterprise file sync and share, OneDrive is emerging as the “no-brainer” solution that delivers the features users want in a platform that’s secure, highly available and easy for IT to manage and control.
Written and composed by our Practice Director, Collaboration and Content, Troy Brittain