How to Secure Microsoft SharePoint

By Shane Buckley  |  Posted 2009-04-29 Print this article Print

Enterprises are increasingly turning to affordable collaboration tools such as Microsoft SharePoint to meet the needs of rapid and secure collaboration among their employees, partners and customers. Knowledge Center contributor Shane Buckley explains how IT administrators can secure Microsoft SharePoint in their organization to keep up with security and compliance demands.

Microsoft SharePoint. These are two words that conjure up both relief and fear. First, the relief: with over 85 million licenses sold and $1 billion in sales, it's clear that organizations are rapidly embracing Microsoft SharePoint as an affordable technology that can solve the not-so-insignificant challenges of secure collaboration.

Second, the fear: Microsoft SharePoint servers are being deployed so rapidly that IT can't keep up with the security, compliance and risk considerations.

Consider this: A sales department hit with budget cuts and resource reductions turns to the IT department to help it streamline the document-sharing process with partners and customers. IT deploys a sales sub site on a Microsoft SharePoint server that's also home to human resources, marketing and other corporate sub sites. The sales department then creates partner and customer folders on its site.

Business and revenue objectives demand that document sharing begin immediately, so IT grants partners and customers immediate access to the sales site. In fact, access is opened so fast that IT doesn't have time to implement a policy restricting partners from accessing other sub sites and documents hosted on the server. In this case (an all-too-common occurrence today), channel and customer objectives are being met while security and compliance policies are exposed.

There is certainly a level of trust between the organization, its partners and customers. But the fact that outside entities now have access to different department sub sites and file shares clearly presents a security and compliance issue. With cutbacks and the drive to keep channel and customer revenue flowing, how can IT possibly hope to keep up with security and compliance?

Fortunately, for organizations turning to collaboration tools such as Microsoft SharePoint, there are many cost-effective security and compliance solutions that respond to the demands of rapid and secure collaboration. Unfortunately, these products and their marketing messages are hitting the street at such a furious pace that it's hard to keep up with what's real and what's hype.

Shane Buckley is President and CEO of Rohati Systems, Inc. He has more than 20 years of global executive and general management expertise, having held senior executive positions in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Before taking the helm at Rohati, Shane served as COO at Nevis Networks, Inc., a leader in network access control. Prior to that, he was VP of Worldwide Operations for Juniper Networks. Before that, he served as the International President of Peribit Networks, the leader in Network Optimization. Juniper Networks purchased Peribit in June 2005 for $385 million. Prior to Peribit, Shane served as CEO of Conduit Software, a provider of Directory Assistance and Wireless Applications solutions. Before that, he was VP, EMEA at 3Com. In this role, he managed a $2.2 billion business unit and was responsible for 3Com's distribution strategy, OEM partnerships and reseller channels. Shane also chaired 3Com's Global Distribution Council, was a member of the company's worldwide OEM steering team, and served as 3Com's head of operations for the Asia-Pacific Region based in Hong Kong and Tokyo. Shane is a frequent speaker at high-level industry trade shows and events such as Gitex, CeBIT, and The Wall Street Journal Europe conference. He has also contributed to many magazines and news programs, including MSNBC, SABC and Middle East Business news. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering from the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland. He can be reached at

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