How to Securely Exchange Massive, Business-Critical Files - Page 2

Considering the options

Understanding that file transfer security is a critical component of a successful IT strategy is only the first step. It's also important to understand the different types of file transfer methods.

Physical methods

Physical methods such as media devices (for example, laptops, thumb drives, PDAs) and printed documents pose the greatest risk, as they can be easily lost or stolen. The security threat is proliferating as thousands of files can easily be stored on a 500MB USB drive. As these devices become ubiquitous, organizations need to account for the changing threats of moving physical files. Electronic file transfer can provide an audit trail and eliminate the "Where's my file?" confusion. While files moved virtually can be tracked easier than physical methods, this method can still be too problematic when trying to securely manage large amounts of data.

E-mail attachments

E-mail attachments are not a viable option because there are too many size, space, security and control issues. Generally, HTTP Secure (HTTPS) encryption is used when sending attachments via e-mail but it's simple and easy to crack. In addition, the risks escalate if a user downloads files at a coffee shop using public Internet access; the minute it's downloaded, the file is now wide open. Similarly, if e-mail is accessed via unprotected home WiFi networks, files are put at incredible risk. While a quick e-mail attachment might seem like the easiest way for employees and partners to exchange files, it can be detrimental to the organization if the proper restrictions and security measures aren't in place.