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You have a handle on BYOD, but what about BYOFS?

Why your organization needs to be aware of the risks of online file sharing services
by Barrett Coakley, Director of Product Marketing

There has been a lot of talk about employees bringing their own devices (BYOD), like smart phones and tablets, to work. At first, IT groups were troubled by BYOD due to the need to support multiple devices, not to mention the lack of control which presents security risks. By now, however, BYOD is more the norm and IT has developed methods to secure their networks and support all these different devices.

A new threat has recently emerged where employees are “bringing” their own online file sharing service to work (BYOFS). In other words, they are using online file sharing services to store and distribute corporate documents, and organizations have no visibility or control over access to those services.

The BYOFS trend presents many similar headaches as BYOD did for IT, especially with regard to security of the network. However, the BYOFS is a much larger issue than BYOD, one that the C-suite (CEO, CIO, CSO) needs to proactively manage as it involves corporate assets, including valuable and irreplaceable intellectual property.

BYOFS is an extension of the BYOD trend and the larger consumerization of IT movement. Employees are using services such as Box or Dropbox for personal file storage, and because they are so easy to use they have adopted these services in the workplace as well. However, while these services might be fine for storage of low value assets, it’s a different story for high value assets. Without visibility and control, using these services presents a threat to the corporation’s intellectual property. These high value assets could be any form including some of the following:

  • Pre-released video content
  • Patent outlines
  • Product specs
  • New product training documents
  • Design images
  • Competitor information
  • Launch plans
  • Employee salaries
  • Email lists

At Signiant we are experts in moving large digital assets, mostly large media files. Storing and sharing heavy (large or high value) assets requires a different set of capabilities to ensure security and control. But without ease-of-use and reliability you will not have adoption. Implementing an enterprise-ready platform comprised of managed acceleration to handle GBs that aggregate to PBs, serious security, storage independence – including the option of keeping certain digital assets on private infrastructure, and of course a user friendly interface gives organizations flexibility and a best of both worlds solution for sharing content. This will enable collaboration and speed time to market while properly securing valuable intellectual property.

We all know how quickly technology is evolving and your organization has more options and flexibility than ever before. You don’t have to “put up with” rogue solutions for your employees. Signiant can help you be proactive and minimize risk for your organization, without compromising simplicity and reliability for your employees.

Join the conversation | Does your organization have a policy about using online file services? How are you overcoming the challenge? Tweet to @Signiant with the hashtag #BYOFS.