As mobile devices continue to gain in acceptance for business use, and as more workplaces embrace the mobility of their workforce, the need for cloud-based file sharing will continue to grow.
The main thing holding back an even greater acceptance by corporate users is concern over the safety of data housed within the cloud.
They are wise to hesitate.
By nature of its dominant market share and widespread familiarity with its brand, Dropbox is often the first choice for those looking for a cloud-based file sharing utility. However, just because Dropbox is the best known offering, this does not mean it is the best choice for your business. In this piece, we will look at areas where Dropbox may fall short on protecting your data.
Probably the most contentious issue is that once you share files through a synced folder, you can not control who views the files, or who edits or deletes the files. Yes, you can limit the individuals to whom you give access to your folder, but these people can in turn invite anyone else they wish to view or edit the files and this makes your content vulnerable to unauthorized access.
Another area that should cause you concern is that Dropbox does not have the means to choose whether or not users need approval for a device to be synced. This could be a major issue should someone with permission to view your files decides to access the folder with a personal tablet. Once this unauthorized device is synced with your folders, your data is now on a non-secure device.
Dropbox also has limited capabilities when it comes to restoring accidentally deleted files; only files deleted within the last thirty days can be recovered. Anything beyond that is lost forever and this should be a major red flag to any business considering Dropbox as its system of record.
In recent months, Dropbox has struggled with widespread outages and security breaches including last August when Dropbox users who had registered with Dropbox were hit by a wave of spam. In addition, one hacking incident resulted in customer account details being stolen and leaked to the internet with threats to release more unless a ransom was paid.
In addition to these serious security and data control issues, there are other user-level shortcomings that make Dropbox difficult – or certainly inconvenient – to use as your primary file repository. Moving a folder within Dropbox is one example of need for improvement as this can cause links already made to that folder to break. Other system automatically update or redirect links to ensure existing links are updated and preserved.
It is also not possible to email a file directly to Dropbox; it’s either through your web browser or app interface. Now, there are utilities you can download that can access Dropbox, but all these third party tools that hook directly to Dropbox is one of the means by which hackers have attacked Dropbox.
This potential risk is one of the reasons the Dropbox app is one of the more commonly blacklisted iOS and Android apps by corporate firewalls and this reality must also be considered when selecting a file sharing service. After all, if you are trying to share files and your intended user’s firewall blocks access, then it’s not much use.
Don’t just settle for Dropbox because it’s the name you recognize. There are far better options out there for a business like yours – You just need a guide to help you find the one right for you. For a file sharing service that can provide you with more security and control, contact M.I.T. Consulting at (416) 250-1040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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