Sharing data over the Internet is a double-edged sword for many. On the one hand, the ability to make important documents available to customers, business partners or colleagues within seconds saves considerable time and money. On the other hand, sending data over the Internet always involves certain security risks. In our blog, we explain how to keep data transmission secure while still offering maximum flexibility.
Safe processes are the key to success
More important than all technical approaches is a deeply rooted awareness of the responsible handling of data within the company. Work processes should be designed for maximum security as far as possible and employees should be trained for secure data handling. The challenge here is that if security regulations interfere too much with the workflows and make it too difficult for users to share data with the necessary people, this increases resistance to an enterprise solution. In the worst case, this leads to evasive movements and the emergence of shadow IT within the company, which is even more difficult to control. Administrators should therefore always strive to find a reasonable balance between necessary measures and efficient workflows.
How can this be achieved? Step one: Data encryption. This increases security enormously. Depending on the type and method of encryption, the risk of unauthorized external access can already be greatly reduced. The use of TLS for e-mail or SSL for file sharing via the browser should therefore be an absolute standard in the company. However, if you want to go one step further, you can rely on genuine end-to-end encryption (E2EE) when sending data. In contrast to TLS or SSL, all shared files are only decrypted at the intended recipient endpoint. With solutions such as the epiKshare suite, using E2EE for sending mail is also convenient and easy, so that workflows within the company are not unnecessarily complicated.
Links instead of attachments
Step two: Send links instead of attachments. Especially in the corporate context, many still rely on sending files as e-mail attachments. However, this is problematic in several respects: on the one hand, attachments are still the most important attack vector for cyber criminals and are therefore no longer permitted in many organizations for security reasons. On the other hand, the attachments are immediately compromised in their entirety if the e-mail falls into the wrong hands.
The secure alternative is to send files via links to your corporate cloud. If companies also provide their cloud with their own corporate design – as is possible with ownCloud, for example – this greatly increases recipients’ confidence in the legitimacy of the attachments. In addition, organizations retain full control over shared data even after the mail has been sent. Sharing links can be deactivated retrospectively if inconsistencies occur in e-mail traffic. Files that are shared via a link can still be password protected – an additional security layer that is not possible by default for attachments. In addition, all security mechanisms of the cloud remain active when files are shared. And by the way, file size limits and problematic filters for e-mail attachments can be avoided. With epiKshare, by the way, files do not have to be stored in the cloud first. Even locally stored files can be shared with just a few clicks. Uploading files to your ownCloud is handled by epiKshare all by itself.
Time limited access
Step three: Limiting access to shared files for a limited time is another way to avoid security risks in file sharing. This shows another important advantage of sharing via link: Companies can set a time frame in advance after which the recipient of the shared data can no longer access it. This considerably reduces the need for follow-up work, since files once shared automatically lose their validity after a certain period of time and do not have to be made inaccessible manually.
Secure & flexible file sharing with epiKshare
Sharing files easily and securely has always been the basic idea behind epiKshare Suite. The solution gives you all the tools you need to send data directly from Outlook via your ownCloud. It is particularly easy to use and integrates seamlessly into existing workflows. In addition, you can edit attachments once they have been sent at any time later by removing or adding files. This makes sending many subsequent e-mails obsolete, for example if you have forgotten a document in the attachment. In addition, data sharing with epiKshare is particularly secure: shared attachments can only be viewed by people who have the necessary credentials. In addition to SSL encrypted transmission, all your data is end-to-end encrypted. If required, you can also add a validity restriction to all attachments, thus limiting access to them for a limited time.