IT teams around the world know significant amounts of valuable corporate data are leaving their organization every day. They often can’t be sure where it’s going. They can’t be sure what it is. But they know who’s doing it.
Is this the work of shadowy hackers intent on stealing their corporate secrets? Or perhaps rogue governments or intelligence agencies?
No – it’s confidential corporate information their own employees are happily sending out onto the web via consumer-grade cloud file sharing and storage services like Dropbox, Box and Google Drive every day. Done without a second thought. Without malicious intent. Done to get their job, well, done.
This is a major worry for IT teams. They often have legal and regulatory responsibility for it too. Not to mention they are required by the organization itself to act as guardians for this highly valuable data.
So why is this happening?
The files users need to share to be productive are growing in size significantly. Video, graphics, audio, PDFs, databases and ever larger documents have become commonplace.
As a result, we have seen a major bloat in the storage enterprises have to put on their networks to cope with the data explosion they are seeing. Not to mention rampant inflation in the cost of network and email infrastructure. Now this is good for on-premise networking and storage vendors but it’s bad news for IT teams. More bandwidth and storage means more infrastructure, cost and complexity.
It also means more traffic on an already strained email infrastructure and networks. The file size limitations the IT team put on email to help are now often too small for users’ needs. This is a cause of daily frustration for employees.
So end-users turn in droves to cloud storage or file sharing services out on the public, unsecured web to get around these limitations. They circumvent corporate IT and data policies to get their job done. It’s hard not to sympathize. But in the process they are giving their already hard-pressed IT, security and compliance teams headaches.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have the best of both worlds. You can allow users to send large files easily and do it securely, complying with your corporate IT and data security and content policies.
We just updated Mimecast Large File Send (LFS), a service we originally launched in July 2013 to tackle this very issue.
LFS still enables users to send and receive large files securely from within their email client without contravening IT and data polices. They can send and receive these files internally and externally, even with non-Mimecast users, safe in the knowledge they are protected by the Mimecast secure cloud platform. Staying within the rules their company has in place to protect data.
In Outlook or our new Mimecast for Mac app, they simply attach the file and send. Mimecast does the rest. In fact, the user won’t even have to consider the size of the file – they just send it in the normal way, and LFS does the rest.
If we’re to lure our end-users away from familiar services like Dropbox and back into our corporate control, we need to make sure their experience is a good and easier one. Well with LFS, it couldn’t be simpler. They just send an email as usual, from within Outlook. No more need to come out of email, go to the web, log in to one of many cloud services they use, upload or download a file, make changes, and repeat ad nauseam.
For the IT team it means all data is accounted for, fully discoverable, and subject to corporate DLP policies. More than that, the large files aren’t even sitting on their own corporate infrastructure either. They save on all that storage and email infrastructure, and related management headaches. They don’t have huge files zipping around clogging up their network.
So the IT teams become the heroes. End users get a much better and safer way of sharing large files. The compliance officer knows all that corporate data is safe, traceable and all communication is e-discoverable.
In one step, you can stop the compliance and potential data loss menace these unauthorized or unsecure cloud file sharing services represent and be popular at the same time. What’s not to like about that?