19 June, 2023

Email is the go-to platform for sharing documents with co-workers and clients, used 92 percent of the time. Email became the document-sharing medium of choice back in the 1990’s, and the habit continues.

However, the world has changed. Email-based cyber attacks increased by 48% in 2022. The FBI reports that 90% of successful cyberattacks now originate from email breaches, following a 400% rise in phishing attacks over 2021 rates. Cisco’s latest Cybersecurity Threat Trend Report indicates that the trend continues in 2023.

In response to increased cybercrime and the growing public liability that vast databases of confidential sensitive, personally identifiable information (PII) represent, the federal government has moved to tighten existing data privacy regulations. According to the latest FTC Safeguards Rule, businesses must “protect by encryption all customer information held or transmitted by you both in transit over external networks and at rest,” or risk serious legal consequences.

With the cost of an enterprise data breach now averaging $9.44 million, businesses should ask themselves whether they can expect to send documents securely via Gmail and other email platforms commonly used by businesses.

Use the Cloud to Share Documents Securely

With Gmail, Outlook, and other popular business software providers, an email sent without special precautions is not truly secure. These email providers, as well as apps for instant messages and voice over IP (VOIP), use standard Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption by default. TLS provides sufficient protection for many of the messages exchanged for business or personal use.

However, TLS does not guarantee that encryption will remain in place during transit to the recipient’s email provider, so is not a true enterprise-grade security protocol for confidential business documents. At risk are documents that contain financial reports, employee records, healthcare data, legal agreements or disputes, and other highly confidential information.

In the face of this data, it’s clear that businesses need a smarter, more secure file-sharing approach: the cloud.

A cloud-based file-sharing platform is the digital equivalent of having an on-site server, where employees can upload and share confidential information. One advantage is that it is a central hub, serving as an online repository for files, photos, videos, and other media. A company has multiple options in choosing a cloud storage provider, including Google Drive, Microsoft SharePoint & OneDrive, and popular file-sharing apps like DropBox and Box, and ShareVault.

With a cloud-based file sharing platform, the team can access files from any device – PC or Mac, desktop or laptop or phone and mobile device – and from any internet-based location in the world. With a quality provider, cloud-based archives are protected by multiple levels of encryption, and access is carefully controlled by invitation-only authorizations and such protocols as two-factor passwords and retention of device IP addresses.

Another advantage of cloud-based file storage is file size. While day-to-day email messages are generally small files, attachments can be much larger. However, all email services set a limit to the total size of attachments in an email, typically 25 MB. Again, the answer is in the cloud: files of any size can be uploaded into the document repository for an easy one-step download by the appropriate party. And with a quality storage provider like ShareVault, there is no limit to the number of flies that can be archived in its virtual data room (VDR).

Multiple Levels of Cloud Storage Security

While cloud services like Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox allow you to share files using a link, the provider retains the encryption keys. Consequently, your company does not have full control over who might gain access to your sensitive data.

By contrast, when files are accessed and shared using ShareVault, your company has full control over all documents and any links to them. ShareVault automatically encrypts every document, and only the VDR administrator and authorized users can access files and data.

In addition to encryption and access controls, the ShareVault VDR administrator has additional user access and usage controls:

  • Defined usage for each user, such as read-only, print, take a screenshot.
  • Expiration date for access, since the right to access files can change over time
  • Remote “shredding” of documents, even those that have been downloaded
  • Dynamic watermarking, which can be applied to any document

Not Just Secure but Also Easy to Use

While cloud storage security protocols make sharing files a bit more complicated than simply sending them via email, most users adapt quickly: log in, then go about your business as usual.

The role of administrator is more complicated. However, a quality provider like ShareVault eases his or her responsibilities with a slew of labor-saving features:

  • An intuitive interface
  • Drag-and-drop uploading
  • Integration with DropBox, Box, Google Drive, Microsoft SharePoint & OneDrive for fast file transfers
  • Hierarchical Tags, a hashtag that allows a file to appear in multiple folders without the need to produce duplicate copies of the original document
  • Advanced Search, with synopses that show the keyword in context
  • Favorites - a document designation for much-used documents
  • Q&A - A module within the virtual data room where team members can pose questions and receive replies from designated experts.

To ensure productive use of the ShareVault VDR, ShareVault provides an experienced and responsive customer service support team, available 24/7/365.

Email Document Sharing is Passe. Make the Move to Cloud-based ShareVault

Use email to keep in touch with clients, schedule a team meeting, find a good restaurant near the convention center – but not for sharing confidential documents.

A cloud-based platform provides document security that email lacks. For the full package—an easy-to-use platform with time-saving features and unlimited document storage—choose ShareVault.

Since each company has unique document storage and security needs, ShareVault feature sets and pricing are customized to fit your company. To receive a customized ShareVault proposal, contact us today!

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