Overcoming SharePoint Security Challenges

01 July, 2015

One of the greatest challenges facing today’s increasingly decentralized business organization involves securing corporate information housed in internal sharing systems when it becomes necessary to share that information with parties outside the corporate firewall.

Over the last ten years, companies have increasingly adopted SharePoint™ as a platform to facilitate their internal collaboration needs. SharePoint allows employees across the enterprise to connect, to engage with other team members, to share ideas and to collaborate with colleagues in real time. Over the years, SharePoint has evolved and matured from a simple document sharing platform to being utilized as one of the most important enterprise platforms within many organizations, essentially reinventing the way people work together. Today, SharePoint is Microsoft’s most successful server software product with over 65,000 companies deploying it and with over 125 million individual users. But, SharePoint was never designed to be deployed as an extranet application; it simply does not have the functionality necessary for securely sharing confidential content with outside parties.

Companies in many different industries using SharePoint as an intranet are realizing that extranets are the next real challenge. But extranets raise critical security and privacy concerns that IT must address.

Currently there are two alternatives for sharing SharePoint information beyond the corporate firewall, but neither is ideal. The first approach is to create a SharePoint extranet. When companies take this approach they often find that after defining requirements it is determined to be too expensive and cumbersome to deploy and maintain. Also, getting budget approval and executive sponsorship can be extremely difficult because the need for an extranet was never included in the original justification and approval for SharePoint. Nor was there ever any thought given to having to invite outside users into SharePoint.

The second approach, often deployed because the first approach is problematic, is to bypass SharePoint altogether. More and more frequently employees and project teams are bypassing SharePoint in order to get their jobs done. These users are employing consumer-grade file sharing systems, FTP, or email to circulate sensitive documents. This is corporate security issue number one—rogue documents circulated by insecure means. It is at this point that corporations have lost control. They no longer have the ability to protect documents, and no way of controlling security policies or user permissions. In addition, there is no way to see who is working on what document, who is sending them out, as well as not having the ability to put content under any kind of digital rights management control.

What’s needed is a complimentary solution for existing SharePoint sites that allows organizations to secure and control sensitive documents organized and residing in SharePoint sites that need to be shared with external parties. This solution needs to be easy to use, cost effective, and able to meet the document sharing needs of companies as they look to expand their usage of SharePoint.

The ShareVault for SharePoint Solution

Years ago, ShareVault developed an intuitive, easy-to-use virtual data room that allows its customers to simply and securely share sensitive documents in the cloud during critical business practices such as M&A, due diligence and fundraising. More recently, recognizing the limitations of SharePoint when sharing sensitive documents outside the corporate firewall, we’ve incorporated a feature called ShareVault for SharePoint, which provides a seamless integration with Microsoft SharePoint so that users can easily and securely share sensitive content residing in SharePoint with third parties. There’s no software to install and there’s no need to add third parties to an Active Directory. ShareVault for SharePoint makes it easy to upload file structures and documents directly from SharePoint to ShareVault, invite external parties to view documents within ShareVault, control permissioning and policies, while automatically syncing files so everything is always current. ShareVault for SharePoint is incredibly intuitive and easy to use providing even the most non-technical SharePoint user with the ability to securely control any SharePoint document without having to burden IT.

Why ShareVault for SharePoint?

  • Securely share sensitive SharePoint content with external parties.
  • Digital Rights Management. Selectable print, copy and save document protection.
  • Dynamic watermarking including user’s email address, viewing date and time, and IP address.
  • Virtual document shredding capability. Retract access to documents even after they’ve been saved.
  • Advanced reporting. Full audit trail on all user and document activity.
  • 256-bit SSL data encryption.
  • Easy setup of external group and user access permissioning.
  • Easy setup of inter-group and user privacy.
  • No SharePoint modification required. No software to install.
  • No Active Directory required.
  • Bank-grade security.

For a free demonstration on how easy it is to seamlessly integrate existing SharePoint sites into a collaborative environment with the appropriate security and control for sharing with external parties, call ShareVault at 1.800.380.7652. Or download our white paper on the subject: