The cloud storage services market has seen tremendous growth in just the last two years. Reports indicate a growth from 300 million cloud storage subscriptions in 2011 to over 500 million in 2012. The popularity and convenience of mobile devices have fueled this growth, with cloud services presenting a way for companies and their employees to share files anytime and from anywhere.
The ability to access virtually any type of document from your smartphone has been both a great tool, and a potentially serious risk. Sharing files in the cloud allows your traveling sales representatives to access their latest sales report from their tablet, and lets the exec review accounting figures from their phones. Once the files are viewed, the users can delete them and assume everything is safe.
While cloud storage services may be convenient, they also present many security vulnerabilities. One of those vulnerabilities is that unauthorized users may be able to gain access to your files stored in the cloud through your mobile phones.
A recent article published in InfoWorld details the findings of a new report that focused on the security risks of using cloud storage services like Dropbox, Box and SugarSync. It described how researchers were able to recover a variety of different files from multiple mobile devices including iPhones and Android devices, even after they had been deleted from the cloud. In addition, data about the cloud service user was also accessible via the phones.
Given how many mobile devices are lost and stolen every day, if you or your employees use a cloud storage solution to transfer sensitive data, it's possible that someone with the right expertise could access those files using your mobile device.
Two important precautions companies can take to minimize risk are to train employees to follow established security policies, and give them easy access to a secure and convenient way to share and store files.
Secure managed file transfer solutions are an excellent alternative to the cloud storage services, providing the ability to transfer files - both batch and ad-hoc -- without risk of unauthorized access. It puts the control for data security back into the hands of the IT team without compromising the workflow for employees.
Managed file transfer solutions offer many features not typically included in cloud based storage solutions like encrypted file transfer protocols, error reporting, audit trails, and support for SFTP, FTPS, and HTTPS - all important to maintain the utmost level of security.