It’s never been easier to share a file with somebody over the internet. Almost every platform has file sharing included. However, sharing files securely is a completely different thing. Many people make mistakes because they want to finish a job faster, leading to a data breach that costs millions of dollars to repair.
Cyberattackers are constantly on the lookout for data leaks, especially if they come from reputable and well-known companies. That way, they can strike two birds with one stone. They can ruin the company’s reputation and get ahold of a lot of money. Here are some things you can do to make online file sharing more secure.
Don’t share files through email
The only thing that a hacker needs to hack your email address is time. Through a brute force approach, they can let an algorithm test out random passwords until they crack your account. For that reason, you need a long and complex password.
As soon as a hacker gets their hands on your inbox, they will take a look at everything inside. They’ll comb through the files you’ve shared and might log in to a few platforms you constantly use. If they break into your work email, that’s like winning the lottery!
Email scamming is still the most rampant form of cyberattack, and you can easily fall for a phishing scam or by clicking on a malicious link. Treat everything as suspicious and use a designated file-sharing software if you want to send a document to someone else.
Don’t browse the web without a VPN
When you send files via public Wi-Fi, it’s like sending a package through the post office. A lurker can look when you put it in your mailbox, and they can wait for the van to come, attack it while it’s on the road, and see what’s inside.
In the real world, that’s almost impossible to do without ending up in prison. However, in the digital world, even a teenager with an intermediate understanding of how networks work can see what you’re sending online without a trace.
That’s why using a virtual private network is essential. Think of a VPN as a tunnel where you can send information, and it goes deep underground and mixes with many other tunnels before getting to the correct destination. Multiple layers of encryption and several servers bounces ensure you’re constantly browsing in private. A VPN for Chrome or other browser is everything you need to be safe online.
Set permissions for accessing files
Not every department needs to have access to confidential files. It’s easy to set up a system where you give permissions to a group of employees over folders and files. Here’s a simple example.
During the recruitment process, your HR staff will deal with many resumes, cover letters, and sensitive data of future employees. There’s no reason for the senior managers to have access to that information. Limit those folders only to the HR staff. That way, even if a senior manager’s account becomes compromised, a hacker won’t be able to do much with it.
The accounting department needs to be the only one who handles finances. That way, you’re limiting breach damage even before it happens. Having a hierarchical structure makes it easier to understand what everyone is doing, and it’s the best way to maintain a high level of security.
Train your staff
Whenever you bring new technology to the workplace, it’s usually met with criticism, negativity, and pushback. However, if you explain it well and show the massive benefits, that will slowly turn to adoption.
There’s always a learning curve when you try to switch things up from how you’ve always done them. File sharing is easy and simple. If you don’t explain the security aspect, your employees will quickly find a turnaround.
Delete expired files
A lot of companies think that they should store data forever. That makes no sense because you’ll have thousands of files floating around without a purpose. Instead, have an availability window for your departments to review and use specific files. After that window closes, they won’t have access to the files, making it impossible for a hacker to do the same.