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By Sajesh Krishnadas, Associate, Product Management at Vembu Technologies
December 28, 2012

Vembu Online Data Backup Expert Tips: File Sharing in a Geographically Distributed Organization using Cloud

The transition from the local area network to the Global network – namely the Internet— has not been simple.  There are apprehensions and insecurities that have to be handled, and fear-inducing cyber-crimes to be reviewed and lessons learnt.  Potential crimes have to be envisaged, prevented, and protected against. Disaster recovery protocols to be planned, users educated, and security policies strictly implemented. In this background, the concept of file sharing and collaboration often raise innumerable specters and fears in the minds of CIOs entrusted with the task of maintaining the security of business information.

The reality is that file sharing and collaboration is as old as computing itself. The first computers were designed to facilitate communication and collaboration! File sharing, therefore, cannot be prevented. It can be regulated and managed. Risks should be identified and security systems should be built to counter these risks.

Cloud systems consequently face a number of challenges in the context of file sharing and collaboration. In fact, the cloud solutions have been acclaimed as the best method of solving many of the challenges that are faced by IT today. Traditional file sharing services allow sharing of files and folders within the VPN using some kind of Document management system. The file sharing systems take data from behind the VPN and serve it up with synchronization to mobile workers, who want to access the data from anywhere, anytime. Cloud services are using public, private or hybrid cloud to achieve this without compromising security. They facilitate the download of data to all kinds of endpoint devices and data is kept highly available at all times using data replication and data mirroring to geographically dispersed users.

So, security is a challenge, but not an unresolved problem. Each file sharing and collaboration solution is hedged around with appropriate intrusion detection and policy based data protection systems. There are not many technical features to contend with. It is seen more as an administrative issue than a technical one. The connections between the computing devices and the cloud system are established using agent based or agentless protocols. A system administrator sets up rights and permissions for users from a central console using the administrative interface. The file sharing solutions also integrate with Active Directory Services to import and fetch the user information instead of manually creating the users. Once permissions have been granted, users can simply login and connect to the system by entering their user id and password for authentication and authorization. They can collaborate with other users on files or send out invites to users outside the network giving them the URL for calling up the file from within the VPN. Data is encrypted at the point of transmission to the cloud server and unauthorized/uninvited users cannot access or read the data without the encryption key.

About the Author: Sajesh Krishnadas – Product Management – SyncBlaze, Vembu Technologies. SyncBlaze is a comprehensive file sharing, sync and collaboration solution aimed exclusively for MSPs and Resellers who would like to offer it as a value added service for their business customers. It enables business users to stay connected from anywhere & anytime, share effortlessly and work smarter to get things done.

 

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