Controlled file-sharing gives you a way to control the content and collaterals that you and your organization share. It can play a crucial part when it comes to maintaining data privacy and regulatory compliance, in a time when file-sharing risks pile up and the regulatory landscape is ever-changing. In this post, we will give you a brief introduction to controlled file-sharing, the risks it can help mitigate and why it is especially important right now.
Most of us probably share files on a daily basis. It is so commonplace that we oftentimes don’t think twice about it, or consider the risks involved. Risks that have only grown with the rise of remote work.
Just think about it: nowadays, teams scattered across different geographical locations depend on platforms like Microsoft Teams, Dropbox, Google Drive and countless others to share critical documents, collaborate on projects, and communicate seamlessly. Some even use these same tools to share files with external parties, and many people have local copies of files on their computers and phones. Something that can cause a risk for a multitude of reasons.
For example, someone who should not have access to certain files may have it anyway – either because access rights haven’t been properly removed or because the files have been downloaded locally. Even worse, if someone shares files with customers using email or other tools that lack neccessary features for controlling the files that are shared, your organization effectively loses control over them. Which, in turn, may mean that they end up in the wrong hands, or that a customer uses an outdated version of a file.
Navigating file-sharing regulations
If you’re in an industry that is heavily regulated, like life science, you are probably well aware of these risks. You may have heard horror stories where a sales rep has outdated product material on their computer, shares it with a customer and causes said customer to act on faulty information. You have lived with regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and have long worked under rigid rules that dictate what is shared and with whom. You probably already have practices in place for making sure that regulations are followed, and might even be planning to invest in tools that can mitigate the risk of a regulatory breach.
That said, the regulatory landscape is ever-evolving and more and more regulations are being applied to more and more industries. Laws like the European, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as well as a variety of industry-specific regulations, place stringent requirements on how organizations at large handle, store, and share data. In other words, it is not only heavily regulated industries that need to pay attention to the risks of file sharing, even if these industries should probably be extra mindful of them.
What is controlled file-sharing?
We see controlled file-sharing as a tool or practice that helps you stay in total control of your file-sharing. In other words, it is a structure and tool that gives you a foundation to adher to regulations, make sure that only those who should have access to something has access to it – and that the files that are shared are always accurate and updated. I.e. controlled file-sharing means that you can take control of what has previously been uncontrollable, and mitigate the risks that come with sharing files.
Why is controlled file-sharing important?
When it comes to ensuring your compliancy, controlled file sharing has become more than a buzzword. In fact, one could view it as a kind of foundation for compliancy. Why? Well, it’s an excellent way for organizations to ensure
- Regulatory Compliance: Controlled file-sharing can help you make sure that all the files your organization shares follow data-privacy regulations as well as industry-specific compliance requirements. With that, it can enable you with strict access controls, detailed audit trails, and encryption to protect sensitive data.
- Data Security: By controlling how your files are shared, you can mitigate the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks. It empowers you to enforce access permissions, keep an eye on file activity and prevent any unauthorized sharing of confidential information.
- Trust and Reputation: We probably don’t have to tell you that trust and reputation are invaluable assets. Just imagine, for example, the loss of trust that can come if a life-science company accidentally shares faulty or outdated information (on top of the regulatory breach that can come from the same thing), or the loss of business that can come as a consequence. A controlled file-sharing can help your organization maintain trust by demonstrating a total commitment to data privacy and accuracy – and by helping you make sure that no one shares anything that shouldn’t be shared.
- Efficient Collaboration: Contrary to popular belief, a controlled file-sharing can actually enhance your collaboration within your company – as well as with partners and customers. After all, secure and compliant sharing mechanisms can help you foster an environment where teams collaborate with total confidence. Knowing that the files and information they are working with are always accurate and that their data is always safe.
How to share files with total control
By finding a tool or platform that can give you and your organization total control over your file sharing, everyone involved can have total confidence in the security of files and data. I.e. by implementing a suitable tool that helps you store and share catalogs of files, with a robust version control and access rights, you can make sure that you comply with regulations. Including GDPR, HIPAA – and the regulations that apply to your unique industry.
Of course, having a controlled file-sharing doesn’t automatically make you compliant to regulations. That said, it can give you the foundation you need to maintain compliancy and data security and mitigate the risk of a regulatory breach. Which is a great starting point, if you ask us.
SP_CE gives you a way to share large amounts of files with total control. Our platform offers a robust version control and a quick way to add or remove access to a certain catalog – while making sure that your sales-and marketing teams can always share the right information and material with partners and customers. Contact us to see how it works.