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“Protecting personal data is crucial whether you’re an individual or a business.”

Your business deals with sensitive data regularly, whether it’s customer financial information or trade secrets specific to your sector. According to statistics on data breaches, money is a major driving force behind hackers’ desire to obtain data, and personal information is one of the most valuable types of data to infiltrate.

According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million and is steadily increasing. In light of these findings, engaging in proactive data security is critical.

Even though breaches are happening frequently now, it is also clear that businesses are still not adequately prepared for them. It is crucial to have secure file sharing for business documents, customer information, and SaaS data. But when you need to share these valuable resources with others, how can you do so without compromising your organization’s security?

Secure file sharing is essential for safeguarding the clients and reputation of your business. Securely sharing sensitive files can be accomplished by using tools such as Anchor. It assembles transparent protection into the data itself, so it becomes self-protecting, allowing businesses to work unhindered without sacrificing security.

Let’s dive in to see how to safely secure files.

6 Recommended Ways to Share Your Files Securely

“Whether your data is in transit or at rest, it’s vital to remember that neither state is secure. Data must be protected in both states, and encryption plays a major role!” ~Steve Prentice

The process of safely sharing files is not always simple. You must overcome the obstacles presented by an environment for cybersecurity that is getting more sophisticated and navigate all the vulnerabilities. After all, document transfers are crucial to your business, so you cannot afford to take any chances.

We hope that the information provided in this resource will make secure file sharing for your business an area you can be more confident in.

Encrypt A File

Encryption is the best method for securely sharing files. This means the file becomes unreadable until it’s decrypted. Only those with the encryption key can access it. Therefore, File encryption is a great way to ensure that your data is safe, even if it falls into the wrong hands.

Even though you may already have several security precautions (including encryption) in place when you upload files to the cloud, it is still preferable to encrypt them locally first (via disk based encryption). 

Usually, encryption takes place at two levels. One is full disk encryption, and the other is file-based decryption. The latter fills the gaps where disk encryption lacks. File-based encryption encrypts discrete files rather than the whole disk. It’s more robust as it provides an additional layer of security, requiring a dedicated effort to crack. You can safely encrypt files and folders with various file encryption software and tools. 

Encrypt your data before moving it online. Whether you are transferring data to a backup storage drive or uploading it to the cloud, you must ensure to encrypt it so no unauthorized source can access it.

Use a Password Manager & Enable 2FA

2fa encryption

While encrypting files or keeping them in cloud storage, make sure to use strong passwords, passwords that cannot be easily cracked. However, it might be difficult to remember the stronger or more complex password for every file or folder. So, make use of a password manager to ensure robust security. 

Apart from strong passwords, enhance your security by protecting your files with two-factor authentication. It’s a basic element of a zero-trust model. Moreover, a next-gen security model has evolved by building security with data on an end-to-end model. It uses a combination of 2FA and attribute-based access control to ensure that users can use data how they want but in your control. 

Adopt an Integrated File-Sharing Software

A good integrated file-sharing solution seamlessly integrates with your existing business application suite, allowing for smooth team communication. These solutions also tend to be more robust than standalone file-sharing platforms because they’re built on top of existing networks and infrastructure. 

Adopting an integrated file-sharing tool is one of the best ways to protect your data from cybercriminals. It prevents sending files to unauthorized users, as everyone on the team has a dedicated user account. 

Opt for a Robust and Simple File-Sharing System

Leveraging advanced technologies within your organization is definitely a good idea. However, technology comes at the risk of cyber attacks. Make sure to protect your data and transfer it using a simple and secure file-sharing system. If the file-sharing system is difficult to use, chances are that your data gets lost in it and becomes difficult to recover.

Always ensure to use a simple, turnkey, low-cost system to achieve state-of-the-art data security. These newer systems have shifted the paradigm from complex infrastructure security to simple file security that provides stronger protection for your sensitive data.

Adopt Secure Cloud Services

cloud data encryption

The cloud is one of the best options for secure file sharing because it lets you access your files wherever you are. Suppose you use a secure cloud service provider like: 

  • Dropbox (2GB free storage)
  • Google Drive (15GB free storage)
  • Microsoft OneDrive (5GB free storage). 

In that case, there’s no need to worry about anyone physically stealing the devices on which your data resides. You can also take additional steps to ensure your data is shared safely and securely. One such step is to use a security layer on top of the built-in cloud security, by selecting solutions that offer zero-knowledge encryption. Anchor turns a cloud storage platform into a highly secure, zero-knowledge vault with unified security, administration, and governance to make your data more secure.

Zero-knowledge cloud storage is when your provider does not have access to your files’ encryption keys because they are not their property. Therefore, the cloud storage company has no ability to know about the contents of your files. Zero knowledge cloud storage allows you to share sensitive information with others without compromising its security or privacy.

Use End-to-End Encryption

In addition to adopting secure cloud services, you should also consider end-to-end encryption for all of your sensitive documents, spreadsheets and presentations — especially those containing personal information about employees or clients that hackers could use in identity theft schemes.

File Encryption Software and How it Protects Sensitive data?

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File encryption software helps protect computer data, such as files and directories, from unwanted usage. It provides this level of security by using cryptographic techniques. These techniques make data unintelligible without the right key to unlock the files. File-based encryption helps to prevent data loss and theft. It is used by organizations of all kinds, including governments, to protect both the public and their digital data. 

Working With Encryption Software

File encryption software helps to secure your data from unauthorized access. It achieves this security level via cryptographic algorithms rendering data unreadable if the right key to decrypt or unlock data is not provided. Businesses rely on file encryption software to secure their data as it helps avoid data theft and criminal attacks.

Businesses share files to create value and collaborate with others. Use file encryption tools that provide zero-trust security at the file level- based on the user roles and context in which they try to access data. These types of encryption software periodically monitor protocols to ensure that they are met; even if a file is open, if the protocols are not all met, access will be revoked.

What Types of Businesses can Benefit from File Encryption?

business file encryption

“We think the government should be pushing for more encryption. That ‘s a great thing. You know, it’s like the sun and the air and the water.” ~Tim Cook

File encryption methods help businesses that handle sensitive data, such as credit card numbers or personal information about employees or customers. When you encrypt your files, you’re protecting your company’s assets and ensuring no one can access them without permission. 

The most common types of businesses that use file based encryption include:

  • Manufacturers – Companies in this industry often need to protect their intellectual property (IP), which provides product designs and manufacturing processes. These companies may also receive information from third-party suppliers they need to keep secure.
  • Defense Contractors – Defense contractors are required by law to protect classified government documents and communications with clients who work for the government. They often use encryption to prevent these documents from falling into the wrong hands.
  • Any Company with IP – Any company that owns IP needs to protect it from theft or misuse by competitors or other parties who might try to appropriate it for their benefit. This includes intellectual property like patents, brand names and logos, and ideas such as customer service strategies and marketing plans.
  • Healthcare Orgs with Sensitive Data – Healthcare companies are particularly vulnerable because they often use older systems that were never designed to handle this data security threat. As a result, the healthcare industry is spending more time and money than ever securing its networks and expanding its digital defenses.
  • Finance Companies – These are another example of businesses needing file encryption software because they deal with sensitive financial data daily. This includes everything from bank account information to credit card numbers and other personal information about customers who have applied for loans or credit cards.
  • Energy Companies – Energy companies also deal with sensitive data regularly as the importance of keeping power flowing throughout an entire city or state is paramount. These organizations must ensure that their systems remain secure to continue providing electricity without interruption.

Most Popular Types of File Encryption To Share Data

 

“Without strong encryption, you will be spied on systematically by lots of people.” ~Whitfield Diffie

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Hackers are figuring out ways to get around security measures just as you work to strengthen them. Your data is the prize in a competition for arms. Let’s examine common encryption techniques.

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

The symmetric encryption technique, Advanced Encryption Standard, encrypts defined blocks of data (of 128 bits) at a time. The deciphering keys are 128-, 192-, or 256-bit in length. Data is encrypted using a 256-bit key in 14 rounds, a 192-bit key in 12 rounds, and a 128-bit key in 10 rounds. Each cycle includes several stages for substitution, transposition, plaintext mixing, and other operations. 

The most popular encryption techniques today for both transit data and data at rest are AES encryption standards.

Triple DES (Data Encryption Standard)

Triple DES, or 3DES, is a block cipher that uses three keys for encryption and decryption. It is an improved version of DES and can be used in hardware and software applications. However, it is slower than other ciphers like AES or Blowfish.

Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA)

RSA encryption is the most commonly used public key cryptography system, which uses two keys: a public key and a private key. One is used to encrypt the data, while another is used to decrypt it. The owner must keep the secret key safe, while the public key can be shared with anyone who wants to communicate securely with you over the internet.

Twofish

Data blocks of 128 bits are ciphered using the license-free encryption technique called Twofish. It is regarded as the 64-bit Blowfish encryption method’s successor and is more adaptable than Threefish, its specialized successor. No matter the key size, Twofish encrypts data in 16 rounds. Some file and folder encryption software solutions still employ the Twofish encryption algorithm, even though it performs less quickly than AES.

How Secure File Encryption Can Save You From Costly Consequences?

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Here are some reasons to share an encrypted file to be saved from costly consequences.

Save You from Regulatory Fines

There are no clear requirements for data encryption under legislation like the GDPR, but “security measures and safeguards” must be implemented to preserve the privacy of the data subjects, provided they are EU nationals. Confidential data must be encrypted in accordance with some data protection laws, including HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996). As a result, the company in charge of the data may face penalties if a portable device or disc holding unencrypted ePHI is stolen or lost.

Increase Consumer Trust

Businesses could want to utilize encryption to win over customers’ trust. A recent survey found that 53% of participants were more concerned about online privacy today than they were a year ago. Advertising that your company complies with specific encryption standards could give you a competitive edge in light of the current decline in consumer trust.

Promotes Data Integrity

Encryption technology helps strengthen the integrity of the information alone, another factor to bear in mind when using it to protect data. Although encryption alone cannot ensure this, you can and should utilize it as a component of a larger plan. Using data confidently while making business decisions is simpler if you have faith in it.

According to statistics, 40% of all business activities fail to produce the desired results. This is mainly due to poor data quality. You may learn more about your clients, follow trends, and discover other things using high-quality information. Data cleansing is one strategy that businesses frequently use to increase quality, and that’s a fantastic place to start.

Find Out How to Share Your Files Securely with Anchor 

Data breaches can take a huge toll on organizations regarding financial and reputation loss. However, it’s not easy to protect shared documents and files online. Cybercriminals become more sophisticated with the advent of new technologies and develop new hacking technologies. Thus, you need to stay ahead of the game to keep your data secure. 

At Anchor, we firmly believe that complete visibility and transparency are the only means of data protection that work. You’ll be able to recognize potential data breaches immediately if you know where your most sensitive data is, who has access to it, and what people are doing with it. Additionally, you’ll be able to simplify operations, pass compliance audits, and do much more.

You must adopt a data-centric security platform to secure the sharing of business files, increase data protection, implement end-point detection and respond to threats, and satisfy compliance if you want total visibility into the security of your data.