Controlled Distribution: The Essential Element in Secure Document Sharing

November 08, 2013

Post by Joe Ruck, President & CEO of BoardVantage

Today, many organizations rely on consumer tools such as Box or Dropbox for file sharing. These products offer an appealing simplicity — but that comes at a price. That same ease of distribution is also an Achilles heel because control is sacrificed along the way. And while sharing information at the right time with the right people is central to creating organizational efficiencies, sharing that same information at the wrong time or with the wrong people backfires. This is especially true when major decisions are on the line. That's why we designed our platform, so that every aspect of the collaboration chain is controlled. This preserves the benefits of file sharing and ready access to updated content, without the worry of information leaks. Here are the attributes that make this a reality.

Enterprise Sync

Desktop Sync is a popular feature in consumer apps because it treats file uploads and file sharing as if synonymous: once users upload files and sync their desktops, the new files will become instantaneously available to their colleagues. This rudimentary approach may work for casual use, but fails to address those instances, where document access needs to be tightly controlled. That's why, in Enterprise Sync, we decouple the upload function from the sharing function. Only after user permissions have been set can a particular file be shared. However once initialized, subsequent updates are auto-synced. This approach provides the benefit of instant access to updates but without the risk of inadvertent sharing with unauthorized users, an ever-present risk in Desktop Sync.

Content Segregation

Our platform architecture segregates content in separate portals which function as focal points for particular initiatives. Because these portals are ring-fenced for security, individual members only have access to the content for which they are explicitly authorized, thereby reducing the risk of sharing outside the team. At the same time, its user-friendly design lets authorized users easily switch back-and-forth between the portals without the burden of additional passwords.

Remote Purge

Not unreasonably, users on the go expect ready access to important materials even if they're out of Wi-Fi range. But there is a tension between this newfound mobility and good security, particularly with downloaded materials. Our platform tackles this challenge with the Briefcase, an encrypted folder, which functions so that any content, whether viewed online or offline, remains under central administrative control. Even if a user neglects to delete downloaded documents, or the notes on those documents, the administrator can manage that task, and purge all the content, including the notes, remotely.

By exercising control over every aspect of the collaboration chain we bridge the gap between the need to share and the need to maintain control.