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Online file-sharing programs meet some of business's biggest challenges

Online file sharing programs have improved the way that many businesses share and store files, allowing companies to abandon unorganized and time consuming pen-and-paper systems. Citrix ShareFile develops an online file sharing program that meets the needs of a wide range of industries — from accounting and health care to engineering and real estate.

Why choose ShareFile?

With so many file-sharing programs on the market, how do you know you are choosing the right one for your business? ShareFile helps solve the challenges of several pain points, including mobility and ease of use, security and user management. 


Remember the days of locking away your confidential files in a filing cabinet? Today, most businesses have moved away from analog filing systems and have graduated to digital options that don't take up any space and are easy to organize. 

But going digital can be risky if you don't choose a file-hosting company that provides the best security options. According to a study conducted by Kaspersky Lab

On average, it costs more than half a million US dollars to recover from a security breach for an enterprise. The average expected loss for SMBs [small businesses] is $38,000. These are only direct losses: money businesses have to allocate to pay for professional services, to cover lost contracts and downtime. Indirect damages, i.e. the budget businesses have to allocate for additional staff hiring and training, infrastructure upgrades etc. are on average $69,000 for large businesses and $8000 for SMBs.

So, what happens to these companies after a security breach? How do they recover from the damage done to their image and bottom line? The article mentioned above goes on to say,

Professional services do not always mean hiring external IT professionals to help mitigate a security breach. Although this is the most frequently used measure, many companies have to allocate funds to hire risk management consultants and lawyers. About a quarter of security incidents require help from PR consultants, thus indicating that a breach has become known to public. 

After the security breach, most businesses try to prevent such incidents from happening in the future. This too requires extra budget, although this cannot be directly attributed to a security breach recovery. 75% of security breaches led to these unexpected expenses.

Rather than wait for a security breach to happen and then having to spend large amounts of time and money to recover, businesses would be better off investing in high-level security from the beginning. 

The business file sharing software developed by ShareFile includes several security features for businesses, including:

  • High-grade encryption — ShareFile secures files in transit with no less than 128-bit encryption and protects files at rest using AES 256-bit encryption, which is the same protocol used by the U.S. government to keep highly classified files secure
  • Firewalls — Our securely configured firewalls effectively control and limit access to network segments to help ensure files are protected during processing 
  • Redundant storage — Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers ensure high file durability and availability 
  • File retention — Users have the option to automatically delete files within a certain number of days after upload to support company policies and retention preferences
  • Remote wipe — ShareFile users can remotely wipe or lock data from a lost or stolen device
  • HIPAA — ShareFile supports your organization's HIPAA compliance and will sign a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement upon request
  • View-only permission — By making a file view-only, other users will not be able to download, print or save the file to their computer 

User management 

A common complaint of businesses is that the file-sharing solution that they've integrated into their organization is limited in its ability to manage data, retrieve lost passwords and monitor user access. The ShareFile User Management Tool enables you to create distribution groups and provision user accounts as well as monitor account access and history.

The following video goes into more detail about ShareFile Enterprise user management and authentication.

ShareFile is a secure online service that lets you store, sync and share files, whether those files are in the cloud or on premises. One of the issues, of course, with Software as a Service (SaaS), is that you don't want your users to have to remember yet another user name and password for logging on. So a feature of ShareFile Enterprise is that we can integrate with your existing enterprise credentials for single sign-on. Let's take a look at how that works.

Inside your network, you have active directory (AD) configured with all of your users and group information. And these are the credentials that you want users to use whenever they sign on. ShareFile provides a tool called the User Management Tool (UMT). The UMT connects to active directory and synchronizes user and group information. So it can know which users and groups you want to be enabled for ShareFile and then automatically provision and de-provision those groups into the ShareFile cloud. 

Now of course we are not sending passwords up into the cloud — only first name, last name, email address — so that ShareFile knows which users to expect. 

When a user signs on, we want them to log on with their active directory password. So how does that work? When a user runs ShareFile on their mobile device, ShareFile will redirect that user to go log on to a SAML identity provider that you can configure in your DMZ. This SAML identity provider can be something like Microsoft ADFS, Ping Identity or anything that supports SAML. When the user logs in, they'll be logging in with their active directory user name and password.

Once that is successful, the SAML IDP will provide an assertion that is digitally signed, and that is presented back up to ShareFile, so that ShareFile knows that the user successfully authenticated. That is how we tie in to the active directory password, but you don't want your users to have to log on with their password every time they run the app on a mobile device. 

After the authentication is successful, ShareFile will place an OAuth token on the user's device. You can think of this token like a persistent cookie that lives for a configurable number of days. It can be seven days, 30 days, however frequently you want the users to reenter their password is the lifespan of that token.

When a user leaves the organization, the user management tool will take care of de-provisioning the user account out of ShareFile, and ShareFile will revoke any of the access tokens that have been issued to that user's devices.   

Mobility and ease of use

Today, having a digital file-sharing tool for business isn't worth much if it's not accessible from users' smartphones and other mobile devices. With so much of your personal and business life existing in the cloud, it only makes sense that your files should be managed in the cloud as well. 

Unfortunately, many businesses are apprehensive about investing in cloud technology because they fear it will be too expensive. According to an article entitled "Is Cloud Computing Really Cheaper?", Forbes contributor Reuven Cohen makes this argument: 

The true value of cloud computing may very well go beyond the specific dollars and cents that are actually spent, but instead it seems to hit at the heart of innovation. And moreover, this potentially un-quantifiable value that innovation gives a company or organization. The ability to do things that were not possible before is a primary driver. When looking at the question from an empowerment point of view, the value proposition quickly changes from how much does it cost, to what value does it create?

Creating value for businesses is a top priority for ShareFile. Our cloud-based file-sharing software not only enables users to work from anywhere, but requires little to no in-house IT implementation or management. In fact, a ShareFile onboarding specialist can help you set up and customize your ShareFile account to ensure a fast and efficient deployment. We call this White Glove Setup.

During White Glove Setup, you and your team will receive customized training that includes:

  • An introduction to the Power Tools available for download
  • An overview of employee and client user roles and web-based application
  • An overview of account reporting and administration
  • A better understanding of implementation strategies

Start sharing files today

ShareFile offers a free, no obligation 30-day trial to new ShareFile users. To sign up, fill out this form and then follow the prompts on your screen. Once you are finished registering, you will be brought to the ShareFile welcome screen that looks like this:


ShareFile Welcome Screen, How to Save files online

From this screen, you can upload files to your ShareFile account, share files with others, create new folders and manage account settings. The following videos will provide you with a brief overview of ShareFile as well as step-by-step instructions for uploading and sharing files. 

ShareFile overview

In your line of work, you have to share and send files constantly — big ones and confidential ones and everything in between. That's a reality, and it's really annoying, since your employees are stuck sending documents through the mail, waiting on FTP sites to load or encountering error messages that say "File size too big." 

And any time that you have to send something that is top secret, it has to be transferred securely, and standard FTP transfers aren't exactly secure. On top of all this, even when FTP services do their job, they are plastered with their logo and branding, not yours. 

What if you could send these files — even the large ones — as easily as you send an email, with your branding, and with complete security? How much more efficient would your business be? ShareFile is a file exchange solution that does exactly that. Instead of resorting to old time-sucking and expensive methods of sending files like snail mail, FTP exchange and courier services, you can exchange files with your clients quickly and securely. 

  • With ShareFile's easy-to-use interface, you can set up a web portal with your own branding that can be accessed through any browser or through tools that can be downloaded directly to your desktop.
  • Our Microsoft Outlook plugin and file sync capabilities let you share files without ever interrupting the way you like to work. And the ShareFile mobile apps make sure you never miss a beat — or a file. 
  • Since all of your data lives in ShareFile state-of-the-art data centers, security risks can be a thing of the past. 
  • You get a dedicated account manager and best in class customer support. 

If you still have questions about ShareFile, we are available to assist you 24/7. Call or email us today!

Ready to try ShareFile? It's free for 30 days. No credit card required.

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