Anyone with a computer running Windows 8 can secure files. Users can encrypt individual folders and files, or even secure an entire drive using Microsoft's BitLocker encryption. The encryption technology is definitely secure and users have total control to encrypt and then unencrypt files. That's the problem - users should not be able to control the security of business files.
Users Control Encryption on Windows 8
Microsoft has a couple of different ways to encrypt files. One method is to change the properties of a file or folder to an encrypted status. The other way is to encrypt an entire drive using their BitLocker encryption protocol. If you're looking for a how-to, it's right here.
The only problem with securing files on Windows 8 is that individual users are in charge of doing it.
What's the issue?
What someone does on their home computer is very different than a user on a business system. The security of a business system and its assets should never be determined by individual users.
System administrators walk a fine line between allowing users the flexibility they need to do their jobs and protecting access to the network. As more unmonitored devices come into the workplace — smartphone, tablets — security concerns have ratcheted up.
When you encrypt a drive, for example, you are using a key pair authentication process. Not a password, but a more secure encryption method involving long strings of random characters way beyond human memory.
If the encryption keys get deleted or lost (and haven't been backed up), there is no way to unencrypt the files. On the other hand, the user can suspend the encryption anytime he or she chooses.
Imagine a disgruntled employee or even someone who forgets to reset the encryption before going on vacation. Plus, if someone moves the files to a different drive, they are immediately unencrypted.
There's no real security in that.
A better solution
Providing secure tools and setting comprehensive policy on their use is the best way businesses can keep files secure.
At ShareFile, our customers use cloud-based storage to securely manage company documents. Our encryption standards are the strongest available and our SSAE 16 audited data centers are impenetrable.
When you set up your account, we'll get your email encrypted with a simple app for Outlook or Gmail. Users won't notice a thing, so no training issues.
Once your files are online, there are 25 security settings. You decide who can view, edit, comment, copy or print. Plus, you can pull reports that monitor every transaction.
Lastly, you get customer support 24/7. Real people, real answers.
We commend people for wanting to secure files on Windows 8 or any other operating system. But we recommend securing all your business assets, without leaving it to the discretion of individual users.
Check out our free, 30-day trial. We think you'll like what you find.