Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Security Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, John Wetherill, Ed Featherston

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Microservices Journal, Open Source, Open Web, Security

Cloud Expo: Article

The Hidden Business CoST: Consumerization of Sharing Tools

What file and content management tools is your business using to ensure that workers have what they need?

Sharing files with friends has never been easier. Whether it is via old-school hard copy methods like CDs, DVDs and USB drives, nefarious peer-to-peer torrents like BitTorrent or new shared, private cloud storage services like Dropbox, getting a photo or music file from one person to another takes mere seconds.

The problem is that people inside businesses aren't using these services just to share personal files. They are circumventing secured content management systems like SharePoint in favor of consumer-friendly services in order to share files with third parties.

For businesses, Consumerization of Sharing Tools (CoST) can encourage insecure file sharing and the impact can be startling. WikiLeaks was the result of a failed SharePoint deployment. The user simply circumvented the SharePoint system, downloaded extremely sensitive data and made it available to the world. Of course, not all file share abuse is intended to be destructive and the majority of businesses aren't dealing with classified government cables or sensitive personal information. Most businesses, however, do want full visibility of some files, particularly who is accessing them and what they are doing with them.

According to recent research by Cryptzone, 45 percent of SharePoint users have improperly transmitted confidential business information, with 18 percent admitting to regularly doing this. With businesses generating more data than ever before - and some of that data is likely to be confidential - the likelihood of improper file sharing should be a wake-up call for IT. Before we go and blame workers for intentionally working against IT, let's take a step back and look at the IT infrastructure from their perspective.

It's a very common scenario: worker #1 discovers he doesn't have access to a particular file (in SharePoint it's still possible for files to show up in search results even if you don't have access), while worker #2 does. As a result, worker #1 simply asks worker #2 to copy the file somewhere they can both access it. The main reasons for copying documents from SharePoint are either to work from home (43 percent) or share it with third parties who don't have access (over 55 percent).

Not every worker needs (or should have) access to all company data and not all data is equal or appropriate for everyone. Defining access by title and role such that access is granted to appropriate people (i.e., worker #2 but not worker #1) is a double-edged sword: it is the most secure, auditable way to store and manage company information, but if it's not done in a way that workers understand, it encourages abuse.

To workers #1 and #2, the fact that they can see a file but not get universal access might seem like a mistake. From their perspective, they're helping the company because they're enabling more work to get done by overcoming an obstacle to productivity. To do this, workers are taking file sharing into their own hands with services they are already comfortable with outside of the office, like Dropbox.

This file sharing phenomenon didn't exist even a few years ago and it's difficult to measure the actual cost of CoST - businesses must examine the risk of data loss and security breaches according to the relative value of their data. But it's clear that in increasing numbers, businesses are fighting back.

To avoid improper file sharing and mitigate the risk of CoST, businesses are now adopting new, high-security cloud-based tools that allow IT departments to manage content effectively with the permissions, access and controls necessary for comprehensive audits, which may be required by law. This is particularly true for businesses in highly regulated industries like financial services or health care.

New content management and file sharing tools also embrace mobility and enable workers to effortlessly - and securely - get to the content that they need, no matter where they work. Next-generation content management tools also seek to make search and manual sharing a thing of the past by virtue of intelligent predictive algorithms that deliver appropriate content to workers from across the entire corporate content store. In our example, worker #1 wouldn't have to ask worker #2 for a file because if it was relevant to their work, the tool would have aggregated and curated all the content that they value from the entire data store, across departments, offices and continents, and pushed it to their desktop, laptop and mobile devices for anytime, anywhere access.

To businesses that value the security of data and the proper usage of proprietary information, CoST represents an unnecessary risk that can have serious ramifications. By using next-generation content management tools, the needs of both workers and IT can be met and a more harmonious data infrastructure can be ensured.

What file and content management tools is your business using to ensure that workers have what they need and IT remains in control of data? What strategies have worked well for your business and what hasn't? Have you ever experienced a data loss as the result of CoST?

More Stories By Andy McLoughlin

Andy McLoughlin is Co-Founder, EVP Strategy and GM USA at Huddle. He began tinkering with the web in the mid-nineties before starting his career at Fibernet Group plc as the company’s European webmaster in 2001. In 2003, Andy helped found KnowledgeCenter, a knowledge management consultancy focused on the London insurance market. In this role, Andy provided web content and knowledge management consultancy to a number of prominent global clients including QBE, Benfield, Catlin, Arthur J Gallagher and Montpelier Re.

With more than 10 years of industry experience, Andy is an expert in online collaboration and heavily involved in the London start-up community. As co-founder and EVP Strategy at Huddle, Andy builds global partner relationships and was directly responsible for Huddle’s partnerships with LinkedIn, HP, Ning and Xing. In May 2010, Andy relocated to San Francisco to lead Huddle’s US team.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers is very hard. You have to learn five new and different technologies and best practices (libswarm, sy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DragonGlass, an enterprise search platform, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. After eleven years of designing and building custom applications, OpenCrowd has launched DragonGlass, a cloud-based platform that enables the development of search-based applications. These are a new breed of applications that utilize a search index as their backbone for data retrieval. They can easily adapt to new data sets and provide access to both structured and unstruc...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fil...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
The Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) market will grow to $6.4B by 2018. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Seth Bostock, CEO of IndependenceIT, will begin by walking the audience through the evolution of Workspace as-a-Service, where it is now vs. where it going. To look beyond the desktop we must understand exactly what WaaS is, who the users are, and where it is going in the future. IT departments, ISVs and service providers must look to workflow and automation capabilities to adapt to growing demand and the rapidly changing workspace model.
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understanding the kinds of data: structured, unstructured, big/small? Analytics: What kinds and how responsiv...
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
DevOps tends to focus on the relationship between Dev and Ops, putting an emphasis on the ops and application infrastructure. But that’s changing with microservices architectures. In her session at DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks, will focus on how microservices are changing the underlying architectures needed to scale, secure and deliver applications based on highly distributed (micro) services and why that means an expansion into “the network” for DevOps.