Sync and share technology addresses file data challenges

The influx of consumer devices such as tablet and smart phones into the enterprise has introduced a number of file data challenges.

June 5, 2013

The influx of consumer devices such as tablet and smart phones into the enterprise has introduced a number of file data challenges. These include users storing business files in personal file sharing accounts and the threats of data leakage, opening the network to external threats and the lack of IT control of and visibility into the sharing environment.

Phil Coombs, SME (Subject Matter Expert) for EMC Southern Africa, says today’s corporate employees expect to have access to data and services across all their devices as if they were working at the corporate office.

“However, problems arise with version control, naming conventions, and synchronising and sharing information in a geographically-dispersed environment,” Coombs points out. “Simply emailing information to a distribution list of colleagues and then saving the document back on the desktop and the company server creates massive explosions of data and multiple copies of the same document – not to mention giving the IT Department a headache.”

This type of scenario makes backup procedures unnecessarily lengthy and tends to have an ongoing, compounded impact on the productivity of the enterprise – particularly when combined with the mobility of smart phones and tablets used by most corporate employees.

Coombs explains that when an employee stores data in a personal file sharing account, IT has no view of what data is stored there and what devices it may be shared on. Also, there is no audit trail of who else has access to the data. Even worse, if the employee leaves the company, so does the data in the online file sharing account. In all probability, IT has no way of knowing what data left with the employee.
“The threat of data loss has always been a challenge for IT, but until now employees have made a conscious choice to take data by coping it onto a USB stick or a CD. With personal file sharing accounts, data leakage just happens. And since the data could be on multiple devices that are accessed by multiple people, there is no accountability whatsoever,” he says.

Coombs recommends that IT addresses this challenge by building a file sharing environment that supports the mobility requirements of the modern organisation without compromising corporate security by opening the network to outside threats.

Online file sharing is growing in popularity because it helps users access their work files from any device. However, to achieve this, IT must adopt enterprise-grade solutions that give users the access they need while providing the security and controls that protect company data.

“Enterprise-grade sync and share solutions ensure the organisation still has the controls to protect the data, while the employees still have the freedom to choose the device they wish to work on,” he explains.

To deliver this level of control and protection, EMC Syncplicity has launched an on-premise storage solution that combines the unmatched flexibility and ease of use of EMC Syncplicity’s cloud-based file sync and sharing technology with a secure, on-premise storage infrastructure based on EMC Isilon scale-out Network-Attached Storage (NAS).
EMC Isilon provides a powerful yet simple way to manage data and applications, enabling enterprises to expect much more from their storage. EMC provides enterprises with a single vendor end-to-end solution to simplify deployments and provide a single point of contact for online file sharing needs. The benefits include improved productivity, flexibility and ease of management, as well as reduced risk and increased security.

“This means users can easily sync, access, and share files with anyone, anytime, anywhere and on any device for new levels of productivity and agility while giving IT the security, visibility, and manageability it needs,” Coombs says.

“At the same time, enterprises will experience the flexibility and continuous innovation that comes from deploying a cloud-based, online file sharing solution while retaining complete control over data and storage resources.”

The solution combines EMC Syncplicity’s enterprise-class security, compliance, and policy controls with the unmatched manageability, scalability, and resiliency of EMC Isilon storage.