Effects of the Lack of File Sharing Mobility
A recent study has revealed that companies and top executives have lost data, missed deadlines, and suffer from decreased productivity because of a lack of file sharing mobility and remote access.
According to the report, The State of Mobility in The Workplace, forty percent of top executives for companies have reported that they have missed a deadline because they could not access files remotely with a mobile device. Thirty percent say they missed a deadline because they could not edit files remotely. As a result, companies without a clear file sharing strategy in place are losing out on vital business and hurting overall efficiency and productivity.
Business owners need to think about many different administrative details, and how to share files securely is one of those main issues to consider. Now more than ever it is vital for a company to have remote access to files and workstations when not in the office, especially from a mobile device.
As the data from the report tells us, it can cost companies and individual workers or executives big time.
Benefits of Having a File Sharing Strategy/Platform
Depending on which file-sharing platform you use, and there is seemingly an infinite number out there, one thing is fairly constant – access.
File sharing programs offer more access than ever before, as you can access your documents stored through your desktop, through the internet and a web-based interface, and even through your phone via an app or mobile browser.
What would a file-sharing program be if it did not allow you to actually share your files? Rhetorical question, yes, but the best part about these file-sharing programs is the ability to share files between your business colleagues and employees – regardless of where they are located.
Now there are security measures built in that enable you to decide who has access to what and what they can do with files they upload and download, so you don’t have to worry about anyone going in there and messing things up. You can either have a password set up and provide access that way, or provide users with their own accounts so you can track their activity specifically.
Other than the access and sharing capabilities of file-sharing platforms, one of the biggest benefits to instituting a file sharing strategy is the storage backup you get with it.
Not only is it paramount for businesses to have remote access to critical documents and projects, but you also need to store those files and data to ensure you always have a copy other than on your physical computer. Having a backup readily available, and accessible from anywhere, can ensure your company doesn’t lose vital information again due to disaster or human error.
Where would we be without technology? From the World Wide Web to the Smartphone and everything in between, technology has changed the shape of the world and has complete transformed the way that humankind does virtually everything. Now it’s possible to order a pizza while riding the subway and book a hotel room while driving.
One thing is for sure, however; technology would not be anything it is today if it weren’t for the business technology engineers who shaped it. While there are so many individuals who have helped to shape and change this industry, here’s a look at five of the most influential pioneers.
- Mark Zuckerberg –You can’t even buy a package of gum without seeing that iconic blue ‘F’ for Facebook. With billions of users, and millions more new users joining the social media yearly, Mark Zuckerbereg, the creator of the social media giant, is, without a doubt, one of the most notable business technology pioneers.
- Sergey Brin and Larry Page – The Stanford University graduates co-created the world’s largest search engine – Google. Together, the two came up with the idea to create a search engine that would provide users with precisely what they were looking for and limited the amount of time that they would have to spend looking for what they wanted to find. Today, Google powers so many facets of the World Wide Web and technology that it the word ‘Google’ has become a verb.
- Bill Gates – At just 19 years old, Bill Gates created one of the first software companies for personal computers in the world. At 24, he joined forces with Paul Allen, and together, the two struck a deal that was pure gold. The duo went into business with IBM and completely transformed the way that the World Wide Web operated. Today, Gates is one of the richest people in the world.
- Steve Jobs –His name is synonymous with Apple, the company that he created. While Apple is certainly one of his greatest achievements, it’s not his only one; Steve Jobs also changed the animation industry when he pioneered and became the chairman of Pixar. He has single-handedly changed modern music, communication and entertainment.
- Thomas Watson Sr and Lou Gerstner – The pair, who both came from the working class, spearheaded a company that completely changed technology. Together, they created International Business Machines, better known as IBM, a computer technology and IT consulting corporation.
Remote access is no longer a company perk it’s a necessity. Remote access means different things to different people. It can refer to telecommuters accessing their company’s server; branch offices that need interaction with systems at company’s main office; or enable mobile employees to upload or download data from a hotel, car, or even a customer’s office.
Remote technology applications boost collaboration. Employees anywhere can access and work with files in real time—no emails back and forth with updated files attached. Better collaboration improves productivity and creativity.
Meetings go digital, enabling effective participation and communication with colleagues, partners, and customers – anytime, anywhere, on virtually any device, eliminating travel and the need for on site interaction.
What Can Remote Technology do for Business?
Access systems anywhere, anytime. With mobility being vital in today’s world, businesses need easy access to their files, calendars, and client database no matter where they are. Remote access applications are a great solution for today’s mobility requirements. Some of the best features:
- File transfers: Easily transfer a file between computers without emailing files to yourself.
- Remote printing: Send documents to the printers connected to your remote or local PC.
Remote technology can provide more time on the job. No more snow days or other challenges associated with absenteeism. Access and productivity are no longer issues with remote access technology. Users can log into their office desktop from home, inclement weather or a personal matter need not impact the business’s ability to continue with day-to-day operations. Remote productivity allows remote workers to perform tasks without interrupting end-users.
How Can a Business Get Remote Access?
When choosing the remote technology for a business, there are many avenues:
Remote Technology programs such as LogMeIn, grant employees access to the programs and data on their company PCs from outside locations. This allows them to work from their chosen device while leaving the actual data back in the office.
Terminal Services, or Remote Desktop Services, where multiple users connect to a single server. Applications are installed on this terminal server rather than on individual desktops.
Cloud-based, using remote servers on the internet to manage, store, and process data instead of using a personal computer.
Many methods of remote access leave your confidential data at risk. MyWorkDrive offers a solution to give you all of the benefits of the cloud and remote access, but with reduced risks.
Major VPN Flaw
Do you remember Heartbleed?
A major security vulnerability affecting hundreds of thousands of websites, Heartbleed was not just another virus – it was a flaw. A mistake allowing hackers to extract massive amounts of information off the VPN connection:
- User Names
- Other sensitive data.
SSL allows information to be securely transmitted between you and a server without the threat of a third party intercepting the information. OpenSSL is the open-source implementation of SSL. Many online businesses used OpenSSL, as it was considered to be one of the more secure ways to transmit data.
For this to work, your computer needs to communicate to a server. It sends out a “heartbeat” which sends a signal to a server to see if it is online. If the server is online, it returns the signal to your computer. Both your computer and the server send out heartbeats on regular intervals to ensure that both you and the server remain online.
The flaw, named Heartbleed, leaked memory content from clients and servers during the exchange. A VPN-targeting hacker took advantage of this “heartbeat” by maliciously changing the signal to servers. Instead of a return signal, the server diverted memory to the user who had sent the tainted heartbeat. Once connected to the VPN network, the hacker was free to intrude upon many more active sessions and escalate the attack.
Impact for Current VPN Users?
VPN Servers still pose core security problems. Developers wrote the code for using VPN servers and as we learned from Heartbleed, developers make mistakes.
Any connection from this network exposes you to more attacks whether from future attacks or from vulnerable systems that have not been patched yet.
MyWorkDrive as a Solution
Our Cloud ConnectorAgent hides the topology and characteristics of your back-end servers by removing the need for direct internet access to them, with a reverse proxy. Only the required ports to access the SSL user portal are available in the cloud for your users.
A proxy server is a server that forwards content requests from multiple clients to different servers across the Internet. A reverse proxy is between a client and a server in a private network and from behind a firewall. The proxy handles incoming requests and it directs them to the appropriate back-end server. When combined with the cloud, a reverse proxy gives you all the benefits of the cloud without compromising control or security.
This additional level of control between clients and servers is gained by utilizing the best features of using the MyWorkDrive Cloud ConnectorAgent.
MyWorkDrive acts as a VPN Replacement.
By intercepting requests to back-end servers, your identity is protected and you have an additional defense against security attacks.
Load balancers are crucial to networks that receive large volumes of requests. Placed in front of back-end servers, ConnectorAgent distributes requests across a cluster of servers. This maximizes speed and capacity and ensures no single server is overloaded, which can degrade performance. In the event that a server does go down, the load balancer redirects traffic to the remaining servers.
Web Acceleration (Reverse Proxies)
Our Cloud ConnectorAgent uses intelligent compression and caching for commonly requested content. Additionally, taking on tasks such as SSL encryption further reduce the load on servers and enables optimum performance.
With My Work Drive, you get all the benefits of the cloud without sacrificing privacy and security.
Cloud computing provides instant access to data through an internet connection. Whether on a desktop, a tablet, or even a phone, data is available anytime, anywhere. For businesses, cloud computing reaps benefits such as scalable storage for databases, applications, and files while eliminating the need for a data center or IT support team.
Risks When Migrating to the Cloud
Even technology experts reveal that there is no such thing as a completely safe cloud system. From security flaws to support issues, there are significant risks users take when migrating to the cloud.
Loss of Control
Someone else is looking after data that is transmitted, processed, and stored in the cloud. Data is stored off premises and all maintenance and monitoring is done by a third party provider.
Lack of Support
Many cloud-based services have inadequate customer service in ratio to customers. Imagine being unable to access your information, but being unable to get help right away. Waiting up to 48 hours for a response could ruin a business in a crisis situation.
Privacy and Confidentiality
Privacy violations happen frequently enough in the cloud to cause concern among potential and current users. This is unacceptable when transmitting and storing sensitive information, specifically financial and health-related data.
A contractor for Vodaphone stole personal information from two million German customers. Victims were warned about possible email phishing attempts, as the thief had enough significant data on users to make these seem legitimate. With a cloud, this could be worse as administrative access enables an attacker to steal, and even destroy the cloud, in a matter of minutes.
With recent cyber attacks, such as the hacking of Apple’s iCloud, businesses are right to be concerned. Any time people data is stored on the internet, there is a risk for a cyber attack. This is especially problematic with cloud computing, where all types of users on the same cloud system store extensive amounts of data. The fear of cloud computing is that data is always at risk. Hackers are advancing as fast as the technology.
MyWorkDrive as a Solution
If the above concerns make cloud computing an unacceptable risk, consider a different approach. Businesses can get all of the benefits of saving to the cloud but in a more secure and private solution with MyWorkDrive.com.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation warned U.S. Businesses in early October that hackers it believes to be backed by the Chinese government have recently launched attacks on U.S. Companies.
Days later, Apple’s iCloud storage service China was attacked by hackers trying to steal user credentials. Greatfire.org, a Chinese web monitoring group, broke the news online and adds that it believes that Beijing’s Cyberspace Administration of China is behind the campaign.
Using what is known as a man in the middle attack to intercept user data. This is when the attacker intercepts messages and then retransmits them, substituting his own key for the requested one, so that the two original parties still appear to be communicating with each other. Earlier in the day, Google and Yahoo faced similar attacks.
The attack coincided with the release of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in China. Apple added new security measures to its latest phones, designed to limit government and law enforcement surveillance of users.
Ironically, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology accused Apple’s iPhone of posing a threat to China’s national security and delayed the release. Bowing to government pressure, Apple’s iCloud data storage was shifted to China Telecom, which was the target of the attack.
Greatfire.org explains that since the attacks appear to originate from “deep within the Chinese domestic Internet backbone” data interception would not have gone unnoticed by Chinese Internet providers.
The timing of the hack could be related to tens of thousands of Hong Kong citizens taking to the streets seeking freedom from the mainland Chinese government. Chinese authorities could gain access to photos and data stored on iCloud related to the Hong Kong protests.
This operation does not just affect China, but for Internet users everywhere in the world. In December, news emerged that the Cyberspace Administration of China was now in charge of China Internet Network Information Centre; the authority that issues digital certificates to Web sites here. Web browsers all over the world are now trusting the Chinese government to tell it which sites are genuine.
Foreign companies are bending over backwards to comply in exchange for market access. These attacks are these companies paying the price for that privilege.
Policies mandate that vendors file sensitive IP, such as source code, with the Chinese government. While foreign entities are hesitant to adhere to these policies, the potential for impressive profits in China makes compliance tempting. And to the extent that they do comply, experts say, the companies’ hardware and software become vulnerable to Chinese hackers who could obtain those keys.
Incidentally, Apple posted the biggest quarterly profits in its history thanks partly to booming sales of the iPhone 6 in China, revealing that it sold more iPhones in China than in the US in the final quarter of 2014.
If you have heard of or are familiar with Bitcoin, you are witnessing that revolution of decentralizing the Internet. The Internet we know now is not the net we knew just 10 years ago, and it is not the same as the Internet we will see in the next decade. Think about the daily activities that occur on the Internet: file sharing, photo sharing, sending and receiving money, and collaborating or saving files to a cloud. This is the centralized Internet we know today, but there is a technology Super Storm brewing and it will completely transform the Internet platform. Decentralization of the Internet is inevitable, and it is simply a change of power: Internet control is taken away from the bureaucracy’s government agencies, and it is placed in the hands of its users.
The movement to grant users control of their own data is one that many programmers, law professors, and anyone else who values security and privacy, is to decentralize the Internet. The process of decentralizing the Internet makes users ‘self-hosts,’ out of the boardroom and government institutions and in to the hands of the users.
Many technologies will contribute to the transition to a decentralized internet: peer-to-peer social network models; open source software routers that enable communities to build their own mesh networks; mesh networking apps; small, wearable computer devices; Wireless Registry; Cryptocurrency; cryptography; peer-to-peer payments and lending sources; and online learning platforms. Ownership will be authenticated and correspondence will be achieved individually. Instead of large scale hack attacks, ‘.bit’ domains and the information on the sites cannot be taken over by government agencies or criminals; access is granted to or surrendered by the owner of the site.
It is expected by 2020 that more than 50 billion devices will access the Internet, which means data and privacy are the most susceptible victims of the centralized Internet. Decentralization will face tough legal, political, social and technological challenges. With anonymity and control being the focus of the movement, pushback will surmount. One of the most desirable functions of decentralization may also be its greatest hurdle. It is possible that liability and accountability will be compromised as well, as increased illegal activities. Nevertheless, privacy, ownership, data protection and innovation will keep the decentralized Internet a technology for the people.
Was Dropbox hacked? According to Dropbox, absolutely not. The Internet lit up with reports that the popular cloud service was hacked, which potentially exposed millions of its users, but Dropbox quickly reassured its users that reports were false. Dropbox quickly came to its own defense and strongly rejected the claims.
According to The Next Web, an international, Internet technology online news provider, the leak was noticed on a site named Pastebin. The hackers released a list of 400 accounts and threatened to release more if it did not receive its requested Bitcoin ransom.
According to the hackers, they had more than 6.9 million email addresses and passwords that belonged to Dropbox users. A Reddit thread appeared online when the story was first uncovered. According to The Next Web, Pastebin had four files that linked to documents containing Dropbox usernames and passwords. An anonymous user that sought out Bitcoin donations for more leaks teased the posts. The hacker teased that he/she had more information, and continued financial support would result in more leaks. A few Reddit users reported that the information really worked. However, a more thorough investigation was not conducted to verify the validity of the grand, and expensive, claim.
Immediately, Dropbox issued a response on its site, forcing The Next Web to print an update to its initial report. The Dropbox statement stated that the site was not hacked.
Posted by Anton Mityagin on October 13, 2014
Recent news articles claiming that Dropbox was hacked aren’t true. Your stuff is safe. The usernames and passwords referenced in these articles were stolen from unrelated services, not Dropbox. Attackers then used these stolen credentials to try to log in to sites across the internet, including Dropbox. We have measures in place to detect suspicious login activity and we automatically reset passwords when it happens.
Attacks like these are one of the reasons why we strongly encourage users not to reuse passwords across services. For an added layer of security, we always recommend enabling 2 step verification on your account.”
“Update: 10/14/2014 12:30am PT
A subsequent list of usernames and passwords has been posted online. We’ve checked and these are not associated with Dropbox accounts.”
There are a few concerns users can take away from the Dropbox story: reusing the same password on multiple sites and the threats of third-party sites. Many users are discouraged by trying to remember multiple passwords for multiple sites, but it is absolutely necessary to ensure your online privacy and to protect your data. Use passwords that are difficult to decipher, and consider using a password management system to assist you with remembering and frequently changing the information.
One of the most disturbing dimensions of the story is the risk of third-party sites. Too many services permit access to third parties. Third parties are often blamed for the security breaches, but the fact is, many services are not doing enough to vet the application and sites that are permitted to access their platforms.
Enjoy the benefits of the cloud without giving up your data to a third party service like Dropbox with My Work Drive.