Great article explaining the MyWorkDrive solution and problem we fix for small businesses!!
Great article explaining the MyWorkDrive solution and problem we fix for small businesses!!
This past summer MyWorkDrive was highlighted at the Microsoft World Partner Conference. We were excited to share our cloud success with other partners! In addition to presenting at the conference MyWorkDrive has been accepted into Microsoft’s invitation only Enterprise Cloud Alliance. We look forward to a great partnership!
MyWorkDrive is not another File Sync and Share product. In fact, it is a NEW PARADIGM for providing remote workers with faster, easier, and direct access to their work files.
The premise for Enterprise File Sync & Share (EFSS ) products is that company files are synced across managed user devices, permissions are managed outside of Active Directory, and the process of connecting to existing file shares is more of an afterthought.
We designed MyWorkDrive from the ground up to provide simple, secure, and fast web browser & mapped drive access to existing file shares—leveraging native Active Directory integration. For example, with other Sync and Share products, even if they do have an option to connect to existing Windows file shares, users must be manually imported from Active Directory every time a new user is created. With MyWorkDrive, since we tie directly into Active Directory, there is no user management maintenance needed going forward. As users are added or removed from a group in Active Directory, they are automatically added or removed from MyWorkDrive.
From an engineering perspective, MyWorkDrive has a much stronger and secure engine that utilizes Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) as opposed to many Sync and Share products that leverage Apache. This makes it much easier to manage, patch and add your own SSL Certificates, leveraging skills your technicians already have.
With MyWorkDrive, there are no databases to manage, unlike Sync and Share products. Therefore, administrators do not need to worry about databases that need pruning, patching or backups. Furthermore, MyWorkDrive can be installed on existing servers due to the smaller footprint. MyWorkDrive price point is also much lower than Sync and Share products—ranging from $1 – $3 per user, instead of up to $15 per user per month.
With a much lighter footprint, easy management, and fast deployment, MyWorkDrive can be setup in UNDER 30 MINUTES. With Sync and Share on-premises solutions, you need to setup multiple servers, manage databases, configure your own file editors, configure LDAP, connectors and numerous other items to deploy the software. With MyWorkDrive, native Active Directory integration is included in all pricing levels OUT OF THE BOX. Therefore, ALL user and group permissions are inherited and utilized automatically.
Another big differentiator of MyWorkDrive is our patent-pending Cloud Connector. We are unique in this respect. The included Cloud Connector option enables direct access to your MyWorkDrive server through our patent-pending integration system. This means there are no SSL Certificates to setup, no firewall/NAT policy rules to change, nor DNS settings to adjust. Your files remain on your server UNDER YOUR CONTROL but are made available to your users through our network in minutes. This means you can get a Proof of Concept or long-term MyWorkDrive solution up and running quickly—all with minimal technical skills and no ongoing maintenance.
A review of recent internet posts on file sharing and cloud solutions reveals an ongoing demand for an easy file web access and map drive solution for existing Windows File Servers that’s not currently available in typical file sharing services. Intivix – our MSP in San Francisco – looked for products to fill this demand and came up short. All the products assumed clients are looking to sync all their data to the cloud or users’ desktops – this is not feasible when file server storage for even the smallest client exceeds 1 terabyte. Intivix ended up designing their own product – MyWorkDrive.com – and setup a new company around it. Intivix now uses it at numerous clients and for their own secure file remote access solution.
Some of the most requested features MyWorkDrive fulfills include:
With MyWorkDrive users can connect to internal files & shares using any web browser, map drives over WebDAV and enjoy ease of access on any mobile device – all while providing internal access at gigabit speeds using mapped drives users already know.
With MyWorkDrive users enjoy all the benefits of cloud file server access without giving up their data!
What makes MyWorkDrive different?
MyWorkDrive is designed to integrate with existing on-premise Windows File Servers while providing end users with fast cloud file cloud access – all while maintaining local IT control over the data. The server software is very lightweight – no databases or complicated LDAP requirements – and can be installed directly on existing Windows File Servers.
Other products utilize 3rd party integration software to integrate into Window Active Directory and create error-prone, bloated databases that must be maintained, pruned, and backed up. With MyWorkDrive, there are no databases or additional servers to maintain. Our software components utilize native Windows components that can be easily patched as opposed to fragile open source software. Backing up the MyWorkDrive configuration is as simple as copying a few XML files.
Since MyWorkDrive utilizes native Windows components and runs within IIS, existing Active Directory users and groups are accessible and manageable right out of the box. Provisioning shares is simple – the systems administrator simply points to the existing file folders (if installed on an existing file server) or share paths such as \\server1\share and chooses what user groups to allow access. Existing NTFS permissions are supported automatically. Other products require complicated LDAP configurations and the continual import of new users & groups. With MyWorkDrive, an end user’s home drives are made available by default with no extra setup, formulas, or added configuration required. Once the shares are set up, new users who are added to Active Directory, can login to MyWorkDrive with no additional requirements.
Our optional MyWorkDrive Cloud Connector service allows the system administrator to publish the end user web file manager portal in minutes. This means the administrator can simply choose their preferred client URL such as https://MyBusiness.myworkdrive.net and publish it to the end users without opening up firewall ports nor purchasing and maintaining SSL certificates. Our Cloud Connector service utilizes the highest encryption available and is locked down to prevent all known threats. All files remain on the customer’s server, flowing through our encrypted relay channel as they are accessed by end users. Unlike other vendors, we have no access to data – all data stays on the customer’s server. We regularly test our relay servers to ensure the highest rating on Qualys SSL Labs. Self-hosted options from other vendors require significant security expertise to achieve the same level of encryption and availability with some vendors defaulting to no encryption all. MyWorkDrive’s level of security expertise is not typically available to a small business nor is it maintained when using competing products.
Web File Access
MyWorkDrive’s Web File Manager access browser client is the most advanced and user friendly in the industry. Upon login, the user is presented with their home drive and file shares in a view similar to Windows File Explorer. Files and folders are displayed in Detail view for easy sorting, by name and date. Our browser client provides the unique ability to double-click on a Microsoft Office document, edit it and save it back – all without requiring the file to be downloaded or synced first to the user’s remote PC. This unique function ensures data remains on premise and under business control. Other vendor’s products require downloading of files and utilize an unfriendly user interface with only basic file and folder functions.
Competing products all assume System Administrators will maintain a file sync client on all user’s desktops. Syncing clients generate a tremendous amount of network traffic that fills up an end user’s PC with files which creates a substantial support burden on System Administrators. Since MyWorkDrive connects to existing file shares and the end users home drive with both a Web client and mapped drives, syncing is not needed. It’s not uncommon for even the smallest business to have over 1TB of files on even the smallest of file servers. Syncing that amount of data across multiple user’s desktops is unsupportable in these scenarios. With fast Internet access available just about anywhere, error prone file syncing is not required nor desired by many businesses.
With More and more employees working remotely VPN Security is a huge concern. Businesses have traditionally used virtual private network (VPN) technology to enable this remote connectivity, but security concerns are requiring companies to leverage new ways of enabling secure remote access.
The problem with utilizing VPN software to connect to work resources is that end users are creating an open tunnel between their home and corporate networks. This method allows full remote access to the entire work network from outside the office, bypassing most firewall rules (the VPN connection is technically initiated from inside the work LAN). In most cases, the entire corporate network is accessible to the remote worker, exposing all servers and desktops rather than just the resources needed.
In this scenario, any security vulnerability or malware present on the remote worker’s computer and network can infect the work network for the duration of the VPN connection. This includes viruses. For example, if the remote PC has a nasty virus, it can spread across the VPN to the corporate network and could bypass work firewall protections. In addition, if the remote PC is compromised, it could be used as a conduit directly into the office LAN where hackers can exploit vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized systems access.
To reduce exposure to the corporate network, VPN users should be prevented from opening a VPN session to the corporate office (especially from unmanaged home PCs). The connection should be locked down to only what the teleworker needs to access to and prevented from leaving the connection established when not in use. Furthermore, Network Access Protection (NAP) technologies should be enabled on the VPN access point to prevent access from PCs without firewall and current antivirus protection enabled.
MyWorkDrive alleviates these security issues and complexities because only a single port (SSL Port 443) is exposed to the remote worker’s PC and network—all other connections are blocked. This greatly reduces the surface area for attack by virus infections and hackers. In addition MyWorkDrive allows administrators to add two factor authentication for improved VPN Security using our DUO.com integration.
Users can still map network drives using our own Mapped Drive or Mobile clients or access files using our Web File Access client—this enables the same user experience they have to come to expect when in the office. Additionally, threats such as Cryptolocker viruses, which typically rely on Windows file shares (SMB) to encrypt files, are prevented– since no Windows File Shares are exposed VPN Security is improved.
The following is a home VPN user scenario that keeps IT managers up at night:
A remote teleworker is connected to the VPN from their home PC and gets infected by Cryptolocker. At the time of infection, they happened to be mapped to a corporate network drive. Perhaps they pay the ransom or perhaps not (maybe they don’t because they have backups of the work on their own home machine). The timer lapses and the teleworker runs a malware cleaner to remove the infection. They’re relieved, but unaware that they’ve encrypted several files on our network drive due to the original infection. They don’t think to inform the IT department, because it’s an issue with their home PC and not “work-related.”
A few weeks pass and other workers discovers that a file on the network drive won’t open. They flag it to the IT department. The IT team restore the file from backup, but unfortunately it turns out that only encrypted files have been backed up for the past 4 weeks… So the company has now lost the data as a result.
This situation could become exponentially worse, as thousands of network files could be encrypted and the business would never know until somebody tries to open them and is unable to do so because of the infection.
Contact us today to get started setting up a secure remote access solution with MyWorkDrive – https://www.myworkdrive.com
© Copyright Wanpath LLC. dba MyWorkDrive, All Rights Reserved
Regardless of the industry your business falls under, the ability of your employees to securely access tools and information to perform their duties is critical. Providing employees easy access to files and folders is essential to keep business operations flowing and to avoid serious file sharing risks.
Since the days of the floppy disk, users have come up with some pretty creative ways to quickly and easily save information, as well as share it with each other. Technology has advanced to the point where email is no longer considered a convenient or secure way to share data. Consumer level file sharing and sync options being utilized by individuals without IT knowledge lack security and increase risks to your business.
According to a study done by Gigaom Research and Harris Interactive, a staggering 84% of IT professionals reported security problems caused by use of consumer-oriented file sharing services for company business. Even for personal use, only about one-third of those users polled stated they trusted file sharing services.
There are many reasons why consumer-oriented file sharing platforms aren’t trusted – chief among them being lack of control over how company data is shared, service reliability and the fact these platforms steer users to set up automatic file syncing of work files to the cloud whether required or not.
All is not lost however, as organizations can utilize Enterprise File Sharing and Sync platforms. Although there are still risks involved with even enterprise file share and remote access solutions. Here are five tips that you should take into account when developing policies for enterprise level file sharing.
Set Permissions: By documenting which network activities are allowed and which are not, you are making it clear to employees what is an acceptable use of your network.
Passwords Matter: You’d be amazed at how often employees use very basic passwords for their workstations on-site or remote. Some don’t even bother to change the default password that was initially set up. Having password rules with a minimum length of 9 characters and complexity restrictions in place can mitigate the security risk of generic passwords and can also control how data flows into your network and who has access.
Define Mobile Policy: BYOD isn’t going away, so if you haven’t taken the time to implement controls and policies as part of your IT strategy you need to. With the amount of employees utilizing their mobile devices to access proprietary business data, keeping it secure and off personal devices that cannot be managed is a high priority.
Meet Employee Needs: If you don’t have the right tools in place for employees to do what they are supposed to do, you likely don’t have visibility or control over how they are sharing and accessing sensitive data. By meeting the needs of your workforce, you are also keeping your company secure. MyWorkDrive provides employees this easy remote access to work files and folders.
Teach Security Best Practices: If you have a remote workforce of any kind you will want to ensure they are aware of security best practices for sharing and accessing company data, connecting to secure Wi-Fi and not using public Wi-Fi, and always locking their personal devices. Education is key.
There has been a proliferation of data driven devices like tablets, smartphones, and laptops that has created an enormous demand for access to business files from anywhere at anytime. This is particularly troubling for businesses because it’s created a bit of a blind spot for IT departments.
Companies that care about maintaining control and visibility over company data may have a difficult time staying ahead of the issues with this demand for access to business data because of how widespread it is within the workplace. For businesses needing to provide remote access to file shares, there are numerous challenges that file sync and share solutions pose to businesses.
As data storage increases file syncing solutions quickly breakdown. Files are synced across multiple machines at all company locations meaning bloated hard drives, sync errors and corrupted data that increases support and hardware costs. For many firms with several terabytes of data it simply is not feasible or cost effective to utilize syncing solutions due to the large number of files and amount storage space required on each users PC.
The additional file syncing also puts a strain on existing internet connections as each file is synced up and down over the network to all user’s machines and devices.
The large majority of the problems stemming from consumer-grade file sync solutions is a simple lack of oversight. Company data is synced to smartphones, tablets, and laptops on end user devices outside the control of IT. This makes the theft of company data all the more easy to hackers, past employees or to those that would steal the end users’ device.
Business grade monitoring solutions exist but they require large monthly fees per device and oversight labor by internal IT to manage them.
What cloud syncing provider never tell you is no syncing solution is perfect. Over time any business will tell you they have lost critical files during syncing. There are numerous ways in which data can be lost using syncing solutions including: hard disk problems, disks that are not ready when the sync software runs, collisions with other users, antivirus software that quarantines files, disk scanning software (for example, backup software) that locks the sync software and makes it appear as if files are missing.
All of a sudden whatever document an end user is working on is lost, corrupted, or deleted from your company’s system altogether.
MyWorkDrive provides a solution that allows access to files either on premise or remotely when online, either through a mapped drive or the MyWorkDrive.com web browser client. What this means for any company looking for a simple solution for accessing files remotely is greater accountability, lower cost, and increased security and control over your business data.
In the business world, it can be a balancing act when it comes to keeping costs down and investing in equipment to keep your company growing. Some businesses don’t even have enough cash flow when starting up to afford both staff and sufficient office space. The best option for keeping costs down while allowing for the expansion of the company is a secure mobile file sharing system such as MyWorkDrive. Mobile file access with a quality document management system allows business owners and employees to have access to files from their mobile device from remote locations. Here we discuss the benefits of mobile file sharing for business in depth.
Share Larger Files
There can be limits on how large files can be sent via email and instant messaging services. Some businesses must send documents that are longer than a couple of pages or images. Healthcare practices, law firms and retail businesses are a few examples of organizations who use paperwork, sound files or videos, which generally result in larger files. A quality file sharing service and document management system allows you to upload and exchange larger files without limitations on size.
When you have mobile access to your company’s files, it is much faster to retrieve an important document or file. The system can be set up so that all business related files, data and information are entered into the system with each department networked together. This is also much faster than sifting through antiquated file cabinets or disorganized piles of paper on a colleague’s desk.
Less Space is Needed
With the old system of using file folder and cabinets, a lot of extra space was taken up in offices. This can also create clutter and a feeling of suffocation, which reduces productivity. When a business implements mobile file access software, all data, important documents and information are stored online. This significantly cuts down on the storage space needed in the office and it instantly becomes more organized, resulting in an overall more pleasant environment to work in.
Increased Work Flexibility
File sharing allows companies to offer incentives to their employees like working from home a few days a week. The boss can rest assured knowing that their workers will have access to everything they need. This also goes for those who travel for the job. The more incentives that a business can offer, the more chances they have of attracting talented individuals to the company.
The most appealing reason that a business would use mobile file sharing is because of the amount of money they save. Since everything can be stored and sent electronically, there is no longer a huge budget for paper, ink and printers. They may be able to rent less office space if they can do away with bulky file cabinets that take up lots of space. The faster an employee is able to get to a document they need, the more time that is saved, which reduces downtime. In business, time is money. By having employees that can work remotely, it will also cut down on travel expenses for the company.
Contact us today if you have any questions about setting up a mobile file sharing system for your business!
Cloud computing has changed the way that businesses are using computers.. The cloud is ideal because it allows us to use our resources optimally while providing access to files from any location and any device. Unfortunately, many companies have not gotten on board using the cloud because of concerns over file sharing security. We want to discuss common file sharing security concerns in the cloud and how MyWorkDrive reduces risks of common cloud file sharing concerns:
The most common file sharing concern is security. When you see high profile companies and celebrities’ phones and computers hacked, you know the concern is real. Criminals and hackers have been able to infiltrate and steal sensitive and private information that can damage a company’s reputation and destroy the identities of those affected. There is always a concern that your confidential information will be stolen if it is stored in the cloud, which is why MyWorkDrive has been created. MyWorkDrive lets you connect your Windows File Server to the cloud so you have access to your files from anywhere, but they are not physically stored in the cloud.
When choosing a file sharing service, you must find one that can keep files and data secure from prying eyes. Providers like MyWorkDrive take the necessary measures to keep your files safe and make it a top priority along with providing quality service. They provide end-to-end encryption with their extra security proxy layer. This ensures that your data will be shielded from hackers and only authorized data will be accessible. MyWorkDrive leaves all the data on a company’s servers intact and does not require that you upload your files. Instead, all of your data is stored on your own servers and we provide a secure portal for existing users to connect.
Employee productivity increases with file sharing due to anywhere, anytime access to information and shared files immediately from any mobile device. Teamwork is also improved because access to data, sharing, revising, and editing can take place in real time, leading to improved collaboration. You can reduce the amount of time wasted trying to coordinate schedules for in-person meetings among employees when everyone has access to the same files from any location.
Contact us if you have any questions about file sharing security or you are ready to learn more about the MyWorkDrive solution to anywhere, anytime file access and one of our experts will be happy to assist you!
Has your privacy ever been invaded and shortly after, you have trouble trusting that it won’t happen again? If it hasn’t happened to you, you’re one of the lucky ones.
Unfortunately there are vicious hackers out there in the IT world, as we’ve seen recently with what could potentially be one of the largest breaches of data to the United States—affecting more than 4 million federal employees.
To make sure that this doesn’t happen to your information—keep an eye out for these signs of hacking:
It’s commonplace to see those pesky anti-virus messages pop up on the computer screen. In fact, it seems almost inevitable and it usually happens when you’re doing something important. Unfortunately once you see the message, it may be too late even if you try your hardest to click the cancel button as soon as you see it.
If you’re seeing frequent pop ups, it is a sure sign that you’ve been hacked. Not only are they annoying, but they can simultaneously hinder your system.
If your password suddenly changes, and you know for a fact that you remember it, it’s a sign that you’ve been hacked. Whatever service the password was used for is now in the hands of the hacker—pretending to be you.
If your mouse suddenly starts making selections and choosing incorrect choices, a hacker is involved. It may happen after-hours, when the desktop has been out of use for a while, giving the hacker the ability to break into bank accounts or steal information.
Worms will try and disguise themselves as real programs and install themselves on your computer. Sometimes programs will install themselves from another program that you installed after reading the legal agreement.
It’s important to be aware of your surroundings while surfing the web at all times. Explore preventative options, like switching to a cloud-based data center, before a hacker has the chance to access your information.
A recent study done by Soonr Inc. has revealed that companies and top executives have lost data, missed deadlines, and suffer from decreased productivity because of a lack of file sharing and remote access.
According to this report, The State of Mobility in The Workplace, 40 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. 30 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 it just so happens that 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 executive’s big time.
Here are three key benefits to having a file sharing strategy/platform in place for your business:
Depending on which file-sharing platform you use, and there are 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 at.
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, 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.
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, passwords, and other sensitive data.
SSL allows information to be securely transmitted between you and a server without the threat of a third party intercepting 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.
What Does this Mean for Current VPN Network 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.
How is MyWorkDrive Different?
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 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.
By intercepting requests to back-end servers, your identity is protected and you have an additional defense against security attacks.
Provide Load balancing
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 With 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.
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.