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How CIOs can enable productivity for mobile workers while ensuring that corporate data is safe
Accellion, Inc. is a private company that provides enterprise-class mobile file sharing solutions to enable secure, anytime, anywhere access to information while ensuring enterprise security and compliance. More than 11 million users and 1,800 of the world’s leading corporations and government agencies including Procter & Gamble; Indiana University Health; Kaiser Permanente; Bridgestone; Ogilvy & Mather; Harvard University; Guinness World Records; US Securities and Exchange Commission; and NASA use Accellion to protect intellectual property, ensure compliance, improve business productivity and reduce IT costs. Accellion file sharing solutions can be deployed in public, private and hybrid cloud environments.

Network Products Guide: What are the top security issues facing organizations today?

Yorgen Edholm
: While the advent of mobile devices in the enterprise has delivered tremendous productivity benefits – with employees able to work whenever and wherever needed – these same devices are causing major security headaches for IT. The biggest issue by far is a loss of control. How are employees accessing corporate files? What devices are being used to review and transfer documents? Where are the files being sent? Who has opened and altered the documents? When organizations don’t have control and visibility into these actions, it’s a security nightmare waiting to happen.

Unfortunately, this is also a common scenario, as employees have a job to do and need a way to access and share information on the go. If an organization hasn’t provided an easy file sharing option for staff to use, they’ll find one on their own. Which provides an additional security nightmare: employees turn to consumer-grade applications such as Dropbox and Box to send proprietary enterprise documents, without IT’s approval, opening up proprietary enterprise data to serious security risks.

When users take matters into their own hands, organizations have a problem – forfeiting control of the very things that demand careful attention. How are files encrypted? Can all file and user activities be tracked? Do only authorized users have access to data? These issues are causing organizations to seek out a single, secure solution to regain – and maintain – control of file sharing and collaboration activities both inside the office and out.

Network Products Guide: How can CIOs enable productivity for mobile workers, while ensuring that
corporate data is safe?

Yorgen Edholm: To prevent employees from using their own consumer mobile applications, the first step is to eliminate the need for users to turn elsewhere. That means providing a mandatory alternative that allows individuals to easily share and access files and that allows IT to know what’s being shared, where data is stored, and that corporate data is indeed secure.

But, rolling out a new enterprise solution isn’t always met with employees’ cheers. Any file sharing solution of choice has to be easy to use or employees simply won’t use it. The ease-of-use factor is often what drove them to an unapproved, consumer-grade solution in the first place, so it’s important to appeal to this need. The good news is that ease of use and strong security are not mutually exclusive. Mobile file sharing should be as simple as a few clicks, regardless of the type of mobile device, file type, or users’ location. Locate the file, review or edit as needed, and hit send.

Despite being so simple for employees, with the right solution in place, IT gains so much more – visibility into all mobile file sharing activities; configurable password policies, the ability to instantly de-provision accounts; remote wiping capabilities if a device is stolen or lost, and easy integration with data loss prevention (DLP) and anti-virus solutions. As a result, organizations empower mobile to be productive AND data is protected throughout the file sharing process.

Network Products Guide: How does the Bring Your Own Service (BYOS) movement the use of cloud services such as file sync services and mobile file sharing impact compliance and data protection? And how can you police your data if you don’t know where it’s stored?

Yorgen Edholm: Allowing employees to conduct work-related activities on personal mobile devices has big productivity advantages. The problems arise when that freedom is extended to allowing users to pick and choose their own file sharing applications. Productivity then comes at a hefty price, in terms of opening up the enterprise to unwanted security risks via applications that weren’t intended for enterprise use.

It’s a tough situation for organizations that don’t want to hinder staff’s productivity, yet aren’t sure how to keep pace with the rise of mobile devices at work. One of our manufacturing customers was in this exact situation – wanting to meet employees’ needs but not willing to embrace a BYOS policy. His users were turning to Dropbox behind the scenes and he vocalized his concerns:

“With public cloud providers, there are so many unknowns when it comes to security: Where exactly are your files? How do you get files back if you change providers? How do you know where your employees are sending files? We weren’t willing to give up rights to data that was sensitive, proprietary, and rightfully ours.”

He took a smart path, realizing that it was important endorse one solution and one solution only – supporting a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, while replacing FTP, Dropbox and other file transfer alternatives that employees sought out on their own. Our customer was right, your data is yours. And, it’s possible to maintain complete security control without constraining mobile productivity.  

Company: Accellion
1804 Embarcadero Road; Suite 200; Palo Alto, CA 94303 U.S.A.

Founded in: 1999
CEO: Yorgen Edholm
Public or Private: Private
Head Office in Country: Palo Alto, California United States
Products and Services: Accellion Secure Mobile File Sharing Solution
Company’s Goals: Provide organizations of all sizes with enterprise-class, secure mobile file sharing solutions that provide the ease-of-use employees deserve and the comprehensive security protection that organizations require.
Key Words: Mobile Productivity; Private Cloud File Sync and Storage; Mobile File Sharing; File Synchronization; Secure Collaboration; Secure File Transfer; FTP Replacement

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