There's a line that says, “It’s not paranoia if it’s true.” Since we work in the area of data management, we frequently meet people who are fearful of data loss. In the case of some cloud file sync and share services, data loss is a real problem, not just an imaginary one driven by paranoia. Whether it’s the recent news that Dropbox has inadvertently deleted a bunch of user files from the cloud or the countless other examples of people permanently losing data with their cloud services, users legitimately have a reason to be concerned about their data security.
In addition to the risk of data loss, there’s also the issue of data privacy. During a recent interview with The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, government whistleblower Edward Snowden advised viewers who are concerned about privacy to get rid of Dropbox because it doesn’t support encryption. You may or may not agree with those views, but the interview definitely made us think about how we personally use cloud file sync and share services.
These two concerns - data loss and data privacy – are certainly important for personal data but also critically important for business data. Many people still confuse file sync with backup – they aren’t the same thing. Just ask people like Professor Kevoe-Feldman, who almost lost years of her research. Data backup, not file sync, is what you need to prevent data loss. There are plenty of good use cases for the various cloud file sync and share services out there, but businesses should take time to re-think how those services are being used within their organization and whether they adequately meet the data protection standards desired. A true enterprise file sync and share solution should provide efficient backup to ensure endpoint data is protected from loss and use file-level encryption to deliver secure file sync and share for collaboration.