Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Vaibhaw Pandey, Automic Blog, John Walsh, Mehdi Daoudi, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Release Management , Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

The Hidden Business CoST: Consumerization of Sharing Tools

What file and content management tools is your business using to ensure that workers have what they need?

Sharing files with friends has never been easier. Whether it is via old-school hard copy methods like CDs, DVDs and USB drives, nefarious peer-to-peer torrents like BitTorrent or new shared, private cloud storage services like Dropbox, getting a photo or music file from one person to another takes mere seconds.

The problem is that people inside businesses aren't using these services just to share personal files. They are circumventing secured content management systems like SharePoint in favor of consumer-friendly services in order to share files with third parties.

For businesses, Consumerization of Sharing Tools (CoST) can encourage insecure file sharing and the impact can be startling. WikiLeaks was the result of a failed SharePoint deployment. The user simply circumvented the SharePoint system, downloaded extremely sensitive data and made it available to the world. Of course, not all file share abuse is intended to be destructive and the majority of businesses aren't dealing with classified government cables or sensitive personal information. Most businesses, however, do want full visibility of some files, particularly who is accessing them and what they are doing with them.

According to recent research by Cryptzone, 45 percent of SharePoint users have improperly transmitted confidential business information, with 18 percent admitting to regularly doing this. With businesses generating more data than ever before - and some of that data is likely to be confidential - the likelihood of improper file sharing should be a wake-up call for IT. Before we go and blame workers for intentionally working against IT, let's take a step back and look at the IT infrastructure from their perspective.

It's a very common scenario: worker #1 discovers he doesn't have access to a particular file (in SharePoint it's still possible for files to show up in search results even if you don't have access), while worker #2 does. As a result, worker #1 simply asks worker #2 to copy the file somewhere they can both access it. The main reasons for copying documents from SharePoint are either to work from home (43 percent) or share it with third parties who don't have access (over 55 percent).

Not every worker needs (or should have) access to all company data and not all data is equal or appropriate for everyone. Defining access by title and role such that access is granted to appropriate people (i.e., worker #2 but not worker #1) is a double-edged sword: it is the most secure, auditable way to store and manage company information, but if it's not done in a way that workers understand, it encourages abuse.

To workers #1 and #2, the fact that they can see a file but not get universal access might seem like a mistake. From their perspective, they're helping the company because they're enabling more work to get done by overcoming an obstacle to productivity. To do this, workers are taking file sharing into their own hands with services they are already comfortable with outside of the office, like Dropbox.

This file sharing phenomenon didn't exist even a few years ago and it's difficult to measure the actual cost of CoST - businesses must examine the risk of data loss and security breaches according to the relative value of their data. But it's clear that in increasing numbers, businesses are fighting back.

To avoid improper file sharing and mitigate the risk of CoST, businesses are now adopting new, high-security cloud-based tools that allow IT departments to manage content effectively with the permissions, access and controls necessary for comprehensive audits, which may be required by law. This is particularly true for businesses in highly regulated industries like financial services or health care.

New content management and file sharing tools also embrace mobility and enable workers to effortlessly - and securely - get to the content that they need, no matter where they work. Next-generation content management tools also seek to make search and manual sharing a thing of the past by virtue of intelligent predictive algorithms that deliver appropriate content to workers from across the entire corporate content store. In our example, worker #1 wouldn't have to ask worker #2 for a file because if it was relevant to their work, the tool would have aggregated and curated all the content that they value from the entire data store, across departments, offices and continents, and pushed it to their desktop, laptop and mobile devices for anytime, anywhere access.

To businesses that value the security of data and the proper usage of proprietary information, CoST represents an unnecessary risk that can have serious ramifications. By using next-generation content management tools, the needs of both workers and IT can be met and a more harmonious data infrastructure can be ensured.

What file and content management tools is your business using to ensure that workers have what they need and IT remains in control of data? What strategies have worked well for your business and what hasn't? Have you ever experienced a data loss as the result of CoST?

More Stories By Andy McLoughlin

Andy McLoughlin is Co-Founder, EVP Strategy and GM USA at Huddle. He began tinkering with the web in the mid-nineties before starting his career at Fibernet Group plc as the company’s European webmaster in 2001. In 2003, Andy helped found KnowledgeCenter, a knowledge management consultancy focused on the London insurance market. In this role, Andy provided web content and knowledge management consultancy to a number of prominent global clients including QBE, Benfield, Catlin, Arthur J Gallagher and Montpelier Re.

With more than 10 years of industry experience, Andy is an expert in online collaboration and heavily involved in the London start-up community. As co-founder and EVP Strategy at Huddle, Andy builds global partner relationships and was directly responsible for Huddle’s partnerships with LinkedIn, HP, Ning and Xing. In May 2010, Andy relocated to San Francisco to lead Huddle’s US team.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.