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Rise in cloud-based file sync-and-share services grabs IT's attention

Does your company's IT department have the tools to support file sync-and-share services?

OK, ITers, it looks like this bring-your-own-device (BYOD) thing is catching up with you. One of the key pieces of the BYOD puzzle is how to control and back up data that's zipping out of the organization and hitting the road on mobile devices. We know from our other surveys that backing up smartphones and tablets has been a, um, low priority to date. But the rise in the use of cloud-based file sync-and-share services by mobile users is getting the attention of IT. Fifty-one percent of the companies in our recent survey either pay or help to pay for employees' smartphones or tablets, and 58% said they have policies about employees using their own devices.

Respondents surmised that, on average, 23% of employees use a non-authorized file sync-and-share service, but almost one-third said it's OK to use commercial services at their companies. That may seem to take a load off of the shoulders of IT, but 64% of those same companies said they expect IT to manage the use of those services. However, IT may not have the tools to handle the onslaught: 50% claimed the sync-and-share services their companies use aren't integrated with internal directory services, and 48% stated their services integrate with either Active Directory or LDAP.

One solution would be to bring file sync and share in-house; 35% have done just that, while 9% are evaluating products -- not insignificant numbers for a relatively new type of data storage service. Twenty-six percent said managing the use of these services at their companies is under control; 20% confided that it's a developing problem and 11% have reached the "out of control" stage. The largest segment -- 39% -- said it's not yet an issue at their companies, but ...

mobile device policies

Commercial file sync-and-share policies

IT management of commercial file sync-and-share

IT management of file sync and share

Use of non-authorized sync-and-share services

File sync-and-share an issue

Company support of sync-and-share apps

Rich Castagna is editorial director of TechTarget's Storage Media Group.

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Cloud vendors want you to store sensitive data on their public cloud servers, they require you to create vulnerabilities that could compromise the trust, compliance and legal foundation of your organization storing data off premises whether encrypted and/or indemnified exposes that data to a variety of unwanted users  government investigators, law enforcement agencies, lawyers, hackers, even file sharing vendor personnel. And, when accessing off premise data through CDN, WebDAV or other web protocols, that data is not encrypted and may be comingled with the data of other companies
I think you touched on a key point and one of the main challenges of cloud storage--not just when to use it and for what apps, but what types of data your company is willing to entrust to an external service.

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