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MegaUpload: What You Need to Know

Recently, federal authorities took action to shut down the Web site of MegaUpload, accusing its operators, who could face 20 years in prison, of copyright infringement.

There is a lesson to be learned here.  While online storage sites like MediaFire, Dropbox, YouSendIt and Box immediately jumped to defend legitimate file storage sites, like themselves, in the New York Times article, “Antipiracy Case Sends Shivers Through Some Legitimate Storage Sites” by Nicole Perlroth and Quentin Hardy; as reported by Perloth and Hardy, these public, cloud online storage sites “are inherently ideal for anyone looking to illegitimately upload and share copyrighted video and audio files.”

For the most part, the way the sites mentioned in the New York Times article work is that their users share files using a link to a file exposed publicly, and stored in a public, multi-tenant cloud.  These sites are often architected in such a way that one copy of a file, for instance a photo, is stored once and shared by multiple users to save storage space for the site.

So what is the lesson to be learned?  Data shows that employees at enterprise organizations are using consumer online storage sites at work and are putting their organizations at risk for copyright infringement and exposure of intellectual property.  According to a recent study by Palo Alto Networks, MegaUpload usage was found on the networks of 57 percent of the 1,636 enterprise organizations in the study.  76 percent had Dropbox and 57 percent had Box on their network.

An enterprise organization’s business users – employees, partners, and customers -- trying to get their jobs done and be productive often turn to consumer online storage sites to share sensitive corporate data.  If an organization wants to protect itself against copyright infringement and exposure of intellectual property, it needs to offer it's users another way to share files.

Accellion works differently from these sites and is a secure, managed alternative architected for enterprise organizations, while still offering users an easy, simple way to share files.  Using Accellion, enterprise users are granted their own secure, online storage while they access, collaborate and share files anytime, anywhere.  The majority of Accellion customers are using a private cloud deployment behind their firewall to ensure maximum protection and control of intellectual property.  Accellion encrypts information in transit and at rest and is the safe, secure option for business users.

Whether Accellion customers use a public, private or hybrid cloud deployment they can manage, report and track files so they know who downloads what file, from what device and when they download it.  Accellion also integrates with Data Loss Prevention technology (DLP).  This inherently discourages employees from sharing illegitimate files, watching copyrighted entertainment via the corporate network, or sharing other files that are not in line with corporate policies.  Accellion helps protect an organization from inadvertent IP leaks, and helps our customers maintain compliance with HIPAA, PCI, SOX and other global government data regulations.

The recent MegaUpload news is yet another wake up call for global enterprises to take control over file sharing within their organization, and this means deploying a secure enterprise solution that enables easy file sharing for business users without exposing intellectual property or enabling copyright infringement.  In addition, organizations need to continue to monitor updates to government regulations and the impact they have for their organization’s data. This will continue to be something we watch and discuss on this forum.  Subscribe to our blog for the most up-to-date information.


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