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What I Don't Love About SharePoint

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A recent article in Fierce Content Management entitled “Survey finds many users blow by SharePoint security” reveals how cavalier some Microsoft SharePoint users are about maintaining security within the widely used Enterprise collaboration and content management solution.  According to the SharePoint security survey conducted by Cryptzone, an IT threat mitigation company, 92% of respondents said they knew that taking content out of SharePoint created a security risk; still 30% were willing to take that risk for the sake of convenience.  Even more eye-opening was that 43% took sensitive content out of SharePoint to work at home and 55% said they did that to give material to someone without access to SharePoint.

There’s a clear need to be able to share files externally from SharePoint that is not currently being addressed in many organizations.

To effectively collaborate today, users need to easily share content securely within their organization and with external partners across the firewall. But in order to securely share data with outside parties, organizations need to create a secure file sharing system within their SharePoint environment.  Unfortunately, it is not easy or inexpensive to build an external-facing SharePoint server farm.

In order to open up content in SharePoint to external users, IT needs to provision a license and also set up external facing SharePoint servers on the DMZ.  This is an expensive proposition. So organizations usually bypass setting up external SharePoint servers.  This often leads employees to create work-arounds rather than taking the time to put in IT requests.  However, this is a data breach waiting to happen.  Once a document leaves SharePoint “illegally” the ability to track and manage the file is compromised.  This is particularly important in industries subject to HIPAA and other regulatory compliance.

There is a solution to this problem for organizations who want to make the most of their SharePoint investment.  Accellion offers a SharePoint Plug-in that enables users to quickly, easily, and securely share any size file from within the SharePoint Document Library to both internal and external recipients.  The plug-in not only makes it easy to share files across the corporate firewall but also provides easy-to-use file tracking and reporting required to meet industry and government regulations such as HIPAA, SOX and GLBA.

So if your organization has made an investment in SharePoint but you haven’t yet implemented external sharing of SharePoint documents for your users please give us a call.   As the Cryptzone survey illustrated if a solution isn’t provided for external file sharing from SharePoint then users will come up with their own solution and security isn’t typically top of their list of requirements.

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