Best Secure File Sharing Use Cases Across Industries

Best Secure File Sharing Use Cases Across Industries

If you’re looking for a business file sharing solution, you’ll probably want the best, but which one is the best file sharing software? Good news: we’ve done the digging for you. Keep reading to find out.

The best way to share your confidential business documents is through secure file sharing software.

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Secure Business File Sharing Defined

File sharing is a critical part of modern enterprise business. While consumers typically use standard technologies like email or basic cloud platforms to share files, enterprise companies require a specific set of features to support their data infrastructure. To meet these requirements, file sharing often uses standard enterprise-grade technologies like File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).

Organizations considering file sharing solutions for businesses need to consider the difference in these technologies:

1. FTP for Secure Business File Sharing

File Transfer Protocol, or FTP, is one of the most fundamental file transfer protocols available. It is simple, fast, and nearly every computer uses some form of it. It is also unsecured, transmitting data unencrypted over the internet, making it unsuitable for file transfer and sharing of compliance-sensitive or trade-secret content.

2. SFTP for Secure Business File Sharing

Secure (or SSH) FTP is a modified form of FTP that includes SSH encryption to protect data during transmission. This is a standard technology used for batch transfers and platforms that securely integrate enterprise file sharing into other services.

3. Cloud File Sharing for Secure Business File Sharing

When using cloud sharing, organizations rely on an on-premises or public cloud platform to securely store files and present those files to users intuitively, whether through a web interface or a dedicated application. Cloud file sharing for business has grown in popularity, given the significant scalability and cost saving opportunities.

4. Managed File Transfer (MFT) for Secure Business File Sharing

Managed file transfer (MFT) automates file transfer workflow operations to and from servers, repositories, and cloud storage using protocols like SFTP and HTTPS. It also provides enterprise-grade logging, auditing, failure recovery, workflow authoring, and analytics for operations and security. Many enterprise businesses rely on some form of MFT to handle mission-critical transfers and sharing.

Not every one of these approaches is created equal. An MFT solution may not provide the usability of a cloud sharing solution, for example, which makes it difficult for people to actually share files.

Managed File Transfer vs. Other Business File Sharing Software Solutions

MFT differs from other business file sharing software options in a few key ways:

1. Enhanced Security: MFT solutions typically offer advanced security features such as end-to-end encryption, secure authentication, and secure data storage. This makes them ideal for transferring sensitive or confidential information.

2. Better Visibility and Control: MFT solutions often provide visibility and control over the entire file transfer process, including monitoring and tracking transfers, setting user permissions, and enforcing compliance policies.

3. Strong Compliance Capabilities: MFT solutions are designed to comply with different regulations such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, and GDPR. This makes it an ideal option for businesses that deal with sensitive data. Other file sharing options may not have the same level of compliance.

4. Higher Performance: MFT solutions are designed to handle large files and high volumes of transfers efficiently and reliably, with fewer errors and interruptions than other file sharing options.

5. More Integration Options With Existing Systems: MFT solutions can often integrate with existing systems, such as ERP or CRM systems, making it easier to automate and streamline workflows.

MFT solutions provide a more secure, compliant, and controllable option for businesses to transfer files compared to other file sharing options. However, the specific needs of each business should be considered when deciding on the best file sharing option.

What to Look for in a Business File Sharing Software Solution

With all this information in mind, organizations may have already discovered that a business file sharing software solution includes usability for employees on the front end, and extensive controls and automation on the back end.

More specifically, look for the following features in a functional business file sharing solution:

1. File Sharing Security

At a minimum, business infrastructure needs to have the capabilities to protect the privacy and integrity of both user data and operational information. That does not include any specific security controls needed depending on the region or industry. Proper business file management should include encryption at the server and during data transmission at all times. Additionally, file sharing platforms should provide information on security measures like firewalls, anti-malware controls, and integration of audit logs with security information and event management (SIEM) solutions, among others.

2. File Sharing Compliance

Speaking of region and industry, regulatory compliance is a significant concern for most companies handling user data. Whether it is personally identifiable information/protected health information (PII/PHI), credit card payment information, or information generated by the federal government, a file sharing solution should cover the regulatory demands of an industry.

3. Enterprise File Sharing Analytics

Maintaining a data-driven business is not just about collecting data. It is also about using that data in a meaningful way to strategize, mobilize, and optimize people and technology in an organization. Business solutions should include some level of reporting and intelligence for a business and IT leadership in the form of customizable dashboards. These tools can help organizations better understand where data is and who is accessing it—which is an essential insight from both an operational and a compliance standpoint.

4. File Sharing Reporting and Auditing

Compliant, secure systems must include audit logs for both reporting and forensic purposes. Therefore, a file sharing solution must consist of immutable logging to cover system events, identity management, and content access.


On-premises vs. Cloud File Sharing: Which Deployment Option is Best for Secure Business File Sharing?

On-premises file sharing is a solution that allows businesses to store, access, and manage their data on their own local computer systems and storage devices. It is a good option for businesses that want to maintain control over storage and security of their data. On-premises file sharing also allows users to access files and resources without an internet connection.

Cloud file sharing, on the other hand, is a solution that allows businesses to store and share data on a shared virtual space. It is a good option for businesses that don’t have the resources to maintain their own on-premises system or have data that needs to be accessed from multiple locations or devices. Cloud file sharing is a more cost-effective solution compared to on-premises file sharing, as it is not necessary for businesses to purchase their own hardware for storage or to manage the system. Companies only pay for the resources and storage space they use.

Cloud File Sharing Benefits

Cloud file sharing is becoming more prevalent as data loads and remote access needs increase. Cloud file sharing meets these requirements and provides many additional benefits, such as:

1. Cloud File Sharing Enables More Efficient Collaboration with Project Members

Cloud file sharing makes it easy for team members to collaborate on projects from any location, as everyone can access the same files, eliminating the need for multiple versions and reducing the risk of errors.  

2. Cloud File Sharing Increases Productivity

By enabling team members to access the same shared files concurrently, collaboration and productivity are improved  

3. Cloud File Sharing Saves Costs

The cost savings associated with cloud file sharing are significant since it eliminates the need for multiple copies of files and reduces the time spent on administration.  

4. Cloud File Sharing Enhances Security

Cloud file sharing adds an additional layer of security to data, so there is less risk of data loss or theft. 

5. Cloud File Sharing Provides Flexible Access

Cloud file sharing offers flexibility in terms of who can access the files and when. This makes it easy to control who has access to sensitive documents, as well as keep track of the changes made. 

Secure File Sharing Use Cases for Specific Industries

While a secure file sharing solution’s principle requirement, protecting sensitive information whenever it’s shared externally, doesn’t change, secure file sharing may differ between industries. Specific requirements, risks, regulations and standards vary slightly by industry and therefore certain secure file sharing solution features may be more important than others. For example, the healthcare industry is bound by strict laws such as HIPAA that require strong encryption and privacy controls for sharing patient data. Similarly, the financial industry has to comply with laws such as SOX and GDPR that require strong security measures for financial and personal data.

Industries also have different types of data to protect. For instance, the entertainment industry might need to protect copyrighted material, while the defense industry needs to protect classified information. These differences in the nature of data can also necessitate different security measures.

Lastly, industries vary in their use of technology and their digital maturity, which can influence the types of secure file sharing solutions they use. Some industries might still rely on older, more traditional methods of secure file sharing, while others have moved on to more modern and advanced solutions.

As a result, it’s worth taking the time to look more closely at specific industries and how specific use cases may dictate different secure file sharing solution features or capabilities.

Secure File Sharing for Manufacturing

Secure file sharing has become an essential part of modern manufacturing operations. By adopting efficient and secure file sharing solutions, manufacturers have improved their workflows and enhanced their overall productivity. Here are some use cases of secure file sharing in manufacturing.

1. Share CAD Files Securely: CAD files are an essential part of the manufacturing process. Designers and engineers who work on CAD software need to share the files with manufacturers to produce the required components. Secure file sharing platforms enable manufacturers to share CAD files securely and efficiently.

2. Securely Share Production Schedules: Manufacturers need to have a clear and concise understanding of production schedules. Sharing production schedules with suppliers, vendors, and customers can ensure the smooth flow of operations. Secure file sharing tools provide a secure channel for sharing production schedules, minimizing the risk of data breaches.

3. Send IP-rich Quality Control Documents to Partners: Quality control is crucial in manufacturing. Manufacturers need to ensure that the products they produce meet required quality standards. Secure file sharing software enables manufacturers to share quality control documents with suppliers, vendors, and customers, ensuring that the products meet required quality specifications.

4. Share Compliance Documents with Regulators: Compliance regulations are essential in manufacturing. Manufacturers need to ensure that they comply with various regulations regarding safety, environmental protection, and labor laws. Secure file sharing tools enable manufacturers to share compliance documents with regulatory authorities, suppliers, and customers, ensuring that they meet the required compliance standards.

Secure file sharing is an integral part of modern manufacturing operations. By adopting a secure file sharing solutions, manufacturers can improve their productivity, streamline workflows, and ensure compliance with regulations.

Secure File Sharing for Financial Services

Financial services companies often deal with sensitive and confidential information that requires secure file sharing to protect privacy and prevent data breaches. Some common use cases for secure file sharing in financial services include:

1. Collaborate Securely on M&A Deals: Investment bankers, financial advisors, and other professionals often need to work together on complex deals, such as mergers and acquisitions. Secure file sharing software allows them to share sensitive financial data, legal documents, and other information securely and efficiently.

2. Communicate With Clients Securely: Financial advisors and wealth managers need to communicate confidential investment advice and portfolio updates with their clients. Secure file sharing tools enables them to share sensitive information, such as tax documents, investment reports, and other financial documents without worrying about security threats.

3. Secure File Sharing for Compliance Reporting: Financial services organizations are subject to strict regulatory requirements, such as the United Kingdom’s Data Protection Act (DPA), the European Union’s GDPR, and the United States’ FINRA regulations. Secure file sharing enables them to comply with these regulations by securely sharing audit reports, compliance policies, and other sensitive information.

4. Securely Share Files While Working Remotely: As more financial services companies adopt remote work policies, secure file sharing is essential for facilitating collaboration and productivity. Teams can share files and documents securely even when working from different locations.

5. Collaborate Securely with Third-parties: Financial services companies often collaborate with third-party vendors, such as insurance companies, auditors, and legal firms. Secure file sharing enables these companies to share sensitive data while maintaining the security and privacy of their information.

Secure file sharing is a critical tool for financial services companies looking to protect confidential information and maintain regulatory compliance. By implementing secure file sharing solutions, they can improve collaboration, productivity, and client satisfaction while minimizing the risk of data breaches and other security threats.

Secure File Sharing for Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences

In the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, secure file sharing is crucial to ensuring sensitive and confidential information is protected from unauthorized access. There are several key use cases for secure file sharing in these industries:

1. Share Research and Development Data Securely: Pharmaceutical and life sciences companies invest heavily in research and development to develop new treatments and cures. To protect their intellectual property, they need to securely share research data, test results, and other confidential information with internal teams and external partners.

2. Protect Clinical Trial Data Shared with Partners: Clinical trials generate a significant amount of data, including patient records, test results, and records of adverse events. All of this information needs to be securely shared with regulatory bodies, sponsors, and other stakeholders to ensure the safety and efficacy of new treatments.

3. Securely Send Compliance Materials to Auditors and Regulators: Pharmaceutical and life sciences companies are subject to a wide range of regulatory requirements, including HIPAA, GDPR, and the FDA’s 21 CFR Part 11. Secure file sharing tools can help these companies ensure compliance by providing audit trails, access controls, and other security features.

4. Collaborate Securely with Partners: Collaboration is key in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, especially with the rise of virtual teams and remote work. Secure file sharing tools can facilitate collaboration by allowing team members to share documents, edit files, and communicate in real time, regardless of location.

Secure file sharing is critical to the success of pharmaceutical and life sciences companies. From protecting intellectual property to ensuring compliance and facilitating collaboration, secure file sharing tools can help these organizations work more efficiently and effectively.

Secure File Sharing for Healthcare

In the healthcare industry, secure file sharing has become an essential tool for communicating patient information between healthcare providers, medical facilities, and patients themselves. With the increasing awareness of the risks of data breaches and the need to maintain patient confidentiality, secure file sharing has become a crucial aspect of healthcare.

1. Protect PHI When Sharing Medical Records: One of the most common use cases for secure file sharing in healthcare is for the sharing of medical records between healthcare providers. Hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities use secure file sharing to quickly and securely share medical records with each other, allowing them to provide better care to their patients. Medical professionals can easily access and share medical records securely, without having to worry about sensitive data being compromised.

2. Safeguard Patient Privacy: Another use case for secure file sharing in healthcare is for patient engagement. Patients can securely access their medical records, prescription information, or other sensitive medical data without the need to visit a medical facility in person. This allows patients greater control over their healthcare, while also improving their overall experience with the healthcare system.

3. Share PHI Securely During Telemedicine Consultations: Secure file sharing also plays a critical role in telemedicine. Healthcare providers can use secure file sharing to share medical images, such as X-rays or MRIs, with remote patients, allowing them to receive virtual consultations and remote medical care.

Secure file sharing has become an essential tool for healthcare professionals, patients, and medical facilities. It allows healthcare providers to securely share sensitive medical information, improving patient care and outcomes. With the increasing reliance on technology in healthcare, secure file sharing will continue to play an increasingly important role in the future of healthcare.

Secure File Sharing for Technology Companies

File sharing is a critical aspect of any organization, and the need for secure file sharing is even more critical in hi-tech industries. Hi-tech companies deal with critical data such as intellectual property, design documents, financial records, and customer data that must be protected from cyberattacks, data breaches, and unauthorized access.

1. Securely Collaborate on Designs: One of the most common use cases of secure file sharing in hi-tech is design collaboration. Design teams often work on large files such as CAD/CAM designs or 3D renders that need to be shared and collaborated on with team members in different locations. Secure file sharing ensures that the files are encrypted and securely transferred between remote teams, reducing the risk of data breaches or unauthorized access.

2. Share IP-rich Codebases Securely to Drive Software Development: Another use case for secure file sharing in hi-tech is software development. Software development teams often work on codebases, which are essential components of the company’s intellectual property. Secure file sharing ensures that codebases are encrypted and accessible only to authorized users, protecting the company’s intellectual property from cyberattacks, data breaches, or unscrupulous competitors.

3. Protect Customers’ PII: Hi-tech companies often deal with a considerable amount of customer data, such as personal details, financial records, and credit card information, which needs to be protected from unauthorized access or use.

Secure file sharing ensures that sensitive customer data is kept confidential, and only authorized personnel have access to it. In summary, secure file sharing is essential in hi-tech industries, where companies deal with a massive amount of sensitive data. By implementing secure file sharing technologies, companies can ensure data protection, reduce the risk of cyberattacks, and safeguard their intellectual property and customer data.

Secure File Sharing for Government

Secure file sharing is an essential aspect of government operations, as it allows for the transfer of sensitive or confidential files among government agencies, departments, and other authorized stakeholders. Here are four use cases that illustrate the importance of secure file sharing in government:

1. Secure Inter-agency Collaboration: Government agencies often collaborate on projects or initiatives that require the sharing of data or sensitive information. Secure file sharing enables these agencies to share files without compromising the confidentiality and privacy of the information being shared.

2. Protect Content Shared by Remote Employees: With employees working from remote locations, it is important to have secure file sharing solutions that enable them to access and share files from anywhere. This is especially critical for government employees who need to access and share sensitive information when working outside their office.

3. Protect PII During Citizen Engagement: Governments use various channels to engage with citizens, including email and social media. Secure file sharing solutions can help protect the privacy and security of citizens’ personal information when it is shared through these channels.

4. Demonstrate Compliance With Supporting Audit Trails: Governments are subject to various regulations and compliance requirements, including data retention and audit trails. Secure file sharing software that provides a complete audit trail of all file transfers help government agencies remain compliant and ensure the privacy and security of the files being shared.

Secure file sharing is a critical component of government operations. With the increasing need to share sensitive and confidential information among stakeholders, government agencies must ensure that their file sharing solutions are secure, compliant, and reliable.

Secure File Sharing for Legal

As a sector that deals with sensitive and confidential information on a daily basis, the legal industry has always had a strong need for secure file sharing. The ability to share documents and data while ensuring the privacy and security of clients’ confidential information is essential. With the advent of digital transformation, more and more legal firms are adopting online file sharing tools that are secure, easy to use, and accessible from anywhere. Here are four use cases of secure file sharing that are prevalent in the legal sector:

1. Share Case Files Securely: Law firms need to share case-related documents with clients, legal teams, and other stakeholders. Secure file sharing tools enable the sharing of these files with ease, while ensuring secure access, audit trail for accountability, and control over user permissions.

2. Protect M&A Documents When Sharing With Partners and Clients: When law firms are involved in merger and acquisition deals, many parties are involved, and they need to share a lot of confidential information. Secure file sharing tools enable sharing of such information without breach of confidentiality, ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to the information.

3. Collaborate Securely on Contracts: Law firms often deal with contracts that need to be reviewed, revised, and shared regularly. Secure file sharing software enables the easy sharing of these contracts, while offering version control and permissions control.

4. Securely submit Sensitive Regulatory Compliance Reports: Law firms need to stay compliant with regulatory requirements, and this includes ensuring that their information is secure. Secure file sharing platforms can be used to ensure that data remains confidential, data subject restrictions are met, and audit trail requirements are fulfilled.

Secure file sharing tools are essential to legal firms to share files with ease without compromising client confidentiality. The above use cases demonstrate how secure file sharing tools enable law firms to work more efficiently while ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

Secure File Sharing for Higher Education

Secure file sharing is crucial in the higher education setting because it enables collaborative work, data management, and information exchange among faculty, staff, and students. Here are some use cases:

1. Collaborate Securely on Group Projects: In higher education, students are often required to work in groups to complete a project or assignment. Secure file sharing provides a centralized platform where students can collaborate, share files, and work on the project in real time.

2. Protect IP-rich Research Data When Sharing With Partners: Higher education institutions conduct a lot of research, which generates a large amount of data. Secure file sharing tools provide a secure platform for researchers to share and manage data, ensuring confidentiality and preventing unauthorized access.

3. Securely Share Student Records: Administrative staff in higher education often need to share confidential documents, such as financial reports, student records, and personnel files. Secure file sharing ensures that these documents are only accessible to authorized personnel and are not compromised.

4. Safeguard IP When Sharing Online Course Materials With Students: With the increase in online courses, secure file sharing is essential in sharing course materials between students and teachers. This includes lecture notes, discussion forums, and assignments. Secure file sharing tools ensure that course materials are always available to students and are accessible only by authorized users.

Secure file sharing is essential in the higher education setting because it provides a centralized platform for collaboration, ensures data confidentiality, and prevents unauthorized access. The use cases highlighted above demonstrate the importance of secure file sharing in higher education.

Kiteworks Helps Businesses Share Sensitive Information Securely

One of the key features of the Kiteworks Private Content Network is its secure file sharing capability. This feature enables users to share files with their peers, customers, and partners in a secure and controlled manner. The platform offers various options for sharing files, including links, email, and collaboration spaces. The Kiteworks Private Content Network uses industry-standard encryption protocols to secure the files being shared. This ensures that the files remain confidential and only accessible to authorized users.

Kiteworks also offers granular control over who can access the shared files and what they can do with them. For instance, users can set permissions on files that restrict certain users from editing, copying, or downloading the files. Another benefit of the secure file sharing capability is that it eliminates the need for users to use unsecured file sharing platforms such as email, USB drives, or public file sharing platforms. These platforms are vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches, which can result in significant business risks and financial losses.

The Kiteworks Private Content Network offers audit trails that allow users to track who accessed the files, when they accessed them, and what changes they made to the files. This is particularly useful for compliance purposes, where organizations have to demonstrate the security and confidentiality of their data. In conclusion, the Kiteworks Private Content Network is a reliable and secure platform that offers robust features for sharing files and collaborating with teams, customers, and partners.

With its secure file sharing capability, users can share files without worrying about the confidentiality and integrity of the data. This makes the platform an ideal choice for organizations that value the security of their data and want to avoid the business risks associated with unsecured file sharing platforms.

To learn more about business file sharing and security and for a more detailed look at Kiteworks, schedule a demo today.

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