6 Step Guide to Secure File Sharing with Clients

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Maintaining the confidentiality of clients and their data is crucial for every industry. Each sector faces distinct challenges and regulations, but cyber threats are present in all of them. We recognize the significance of providing businesses with a straightforward and safe method for achieving secure file sharing with their clients.

A secure portal for client file sharing and collaboration keeps all of your information secure, prevents added costs, and keeps your organization compliant with privacy laws.

In this article, we will explore the different reasons you should consider secure file sharing and offer an easy-to-follow guide to achieving secure file sharing.


Why do businesses need secure file sharing with clients?

Businesses choose secure file sharing or client data portals for many different reasons, and a lot of that depends on their sector. It is incredibly important for businesses in the financial, insurance, and legal sectors who deal with sensitive personal and business information to ensure files are shared securely to prevent information from leaking. Despite cross-sector differences, these are the common reasons businesses choose secure file sharing, and they are something you should consider for your organization.


Prevent Data Leaks

We are constantly being reminded that the data we share with organizations is potentially at risk of exposure or leaks. For businesses that require personal and sensitive information such as driver's licenses, banking information, or insurance documents, people are often even more skeptical about sharing those documents online, and for good reason. The risk of data breaches increases every year as we share more online.

In an attempt to prevent client files from being exposed, some companies choose to add optional password protection for file transfers, but does this really keep your client's sensitive information secure? The answer is no. An optional password can be easily shared online, stolen by a hacker, or your clients may even bypass it altogether and opt for a password-free option. This opens your organization up to the risk of a data leak and the costs associated with it.

Implementing a data portal with proper security and reporting, will help your organization minimize your risk of a costly data breach.


Confidentiality, Privacy, and Legal Compliance

In any industry, maintaining compliance with privacy laws is an essential practice. Industries may face different privacy laws and regulations depending on which countries they operate in. When handling sensitive client information, financial records, or legal documents, maintaining those documents is often a legal requirement for organizations.

The 2017 Equifax data breach is a prime example of how organizations failing to secure personal information and data can face large financial penalties. The investigation into the data breach indicated that Equifax failed to take the necessary measures to secure personal data.

Without a secure file transfer and management system in place, your organization risks having sensitive information, such as personal client information, leaked to the public. Each organization is responsible for maintaining client confidentiality, and failing to take the appropriate measures to do so can lead to large legal fines for non-compliance. Secure file management and sharing ensures compliance with these legal requirements, helping businesses avoid hefty fines and legal repercussions.


Simplify Document Sharing

With over 300 million monthly users, Microsoft is the top choice for businesses that need a simple internal document collaboration system that employees are familiar with. However, Microsoft does not have a simple and secure way to share, edit, and collaborate with clients. This often leads to businesses sharing sensitive information over email or employees adopting unapproved technologies for collaboration with clients.

Introducing a data portal is essential for businesses looking to regularly exchange, review, and edit content and files with clients. As many businesses know, reducing the number of environments where you store data simplifies your business procedures, and it is also a great security measure. In the Cost of a Data Breach report by IBM Security, they indicate that companies that store information in multiple environments had higher costs associated with breaches, and it took longer to contain. This indicates that organizations are better suited to choosing a data portal that integrates easily with their current document environment.

Data Room is built on Microsoft 365, a system you are already using and familiar with, and it allows you to share information securely with clients. This prevents you from having to adopt a new information environment when adding a client portal to your operations.


6 Steps: How can your organization implement secure file sharing?

Now that you know how important secure file sharing is for your organization, here is how you can implement the right data portal for your organization.


1. Assess current file-sharing practices and needs

The first step to achieving secure file sharing is to determine all the methods your employees currently use for file sharing. This may include emailing files or using various file-sharing programs. Having a full picture of your organization's sharing methods will allow you to address any insecure sharing practices.

In this step, you should identify which departments or employees require external collaboration with clients. This allows you to plan your implementation and education strategy.


2. Develop a comprehensive file-sharing policy

Once you have identified how your organization is currently sharing information with clients, you need to develop clear guidelines on how files should be shared, including which data can be shared through different channels.

This documentation will allow you to implement secure file-sharing policies with all staff and ensure everyone complies.


3. Adopt a secure and simple file-sharing system

Integrating a secure and simple file-sharing system will encourage your employees to adopt a new file-sharing system. EUM Data Room is designed with a simplified interface that aims to make external collaboration simple. In our environment, uploading and downloading files is seamless.

A notable feature that is useful for document retrieval is the requested documents panel. This panel allows users to view and upload necessary documents, making retrieving information from clients simple.


4. Train employees on secure file-sharing practices

With your new data room ready to go, it is time to share the system with your organization. Educating your team on the importance of data security and proper usage will help make the transition smooth and increase the adoption of your new system.


5. Monitor and manage file-sharing activities

An excellent feature of a secure document-sharing portal is the ability to track activity and changes within documents. Having this data allows you to act on any suspicious activity and implement preventative measures.


6. Foster a culture of security

The key to a successful, secure file-sharing system in your organization is consistency. By training and demonstrating the importance of secure sharing, this will become instinctual for your team and your clients. Continuously promoting the importance of secure collaboration and compliance will demonstrate to employees that this is an organizational priority.

Secure file sharing with clients is your responsibility as an organization that handles clients' sensitive information. Without the proper safeguards in place to keep sensitive information secure, you could face large financial penalties and even reputational damage. Fostering a culture of security in your organization starts with taking a step back and reviewing your file-sharing practices and implementing a secure data portal for document collaboration. Our EUM Data Room is designed to be secure and easy to use, making it simple for your employees to transition into using a secure file-sharing system.


Book a test ride with us to learn more about our EUM Data Room today:

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