Swing and a Miss: Where Many 'Enterprise-Grade' File Sync Solutions Fall Short

Many companies are touting their cloud-based file sync services as business-ready. However, they often don't include important features such as remote wiping, file server enablement and mass revision rollback.

eFolder Guest Blogger

November 17, 2014

4 Min Read
Swing and a Miss: Where Many 'Enterprise-Grade' File Sync Solutions Fall Short

MSPs and VARs looking at file sync services–as well as their business clients–care deeply about the feature sets offered by different cloud providers. Companies like Dropbox, which has already penetrated the consumer market, are now looking to leverage their brand recognition in corporate environments; other companies, such as Box, have planted themselves firmly in the enterprise and business markets. Unfortunately, important features such as remote wiping, file server enablement and mass revision rollback aren’t included in some of these solutions. This blog post aims to highlight how Dropbox for Business, OneDrive for Business and Box for Business–despite their names–lack several important business-class features.

1. Remote wipe

Remote wiping is essential for the security and integrity of sensitive corporate data. With the proliferation of cloud services and devices such as smartphones and tablets, it has become increasingly easy to lose important information by, say, leaving a phone in the back seat of a taxi. In the event a device is lost or stolen–or a rogue employee tries to spread confidential data outside company premises–the ability to wipe important information clean off a device is invaluable. Though Microsoft technologies are deployed widely in the enterprise, the company’s OneDrive for Business service surprisingly does not offer a remote wipe capability; nothing can be done remotely to delete data off a device once it’s lost or stolen. Fortunately, eFolder Anchor offers remote wipe natively, so any administrator can easily wipe a lost, stolen or compromised device of any sensitive information.

2. File server enablement

Small and medium-sized businesses have enough on their plates; the last things they want to deal with are file sync hassles between local and remote employees. Many businesses currently leverage a file server located in-house to store important files. While employees on the local-area network have always enjoyed fast and easy access to these files, remote employees have been forced to use cumbersome, slow and difficult-to-use VPN software to connect to this server. These technical challenges often result in data sprawl–local data differing from the information stored by remote employees on their own devices.

Moving everything to the cloud, which typical file sync solutions (including Dropbox for Business, OneDrive for Business and Box for Business) encourage, solves this data sprawl issue. However, it is a difficult and onerous task–mapping file structures and directories is far from just a “drag and drop” affair. A better approach is to “cloud-enable” local servers, which allows SMBs to keep everything in sync without having to deal with the complications of transitioning entirely to the cloud. Advanced file syncing and backup services like eFolder Anchor feature this file server enablement capability, reducing the administrative burden on SMBs simply trying to make life easier for their employees.

3. Mass revision rollback

A surprising omission from Dropbox for Business and OneDrive for Business is a mass revision rollback feature that enables companies to revert their entire file system to a point in time. This type of feature is incredibly useful in the case of a ransomware, in which it is necessary to go back in time to reverse critical damage. Last year, for example, the CryptoLocker virus spread quickly in many corporate environments. This virus encrypted users’ files on their local machines, and once these files were synced to the cloud, the files in the cloud were also encrypted. Decryption of these files could be done only if the user paid a ransom to the hackers responsible for the CryptoLocker virus–a rather unsavory option.

An effective way to resolve this issue without resorting to the hackers’ bait would be for users to restore their environments to a time prior to the attack. Businesses equipped with a mass revision rollback feature offered by companies such as Anchor could do exactly this–roll back in time before the virus struck–saving money and plenty of headaches.

In designing Anchor’s file sync solution, eFolder carefully considered the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Anchor’s brandable file sync services are equipped with advanced features–such as remote wipe, file server enablement and mass revision rollback–all designed specifically for corporate environments. For more information about our offerings, visit http://www.efolder.net/cloud-file-sync-overview.

Neeraj Periwal is Marketing Coordinator, eFolder. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of MSPmentor’s Cloud-based File Syncing and Sharing Infocenter.



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