Three Tools to Shore up the Consumer-grade File Sync ProblemThree Tools to Shore up the Consumer-grade File Sync Problem
MSP partners have an excellent opportunity to both better secure their clients with a business-grade and secure file sync offering and improve the overall security posture for their clients. But they must empower clients with a business-grade solution. Here are three tools that MSPs should be using to do so.
May 14, 2014
A surprisingly small number of partners are confronting the consumer file-sync problem today. Consumer-grade sync solutions such Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive have become widely adopted in the workplace, posing grave risks to corporate data. With consumer-grade sync service running on a work machine, sensitive corporate data can dropped into the user’s personal sync folder, finding its way onto home office machines and mobile devices. MSPs should be doing more to safeguard client data and improve the security posture on work machines.
Commentators on MSPmentor have written elsewhere about the dangers of consumer-grade sync and dangerous employee habits. I have written elsewhere about how MSP partners have an excellent opportunity to both better secure their clients with a business-grade and secure file sync offering and improve the overall security posture for their clients.
One part of the solution is empowering clients with a business-grade solution. And the other part of the solution is stomping out the security risks posed by consumer-grade sync services. Here are three tools that MSPs should be using to do so.
1. Next-generation Firewalls
Next-generation firewalls are a new class of firewalls that enable application filtering and control. With the explosion of different cloud-based applications, social media, and mobility tools, managing a business network is more demanding than ever.
Administrators and MSPs need tools to filter, monitor, block and control applications and their behavior on the network. Whether users on corporate issued machines or BYOD devices, rogue applications need to be weeded out and stopped. Just as commonly, many “grey area” applications should be proactively monitored and studied for risks to corporate data or employee productivity.
Firms such as Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, Dell, and others now supply partners with next-gen firewalls that take detect and block applications like Dropbox. Often using SSL decryption at the gateway firewall, these more advanced firewalls can unpack the payload and determine the application in use and block it. In addition, more traditional IP address filtering capabilities may also be used to block an entire IP address range, rending a cloud application like Dropbox useless.
MSPs that block the dangerous applications, and at the same time empower their clients’ users with a secure alternative, will both improve the security posture of their clients and improve their recurring revenue.
2. RMM tools
Another approach is to leverage the RMM tools most MSPs use every day. First, an RMM tool is a great place to inventory the potential dangerous applications that client users may already have on their machines. For example, one eFolder partner that recently adopted the Anchor product line conducted an inventory with his Kaseya RMM tool and discovered that fully two thirds of all of his managed endpoints had Dropbox running on them. This partner is now using the RMM tool to remove Dropbox installations on a client by client basis, as they begin the roll out their own branded and managed version of the eFolder Anchor sync and share solution.
3. Endpoint Protection Suites
Endpoint protection suites from the likes of Symantec, McAfee, Kaspersky and Sophos allow an MSP or administrator to perform Application Control, providing a policy-based approach to restrict and control permissible software applications on an endpoint device. This is an additional layer of protection that MSPs can employ to prevent users from installing dangerous consumer-grade file syncing applications.
At the end of the day, there are many technical means to clean up and improve client security; but it takes a proactive approach on the part of MSP partners to take client data security to another level.
Ted Hulsy is VP of Marketing at eFolder, a cloud-based file sharing company.
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like
AWS re:Invent Partner, Vendor News: Cisco, Salesforce, MoreDec 01, 2023
People on the Move: Comcast, Cisco, NICE, TPx, Barracuda, MoreNov 29, 2023
AWS re:Invent 2023 Partner News: Marketplace, Salesforce, Certs, MoreNov 29, 2023
AWS re:Invent Expo: VMware, Snyk, HPE, More Showcase Cloud, Security, AINov 28, 2023