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News

Risks involved in transferring large data files.

DVS Soft Distribution : 14 April, 2008  (Technical Article)
Restricting e-mail size drives employees to using web 2.0 or third party web sites to transfer large files, a risky prospect according to DVS Soft.
DVS Soft Distribution has warned that the methods some employees are using to transfer large files are putting organisations at serious risk of data leakage and possible malware contamination. Although recent high profiles cases have highlighted the dangers of postal and courier services, DVS Soft says third party web transfer services, instant messaging and even social networking sites are also frequently used by employees, but still equally insecure.

"Restricted by email attachment size and even file formats, ever resourceful employees are finding other ways to transfer large files and most of them are even more insecure than email," comments Andy Hansen, sales manager of DVS Soft Distribution. "Granted, the average business may not be transferring vast quantities of customer information, but it's still likely that typical files will include sales information, market projections, confidential pitches and competitive analysis. Not the sort of information most businesses want in the open."

DVS Soft believes that the majority of employees use these external services in the genuine belief that it is helping them be more efficient in doing their job and are not intentionally putting their employer at risk. However, aside from the increased risk of information theft or a delivery mistake by the postal company, there is also the distinct possibility that the file or the site it is hosted on may be compromised by malware.

"One of the problems is that businesses have restricted the employee's ability to send large files over email, without recognising that they still need to be able to get that information to partners and customers. Consequently employees just look for the easiest and most familiar method out there and that's often social networking sites and Web 2.0 tools such as IM," continues Andy Hansen.

"Reputation is often underestimated in business, until you've lost it of course. Companies need to ask themselves - which looks more professional a dedicated, fully encrypted, password protected file system that can be accessed via the web or sending your best customer to a web site to download a file?"
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