Collaboration in a borderless world: the dangers of moving data online and how businesses can avoid the pitfalls

Lyra Reyes
Online collaboration

Inspire-Tech’s GigaCentral is helping enterprises and SMEs through the dangers brought about by content digitisation

The digital age is coming upon Asia. With companies of all sizes moving their businesses online, moving a part or the entirety of one’s data to online platforms is becoming a necessity. Digitisation is what companies are trying to master as they find new revenue streams, reach new customers, and experiment with new business models by leveraging digital technologies.

It is easier, after all: teams can seamlessly plan and execute projects even while scattered across several countries and a few timezones, anyone can operate a company remotely, data can be easily accessible by anyone in the company, content can be quickly shared with partners and customers, and people don’t need to worry about losing files in case their machines break or become obsolete. People can store and manage data as well as share these with just about anyone, anytime, anywhere, making it a truly borderless world.

 

Also read: Singapore govt to bolster digital economy, plans to help low-income households get online

 

But what dangers do this borderless digital world bring? Inspire-Tech co-founders Sharon Teo and Charles Goh broke it down into the following:

Data is compromised all the time

One cost of the ease of sharing is the possibility of receiving more than what you were expecting. Whether intentional or not, viruses and other forms of malware can enter your system through a shared file to disrupt and compromise not only stored content but entire networks and business processes.

Loss of control over content and data

There is a popular adage that goes “once you put it on the internet, it’s there forever.” Websites may come and go but whatever is out there will remain retrievable given enough time and talent. This alone is a huge threat to businesses, especially those involved in innovation and the race to develop new disruptive technology. Once content is sent out and shared, the sender generally has limited or even zero control over it.

 

Interception

Content is shared not only within the company but between organisations, too. This is a reality that collaboration and file-sharing services address, one-upping emails in its ability to enable sharing of large files. But whenever content is shared, there is a possibility of it being shared with the incorrect people, whether intentional or not. A recipient may forward shared files to someone else, a careless login in an unsecured computer may give unauthorised persons access to internal systems, and even technology can be a culprit (take notice of email service providers that may sometimes group recipients to those you usually send files).

 

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Breaches and intentional external attacks

Security is a huge consideration. Service providers are quick to highlight this, especially for enterprise clients. However, there is no perfect system and one should always assume that somewhere at any given time, there is someone who is one step ahead and is ready to hack into the systems for whatever purposes.

Total loss of content and data

Then there is this. Whether content is stored onsite or online, loss of data is a possibility if one is to take into account limited storage space, hardware vulnerability, and human error. This kind of danger is not only disruptive but could possibly send the business back to zero.

Government policies that affect storage practices

More an inconvenience than a danger, governments are increasingly refining privacy policies to adjust to current businesses environments. Germany, for example, has created a law to keep content within the country. This means that if a local business uses an international storage platform based outside of the country, the business would technically be breaking a law, putting limits to where businesses can engage with storage and sharing providers.

 

Also read: Do you think your business is safe? Think again

 

How the ecosystem can address this

Teo and Goh says that a full-suite service that provides not only storage and collaboration needs but the tools to protect the business from the aforementioned dangers is important for companies who find themselves moving more and more of their business processes online.

There are several options available that large enterprises utilise; Inspire-Tech’s EasiShare™, a solution accredited by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), being one of those. However, the same cannot be said about the small businesses. “SMEs have more constrained resources and cannot do a lot of what the big boys can do,” Goh said.

Most SMEs use several tools and service providers, sometimes at the same time to take advantage of the cheaper rates for basic services. The even smaller ones rely on free services available online. The problem, though, is that these free or basic services offer little protection from business threats.

Teo stressed the need for an easy-to-use and budget-friendly solution. “SMEs either don’t have the money to protect themselves or they do not have the people who know what to do.”

 

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That is why GigaCentral was created. The two-pronged hybrid solution, which uses hardware created in partnership with Dell and a cloud service in partnership with AliCloud and several others, gives the SMEs control over their content and collaboration practices.

The on-premise and cloud storage facilities work seamlessly, with data being encrypted for added security before being pushed and stored in the cloud. Added protection is also available as GigaCentral works with partners to provide a full-suite of protection from viruses and breaches, and includes options like time limits and access levels for secure sharing of content. It comes with a slew of other features such as an encryption key, wifi connectivity, unlimited cloud storage, and allows the users to choose a local service provider, which comes in handy for compliance to local laws governing content storage.

“GigaCentral is going to be a very compelling solution in a new category,” Goh said.

 


Disclosure: this article was produced by the e27 content marketing team, sponsore by Accreditation@IMDA. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Accreditation@IMDA.

 

Feature image credit: ideyweb / 123RF Stock Photo

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