Email is the world’s collaborative tool and is the electronic ‘sending’ system of choice between people, both within and across organizations.

While the capabilities of transferring files via email hasn’t improved much in the past 10 years, the size and sensitivity of files has multiplied ten-fold.

Email usage is ungoverned at most organizations, meaning that employees can attach any file they have access to and send it to anyone in the world.  For CIOs, it’s about more than just security – it’s also about visibility.  If you can’t see the files flowing within and from your organization, you can’t protect them.

And how about employees, who are bound and determined to quickly transfer needed information (which may be confidential) with customers, co-workers and partners?  For the majority of workers, not sending that file for security’s and visibility’s sake is not an option.  Employees will choose ‘productivity’ over ‘security’ if they are given the choice.

Please do take some time to identify and evaluate the tools your employees use to share information with other people and ask yourself if it’s being done in a visible, secure and well managed way.  You’ll likely want to rethink how people are really sharing information at your organization.

Did you kill the web?

Let’s check your alibi. Think of how you spent your morning. Normally, I’d share my morning with you here, what websites I’ve visited and what apps I’ve used, but my boss reads my blog posts, and if she knew how much time I spent on … well, let’s let Chris Anderson illustrate the point I’m trying to make:

You wake up and check your email on your bedside iPad — that’s one app. During breakfast you browse Facebook, Twitter, and The New York Times  — three more apps. On the way to the office, you listen to a podcast on your smartphone. Another app. At work, you scroll through RSS feeds in a reader and have Skype and IM conversations. More apps. At the end of the day, you come home, make dinner while listening to Pandora, play some games on Xbox Live, and watch a movie on Netflix’s streaming service. You’ve spent the day on the Internet — but not on the Web. And you are not alone.”

Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff, in an article on Wired.com titled “The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet“, present a compelling argument for the demise of the World Wide Web and how “simpler, sleeker services“, like apps, “are less about the searching and more about the getting.”

Peer to peer file transfers are among the suspects at the crime scene:

The applications that account for more of the Internet’s traffic include peer-to-peer file transfers, email, company VPNs, the machine-to-machine communications of APIs, Skype calls, World of Warcraft and other online games, Xbox Live, iTunes, voice-over-IP phones, iChat, and Netflix movie streaming. Many of the newer Net applications are closed, often proprietary, networks.”

This is one of the most interesting articles I’ve read in a while, give it a read and feel free to share your thoughts and whether or not you’re placing any yellow crime scene tape over your PC.

Worried about how people in your organization send files to other people, both internally and externally?

If not, you should be.

Employees have proven that they’ll use whatever is convenient to send files to other people, including email, USB drives, burning DVD’s and even signing-up for free file sharing websites.  Although convenient to employees, each of these examples has their own set of risks and uncertainty to the company.

Ipswitch File Transfer is pleased to announce the launch of our new person-to-person Ad Hoc Transfer module.  When used in conjunction with any of our WS_FTP Server solutions, the Ad Hoc Transfer module delivers the visibility, management and enforcement that IT departments need to safely enable file sharing interactions, while at the same time making it simpler than ever for employees to quickly, easily and securely share files with other people using either Microsoft Outlook or their browser.

Please do join one of the following webinars to learn more: