Progressive leaders in organizations around the world depend on secure access to content for every part of their daily business operations. They are looking for new ways to modernize their way of working by leveraging proven technology to drive successful business outcomes. ShareFile is a leader in the content collaboration space, focusing on security, flexibility and collaboration. Here are a few insights into what we at Citrix see as future trends in the content collaboration space.

Intelligent analytics will be a core component to secure file sharing

Enterprises are adopting new technologies that boost employee productivity while offering more choice and flexibility, such as mobile devices, bring your own device (BYOD) policies, SaaS applications, and public clouds. These, however, have adverse consequences on risk exposure due to inherit challenges with controlling how and where sensitive company documents are shared.

Analytics provide valuable insights to improve security, productivity, performance, and availability of content. Organizations continue to face threats from within (data breaches from careless or malicious employees), and from outside (e.g. ransomware and malware attacks). IT managers have no choice but to monitor and collect information on user behavior with documents: access, downloads, and sharing both inside and outside of the organization.

Careful monitoring of content analytics will identify suspicious patterns and alert administrators to data breaches and malicious activity, help track where security breaches originate, and shorten both the exposure and the recovery windows.

Security, compliance and GDPR will be a force that cannot be ignored

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will impact any company that does business with EU residents or tracks them for analytics or advertising purposes. In other words, this regulation affects just about every global business. The regulation goes into effect in May 2018 and penalties are serious (up to 4% of annual global revenue) for companies not found in compliance.

According to a recent study by Citrix and Ponemon, while 67 percent of respondents are aware of GDPR, only about half of organizations represented in this research have allocated budgets and started to prepare for these new regulations.

Companies will be scrambling in 2018 to prepare a GDPR compliance strategy, which will include performing data inventories, adding new data protection features, and dedicating security resources to defining and documenting new policies.

Enterprise will implement proactive malware and security policies to provide maximum flexibility and efficiency with minimal risk and cost

It’s no secret, malware and ransomware are on the rise, and no longer targeted at individuals, but at larger enterprises. Direct and indirect social costs are hitting companies directly in their bank accounts. A key way to protect your business from phishing and malware is, in effect, to protect users from themselves.

Companies will reduce their risk for exposure by combining policy-based administration and contextual relevancy to better secure and manage how users access data.

To understand the power of contextual access, these questions will inform future security policies:

  • Do we have applications that should be restricted to onsite-only usage, or even to specific physical zones within our office?
  • Is there data that should never be exposed on the device of an international traveler?
  • Exactly who should be authorized to work with sensitive financial or personal data on a mobile device?
  • What’s your comfort level for allowing access to specific apps and data over public networks, or on unmanaged devices?
  • Which data does a given role actually need to get their work done in a given scenario? Do you want to take an additive or a subtractive approach to the access you allow?

Companies continue to leverage hybrid cloud storage to enable secure, anywhere workstyles

Cloud computing continues to revolutionize the industry, capturing the attention of business and IT leaders. The cloud enables organizations to ensure the best security, performance and reliability whether workloads run in the datacenter or in an external cloud.

While enterprises will continue to embrace the cloud where it makes fiscal sense, they will continue with caution as they balance security and flexibility regarding the secure access to sensitive business data and intellectual property.

With flexible hybrid cloud solutions, organizations will select which applications and usage scenarios fit best in their private cloud, and which fit best in a public cloud, enabling them to flex, grow and transform to meet the demands of the modern workplace without having to migrate all their data to a single storage zone. Hybrid clouds combine the benefits of building private and public clouds as well as leveraging existing IT infrastructure to cut costs, maximize value and modernize the way IT services are delivered.

By allowing IT to deliver every application workload at scale and with simplicity, organizations can capitalize on all of the benefits that cloud computing has to offer, whether the apps and data live on-premises or off-premises.

Beyond file sharing to collaboration

Files form the basis for content collaboration platforms, and 2018 will generate even more supporting tools and workflows that enable and support the reasons people share files—to get work done more effectively and efficiently from anywhere.

Tools that will continue to evolve include:

  • Critical document processes with collaborative workflows
  • Workflows extending to the mobile workforce in the form of integrated apps
  • Advanced document editing and sharing from third parties
  • Integration with virtual environments
  • Connectors to access content no matter the storage platform