The deep partnership between Citrix and Microsoft is no secret. With over 25 years of history and hundreds of thousands of joint customers, organizations all over the world rely on the two companies to deliver productivity to their end users while keeping apps and data secure.

Those joint customers continually approach us to discover new approaches to improve their security posture, especially when it comes to their sensitive corporate documents. October is Cybersecurity Awareness month, so let’s take the opportunity to share how Citrix Content Collaboration and Microsoft OneDrive for Business serve as the perfect complement to your data security strategy.

Reduce the risk of shadow IT through data aggregation

End users who store their files in OneDrive for Business enjoy an excellent experience. Apps for a wide range of devices provide anywhere, anytime access to files. The user interface is clean and simple to use. Generous amounts of cloud storage ensures that they’re always able to securely store whatever they’re working on, no matter the file size.

What we know from speaking with Citrix customers, though, is that not all files are being migrated to OneDrive for Business. In fact, a recent survey of Citrix customers showed that 94% were not planning on moving documents from legacy file shares to OneDrive for Business. This creates “data sprawl,” a situation where documents and files are stored in a number of disparate repositories. Data sprawl creates a disjointed, inconsistent experience for end users, which negatively impacts their productivity. An unfortunate side effect of data sprawl is the creation of shadow IT. End users turn to consumer file sharing services outside of IT’s control in an effort to simplify their document management and access. This creates risk for the organization, as IT loses control and oversight into how those documents are managed and secured.

Citrix Content Collaboration connectors form a unified point of access for all of the documents in an organization, regardless of where they’re stored. End users can access, edit, and share documents stored in OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, network file shares, and more, from their Citrix Content Collaboration account. IT pros love that this can be accomplished without a data migration project. Unified access to documents with Content Collaboration connectors creates a simple, consistent experience for end users, helping them stay productive within the Citrix Workspace that IT sanctioned and controls.

Leverage machine learning to identify and protect against malicious behavior

Knowledge of end user behavior is a primary resource in the battle against data breaches. Understanding how your users access, share, and store their files provides critical insight into when, where, and how a data breach may happen.

OneDrive for Business customers get a comprehensive dashboard to understand user behavior. According to Microsoft, “included in the dashboard is an active user count, file storage utilized, and a drill-down into each user to see last activity date, number of files, and storage used.” This data is critical for IT to capture and analyze to understand the potential of a data breach in their organization.

Documents are at the core of getting work done, and most users are creating, downloading, and sharing documents many times every day. Each of those actions creates a data point that IT can use to understand end user behavior. When multiplying the number of actions by the number of users over an extended period of time, hundreds of thousands of data points may be created. For IT teams that are already stretched thin, separating the signal from the noise in that massive data set may prove to be impossible.

Citrix Analytics can help those teams by leveraging machine learning to identify and take action against potential threats. As users generate document usage data points — where they access files, what devices they use, how many files they upload and download on a daily basis — the service learns what a typical day for the user is. If the user behavior deviates from their norm, like when they access files from an unknown location or download an abnormal amount of files, the user’s risk score increases. When that user’s risk score exceeds the amount deemed acceptable by IT, Citrix Analytics will take proactive action. Actions the service can take include disabling users and expiring all shared links. This prevents against external threats, like a ransomware attack, and internal threats, like a departing employee downloading sensitive company information. In addition to documents, Citrix Analytics can also monitor devices, networks, and apps, giving IT a holistic view of potential security risks.

Simple, secure sharing

Securely sharing and collaborating on documents has always been a key component of both OneDrive for Business and Citrix Content Collaboration. OneDrive for Business provides simplified sharing through web and mobile apps while providing “visual prompts and tips about the number of people that will have access to a file or folder when they’re sharing it. They’re also alerted when sharing content outside your organization—helping avoid mistakes that occur when they’re unaware of content visibility.” IT can also apply controls that restricts the sharing of sensitive documents with external users.

Citrix Content Collaboration enhances simple, secure sharing with value-added tools. Citrix Files for Outlook is an easy-to-use plug-in that enables end users to share documents stored in OneDrive for Business directly from Outlook. The average office worker spends 2.5 hours a day on email, making Outlook a central component of productivity. Providing tools that easily integrate and enhance your users existing workflow ensures they’ll embrace them, helping you stay secure.

While simplified, secure sharing with intended recipients is an integral element of a data security strategy, organizations must also consider how to prevent the document from being shared with unauthorized users. With Citrix Content Collaboration, end users can prevent further sharing of sensitive documents with Information Rights Management (IRM). With IRM, end users can choose to apply a watermark with the recipients name, email address, and IP address on a per share basis. Additionally, they can restrict downloading and printing of the shared document, ensuring paper copies of the sensitive material don’t end up in the wrong hands.

The Citrix and Microsoft partnership has never been stronger. And while we celebrate this partnership during Cybersecurity Awareness month, organizations can feel confident in their data security strategy by leveraging the complementary powers of the market-leading Citrix Content Collaboration and OneDrive for Business solutions year round.

Learn more about Citrix Content Collaboration in Citrix Workspace