University researchers access, share and protect data with Citrix ShareFile

Established in Glasgow in 1796 as “the place of useful learning,” the University of Strathclyde is committed to the advancement of society through the pursuit of excellence in research, education and knowledge exchange, and through creative engagement with partner organizations at local, national and international levels.

The challenge: Get control over how research data is stored, shared and secured

Researchers at the University of Strathclyde needed a better way to store, share and secure their data. While there were network drives available, many researchers instead used their own local or external hard drives, as well as external cloud services such as Dropbox and OneDrive. Meanwhile, researchers lacked the flexibility and mobility to access internal data stores from outside the university network, and often ran into email file size limits that made it difficult or impossible to share their work with others.

The solution: Enable secure file sync and sharing with Citrix ShareFile

The University chose Citrix ShareFile to provide a simple, secure way for researchers to store, access and share their data from anywhere. For users, the solution combines the ability to use their own local storage while on-campus, as many preferred, while also benefiting from a cloud-style service that lets them access their files on any device, anywhere. For the University, data visibility, secure storage, encryption and central backup helps protect research data from risk. Researchers now use the solution to store, access and share wide variety of files, from Word and PDF documents to audio files to proprietary formats, including some that are dozens or hundreds of gigabytes in size.

Key benefit: Increase productivity and mobility for researchers

“With ShareFile, our researchers now have a way to store and access data that makes their life easier and meets their needs,” says Claire Carroll, project manager at the University. Files can be accessed on mobile devices as easily as on a desktop, from inside or outside the university network. The ShareFile plug-in for Microsoft Outlook lets people share files from within their familiar email environment, but without the usual restrictions on file size. They can also use the request-a-file feature to make it easy for collaborators, students and other third parties to upload files into a designated location.

Key benefit: Provide the security and control to protect research data

As a secure alternative to consumer-grade file sharing services, ShareFile provides the control and visibility IT needs over where data of various types is being stored, and how it is being protected. Files are protected both at rest and in transit—a capability that has helped researchers meet the requirements of organizations to which they have applied for funding. As our staff and students move away from the use of external hard drives and other unmanaged stores, the solution is also helping the University transition to a more rational, centralized and managed data environment. Advanced reporting, auditing, device security policies and data security features help the University maintain secure IT oversight of data within the ShareFile environment.

Key benefit: Ensure business continuity and disaster recovery

For a researcher and for the institution, the loss of data can be a devastating blow both professionally and personally, delaying or preventing the completion of important work. For example, in 2012, a major fire in the University’s downtown campus made this prospect all too real for hundreds of professors and students in engineering and technology. While no significant data was lost, the time lost in identifying and recovering research data highlighted the inefficiencies and vulnerabilities of local unstructured storage . With ShareFile, centrally stored data can be backed up much more easily and comprehensively, and any files lost on a user’s primary device can still be accessed on any other device they use. In this way, the University helps its researchers keep their projects moving forward even when the unexpected strikes.

Looking ahead

“ShareFile will change the way our University manages its research and administrative data.  We can show our researchers that we will support them with the systems and infrastructure their work requires, and meet their needs with a service that fits the way they work,” says Carroll. The University is now exploring the use of ShareFile to support additional departments and users to increase mobility, productivity and security campus-wide.

ShareFile will revolutionize the way our University’s staff and students access their stored information, by supporting the systems and infrastructure their work requires, and by meeting their needs with a service that helps them work better, more easily.
- Claire Carroll

Project Manager

University of Strathclyde

About Citrix

Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is leading the transition to software-defining the workplace, uniting virtualization, mobility management, networking and SaaS solutions to enable new ways for businesses and people to work better. Citrix solutions power business mobility through secure, mobile workspaces that provide people with instant access to apps, desktops, data and communications on any device, over any network and cloud. With annual revenue in 2014 of $3.14 billion, Citrix solutions are in use at more than 330,000 organizations and by over 100 million users globally. Learn more at www.citrix.com

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With ShareFile, our researchers now have a way to store and access data that makes their life easier and reduces barriers to good information security practice.
- Claire Carroll

Project Manager

University of Strathclyde

University of Strathclyde

Industry

  • Education

Citrix products

Key benefits

  • Increases productivity and mobility for researchers
  • Provides the security and control to protect research data
  • Ensures business continuity and disaster recovery