Sharing Confidential Documents Securely

Written by

A picture of confidential documents

Thanks to the development of secure data rooms and other online document-sharing platforms, the routine exchange of confidential and sensitive information between individuals and businesses is possible. Despite the fact that these platforms are advantageous and effective, there are concerns regarding the inadequate level of document security offered by them. We will investigate the factors that contribute to the inadequacy of document protection offered by online document-sharing platforms such as secure data rooms and other online document-sharing platforms, as well as the solutions that can be implemented to improve the security offered by these platforms.

Poor Encryption

Although the overwhelming majority of platforms claim to employ encryption, a sizeable proportion of these platforms do not use the most robust form of encryption currently available to them. Users are therefore exposed to a variety of potential hazards. As a result, there is now a vulnerability that hackers and other individuals with malicious intentions can exploit. In certain circumstances, these defects can be utilized to one's benefit. In addition, it is possible that some of these websites employ antiquated encryption standards that can be circumvented in a straightforward manner.

Poor authentication methods

User authentication is another reason why secure online data rooms and other online platforms for document sharing do not provide sufficient security for uploaded files. The process of determining whether a user is who they claim to be in order to grant them access to a set of files is called "user authentication." In the absence of proper authentication, unauthorized users are able to access personal information, which may lead to data breaches or other security issues. This is the case if insufficient authentication is utilized.

Even though it is simple to navigate, a significant number of platforms continue to employ the simple username and password authentication method. Although two-factor authentication is often available, users can share these codes easily with others. Due to this, unauthorized users may have access to sensitive information.

Poor security controls

All secure data room systems use JS or JavaScript to control how documents can be used. For example, whether they can be printed, edited, etc. Users however can edit JS in their browser so that restrictions or controls can be tampered with. A good example of this is Google Docs security. This therefore gives organizations a false sense of security thinking that documents are adequately protected when they are not.

Defects in the existing organizational structure of the system

The existence of system vulnerabilities is an additional factor contributing to the inadequate protection of the documents. Secure data rooms and other online document-sharing platforms may occasionally have flaws that malicious parties could take advantage of. These vulnerabilities can include the inability to authenticate users correctly and the disclosure of sensitive data. When pursuing unauthorized access to sensitive data, hackers will typically focus their attention first and foremost on these vulnerabilities.

In addition, it's possible that some systems aren't maintained or updated as frequently as they should be, leaving them vulnerable to attacks from previously discovered vulnerabilities. This leaves them vulnerable to assaults utilizing previously discovered vulnerabilities. Platforms are required to regularly modify and update their systems in order to reduce the risk of exploitable vulnerabilities. This is a mandatory requirement that cannot be circumvented.

Threats that originate from within the organization

Using online document-sharing services increases the difficulty of dealing with dishonest company employees. The term "insider threat" refers to employees or other authorized users who have access to the platform but may knowingly or unknowingly abuse that access to pilfer data or cause harm to the company. This may occur either intentionally or accidentally. These individuals may do so intentionally or inadvertently without realizing it.

A classic example of an insider threat is when employees depart a company while taking with them vital company information. An additional type of insider threat that occurs frequently is when employees accidentally disclose confidential business information to outside parties. Access controls, document permissions, and audits are just a few of the requirements that secure data rooms and document-sharing platforms must have in place to defend themselves from internal attacks.

An inability to continue to correctly manage the collected data

The lack of control over the data is a factor that is sometimes overlooked when it comes to secure data rooms and other platforms for document sharing. This is an issue that cannot be ignored in any way. When documents are exchanged on these platforms, there is no assurance that the recipient will keep the information confidential and not share it with others. There is no method to predict whether the recipient will perform this action. This is due to the fact that there is no way to validate the recipient's goals. Due to the platform's potential access to the documents, the data proprietor has limited control over who has access to them.

Due to a variety of issues, secure data centers and other online document-sharing platforms cannot guarantee sufficient security for the documents they store. This is due to a lack of inadequate user authentication, poor security available in the browser, system vulnerabilities, insider threats, and a lack of control over the data. Moreover, there is no authority to regulate the data. It is crucial that users of these platforms are aware of the risks associated with their use and take precautions to protect their sensitive data.

This may involve selecting a platform with robust encryption capabilities, implementing robust methods for user authentication, updating and upgrading systems on a regular basis, and employing additional security measures such as watermarking and auditing. One of the options available is to use a service that protects documents on devices rather than online instead. By adhering to these guidelines and taking the necessary precautions, businesses and individuals will be able to secure their sensitive data more effectively, thereby preventing data breaches and other types of security issues.

Rex Anthony

Rex is a content creator and one of the guys behind ShareTXT. He writes articles about file sharing, content creation and productivity.

Related Posts

View more →