Information Portability and Control

Information is the ultimate currency of any organization.  Protecting that information so the right message is released to the right audience at the right time is the responsibility of each individual in that organization.  In some sectors mishandling of information can lead to life threatening security concerns.  In most cases though information mishandling leads to a significant cost of time and money.  

Among the many things businesses can adopt to mitigate the risk of information spillage the first that I would recommend is to normalize encryption for all communication.  One of the major ways people communicate online is via email and there are several email encryption solutions available.  Most of the solutions are offered by private companies and are proprietary.  When selecting a proprietary system it’s important to evaluate how that system will accommodate future technology.  Currently the U.S. Army’s email encryption system requires a 32 bit version of Internet Explorer 9 in order to function which reduces users’ ability to leverage new technologies.

In many cases email is used to transfer files in addition to text messages.  Some conversations can be consolidated to a collaborative cloud based text editing system that allows multiple live editors such as Google Docs, Office 365, or Owncloud.  These solutions are more secure because they don’t require unencrypted transferring the information from one server.  The users can simply edit the documents using the secure (https) connections of their browsers.

If the business does need to transfer large files securely across multiple workstations BitTorrent Sync will allow easy and secure file sharing without any additional cost of organizational infrastructure.  Shared folders can be synchronized across a vast network with specific controls on who can read, write, and access the files.  I’ve used BitTorrent Sync to transfer several gigabyte movie files and large photo libraries across continents.

Businesses have to address the balancing act of sharing their information within the organization in a way that still allows them to maintain control and leverage that information for profits.  Handling this information is everyone’s responsibility and any system that gets implemented needs to be easy to use so it can have the widest range of adoption.