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Are Your File-Sharing Users Breaking the Law?

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on March 28, 2014 by Tobin Dalrymple

People love the simplicity of services like Dropbox. So much so, they often go around IT to use them for accessing work files remotely. For many, it feels like no IT-provisioned solution is good enough when that option is a offered through a painfully slow and clunky VPN.

As you know, this situation poses enormous risks for business. IT loses control, a third-party is responsible for security and uptime, and worst of all, your employee might be breaking the law, exposing you to hefty regulatory fines, depending on your sector’s compliancy issues.

Novell’s Filr is one way many organizations are delivering a modern solution that delivers the flexibility end-users want, while providing IT with the governance they need. And there are big differences between consumer-grade SaaS like Dropbox, and Novell’s Filr offering.

What is Novell Filr?

Novell Filr enables enterprise employees to access their corporate files anywhere, on any device, but it is delivered on-premise rather than from the cloud.

Because it offers access to data and documents wherever your workers may be, from a variety of endpoint devices, Filr offers a Dropbox-like experience. Unlike Dropbox, Filr leverages an organization’s existing on-premise infrastructure and access control mechanisms, including Active Directory or NetIQ eDirectory.

At the back-end, Filr is deployed as three virtual machines, comprising the Novell Filr Appliance, a MySQL Database Appliance and the Novell Search Index Appliance.

Who Filr is perfect for

Filr is ideal for enterprise customers who own Mobile Device Management Solutions, or have requirements for:

  • Secure File Sharing from Mobile Devices for Collaboration
  • File Sharing Using Existing File Systems, behind the customer’s firewall
  • File Sharing With Granular Control
  • Mobile Device Printing
  • Prevention of Data Loss
  • Compliance Reporting

For end users, Filr simply gives them access to all their files and shared network folders from almost any device and at any location. On the client side, it supports Windows PCs running XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8, Mac OS X, iPhone and iPad, Android and BlackBerry 10 devices. Content can also be accessed via a browser.

For IT it means you can leverage existing infrastructure, so your security mechanisms, such as file access and sign-on remain intact, and you don’t need to change your backup and recovery systems. Filr also makes it easy for IT to manage who gets access to what and where, with file sharing policies, a web-based interface and simple mobile device management tools.

Why Softchoice likes Filr

As the world steadily grows more mobile and cloud dependent, solutions like Filr will increasingly be the norm. We think the concept of applying traditional security and policy controls on data, yet allowing it to be accessed in a modern, user friendly way is a great approach for organizations looking for the benefits of consumer-grade SaaS running on-prem.

What you can do right now

Be sure to assess your organization’s business requirements first, then define the technical requirements for meeting the business objectives. Ask yourself:

  •  Is there a need to make corporate data available via mobile devices?
  • Is desktop access required as well?
  • What types of data does the organization need to expose?
  • Are you planning to allow storage and access to personal data?
  • Is there a need to share internally?
  • Is there a need to share externally?
  • If so, are there any policies that apply?
  • Are there compliance and regulatory standards that must be met?

Don’t forget that project stakeholder input can be extremely valuable in this process.

How Softchoice helps

Want to learn more? Download Novell’s detailed overview about this offering. As always, Softchocie has the technical. non-biased expertise to help you make the right decision. With our wide array of assessments, like our Mobility TechCheck, we’ll give you the practical advice you seek to move forward, today.

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