Secure data transfer – what to consider

In group communications such as project groups, there is often a need to distribute information and files electronically. The information being processed is many times confidential, so protecting that information is essential. How to take data security into account in data transfers?

A need to share and transfer information in a secure but user-friendly way

E-mail is known to be a relatively poor tool for communication in teamwork. Especially if communication is lively and files are shared and updated frequently.

So, if we forget e-mail, nowadays the actual transfer method in all modern software solutions, regardless of the tool, is encrypted and secure. Therefore, what specifically should be taken into consideration in your data transfer process, is the security of the data storage location and the ease-of-use and customizability of the transfer tools to meet your customer's needs.

Often, the security debate revolves around technical issues - whether they are protocols, encryption technologies, access control technologies, or processes developed to control human behaviour. However, it should be remembered that just as important, although often forgotten and compromised, is an information security objective living in the shadow of technical advances called availability. Availability is a 'feature that embodies how the information, information system or service can be accessed and utilized at the desired time and in the required way'.

For the requirements of availability to be fulfilled, the solution must of course be reliable, but also provide a reachable and straightforward user experience so that the security solution’s usability is not a hindrance to availability.

An example of this could be collabRoom, where user experience and functionalities can be broadly and easily adapted to match the wishes and needs of individual users. Let us say we have a project room where there is a need to only share/transfer certain types of files, then the functionalities offered to users could be easily limited and users presented with a simplified user interface to provide improved usability, at the same time implementing the basic principles of data security by following the principles of least privilege. Providing the user only those functionalities that are really needed.

Naturally, the technical solutions in the background must be rock solid, but if the tools are too confusing, full of unnecessary functions that users do not understand and the use of the necessary features require excessive training, then even the most technically advanced products will never be ultimately utilized in the optimal way - the availability of information is not at the desired level and the level of data security suffers.

Teemu Suuronen

Teemu works as a Security Sales Engineer at Deltagon Group Oy.

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