There is a significant amount of pressure being placed on government agencies, and it is critical for all managers to make sure they understand how to provide their employees with the tools they need to do their jobs without sacrificing safety and security. Government agencies are frequently targeted by hackers and criminals because of the sensitive information they deal with regularly, and that is why government file safety is so important.
In an era where remote work is only becoming more common, secure file sharing and encryption tools have only become more important. If you have a secure file transfer system in place, you will make it easier for your employees to access the files they need to do their jobs without leaving confidential information vulnerable to cybercriminals.
What are a few key points that government agencies need to know when it comes to file storage and transfer solutions?
Security Threats Faced By Government Organizations Today
There are several significant threats that government organizations face on a regular basis. Some of the biggest threats that government agencies need to keep in mind include:
- Knowledge Gaps: Knowledge gaps are a significant concern for government organizations. What this means is that your agency may have some employees who are not aware of some of the major digital threats that are out there. You do not want your employees to fall victim to phishing attacks, so you need to educate your employees to make sure they play their role in keeping confidential information safe.
- Shadow IT: Shadow IT is also a significant threat faced by government organizations. Your agency probably has a lot of people working remotely, and that means that they might be using their own software and hardware. They are also connecting to their own network, which might not be as secure as yours. If you do not have total control over the equipment they use, you need to have strong policies and procedures in place to protect your files.
- Ransomware: Ransomware is a significant risk in the current environment. If your agency is hit by a ransomware virus, your files could be encrypted, and they will be useless until you have the decryption key. You might be tempted to pay the ransom, but that would just encourage future attacks. The best way for you to deal with a ransomware attack is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
- DDoS Attacks: Your agency could also be hit by a distributed denial of service attack. The goal of this attack is to completely overwhelm your server and knock it offline, derailing all of your hard work. You need to update your security measures and test your firewall from time to time to make sure it is strong enough to resist this type of attack.
Of course, there are plenty of threats that government organizations face today, and it is important for you to do everything you can to protect your agency and give your employees the file-sharing and transfer solutions they need to do their jobs.
Why You Should Avoid Consumer-Grade File Storage and Transfer Platforms
Because you have a lot of employees who work remotely, you might be thinking about going with the first file transfer and storage solution you can find. While you may be tempted to reach for a consumer-grade solution, there are several significant risks you will incur. Some of the top reasons why you need to avoid this type of file storage solution include:
- Security Issues: Government agencies need to talk to communicate with one another regularly, and a consumer file storage solution is not going to have the strongest security measures. This could create a security misalignment issue, where other agencies do not want to share their information with you because they feel like your security and password management tools are not strong enough.
- Lack of Encryption: A standard file storage solution is also going to have a lack of encryption. The encryption will not be strong enough to protect your confidential information, and hackers may be able to cut through the encryption system relatively easily.
- Compliance Concerns: As a government agency, you probably have strict compliance issues that you need to abide by. A standard consumer file transfer platform may not have the necessary compliance measures in place, which may include HIPAA compliant activity logs if you work in a healthcare or medical government agency. You must make sure that the solution you select matches all of your compliance requirements.
- Lack of Storage Space: Finally, because consumer file storage platforms have been made for consumers, not for larger departments or companies, you may not have enough storage space to accommodate all of your files. This can make it difficult for you to manage your information properly.
These are just a few of the top reasons why you should try to avoid going with a consumer file storage and transfer platform. Instead, it is better for you to rely on a professional, comprehensive file storage and transfer solution.
What Should You Look For in Your File Transfer and Storage Solution?
So, if a typical consumer file transfer and storage platform is not enough for your government transfer and storage needs, what should you look for in the right solution? Some of the most important points that you need to keep in mind include:
Secure Transfer Solutions
You need to spend some time evaluating all of your options, and you need to find a secure file transfer solution that will make it easier for you to safely distribute your information with other government agencies. Some of the key points you need to keep in mind include:
- End-to-End Encryption: You need to make sure all of your files are properly encrypted. Typically, your files are only encrypted when they are at rest, and they might not be encrypted as they are transferred from place to place. You need to make sure the solution you choose will properly encrypt your files for the entire length of their journey.
- Password Tools: You should make sure you have strong password management tools as well. You might even want a tool that will give you the ability to force your employees to change their passwords from time to time, which can add another important layer of security.
- Internal Server: An internal server is also very important. An internal server could give you access to unlimited file sizes and potential backups in the event of a natural disaster.
These are just a few of the most important tools you need to have as you are looking for a secure transfer and storage solution for your government agency.
Compliance and Notifications
You also need to think about your compliance measures and notifications. Depending on the agency with which you work, you may have strict compliance measures that you need to follow. You need to identify a file transfer and storage solution that will help you meet all of your compliance requirements. This might also include notifications that will let you know when something is happening on your file server.
A few key points to keep in mind as you evaluate compliance and notification standards for your government agency include:
- Connections: While you might have a lot of people who are working remotely, you need to have a central location that you can use to monitor all of the activity on the platform. That way, you can make sure that all of your employees are on the same page.
- Monitoring: Of course, monitoring is also very important. You need to be able to manage your automatic alerts, produce reports when you need them, and conduct manual checks if you need to audit your files from time to time.
- Communication: You need a communication solution that will make it easy for you to communicate with all of your employees and partners without leaving your communications vulnerable to being intercepted.
If you keep these important points in mind, you should be able to find a platform with the necessary compliance and notification features.
Do not forget about the importance of having access to granular permissions as well. You need to find a file platform that provides you with granular permissions because it will make it easier for you to control exactly who has access to what.
You do not necessarily want someone to have access to everything because if their credentials are stolen, the criminal will now have access to all of your files. With granular permissions, you can limit the files that someone has access to, which can help you reduce your risk. Make sure you are familiar with granular permissions and find a file platform that provides you with access to this type of capability.
You also want the ability to keep track of file versions. If you work with a large agency, you understand how frustrating it can be when there are multiple versions of the same file floating around. You may not know which version of the file is the most recent, which will make it harder for you to track changes over time.
If you get access to a file versioning feature, you will always know which file is the most recent, and you will have an easier time keeping track of the changes over time. You can also get rid of older versions of the file that you might not need, which will make it easier for you to comply with government regulations and stay on track as you try to do your job.
The Advantages of Using SmartFile for Your File Transfer and Storage Needs
If you are looking for the best platform to help you manage your files for your government agency, you need to rely on SmartFile. Some of the top advantages of using this platform include:
- Encryption: You will get access to some of the most powerful encryption measures in the industry, meaning that your files will be secured not only when they are at rest but also when they are in transit from place to place.
- Notifications: You can also set up notifications when you want to be alerted regarding specific activities. You probably do not want to be overwhelmed with notifications all the time, but there are certain activities that you might want to know about. You can customize your notifications to meet your needs.
- Unlimited File Size: As a government agency, you probably have some very large files that you need to store and transfer from place to place. You don’t need to worry about running into file size limits, making it easier for you to store all of your necessary information.
- GSA-Approved: Compliance is important, and everything has been GSA-approved. You will meet all of the regulatory requirements in the field, making it easier for you to reduce your liability.
- 2FA: You get access to a variety of password management tools, allowing you to make sure that all of your employees are following good password hygiene measures. You also get access to two-factor authentication, which will help you increase your security measures.
- File Versioning: You can also track various versions of your files, making it easier for you to keep track of the updates as they go along. This is particularly important for agencies that have remote employees.
If you are looking for the best file transfer and storage management solution for government agencies, rely on SmartFile to help you. Take a closer look at these features today, and provide your employees and managers with the tools they need.
Trust SmartFile for All of Your Government File Transfer and Storage Needs
Government agencies need to have a strong, reliable file transfer and storage solution, and the best option out there is SmartFile. We provide you with access to a variety of customizable features that will make it easier for your employees to do their jobs while also protecting your confidential information. If you would like to learn more about all of the features available from SmartFile, contact us today!