Jonathan Edwards of Integral IT, a Nimbox partner, shared his views on file sharing, and the problems faced by organisations when searching for a trustworthy (and secure) service.
You can view his original LinkedIn post here.
Could Dropbox drop your business in it?
Last year over 300 million people had their data stolen, that’s a pretty scary statistic. Imagine what would happen if some of yours, or even worse, a client’s data was stolen. The implications for many businesses are not even worth thinking about.
We all know that having secure systems are important and it’s something that in my line of work I talk about a lot. Most people are aware of and use some form of anti-virus software to protect hard drives and data, but what many people overlook are the additional places they can exchange, share and download data from.
There are plenty of cloud-based storage solutions out there including Apple iCloud, Google Docs, Microsoft One Drive and Dropbox. Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud tools there is and has become second nature to millions of people who need to share, store and access material from any number of devices.
The company recently announced that they now have around half a billion users worldwide. This isn’t really surprising, after all, simplicity is one of Dropbox’s core strengths. Dropbox allows people to store all their documents in the cloud, syncing it automatically to all your devices, making life as easy as possible. It’s also really handy to share data with other people in different buildings, countries or even different continents. In a nutshell, it’s incredibly functional and you don’t need to be tech savvy to benefit.
Putting my IT security hat on for a moment (and spoiling the fun!), I’ve never really been very comfortable with Dropbox. Out of the 500,000,000 worldwide users, only 150,000 are paying business customers. That tells us that the vast majority of users subscribe to the free version.
So today we’re going to have a look at Dropbox’s free version and what you need to look out for if you’re using it for business purposes.
What is wrong with the free version of Dropbox?
I always try and tell my customers that free IT software is free for a reason. Logically it’s usually there to dangle a carrot in front of you and make you buy the paid version. As you might expect, it’s the paid versions of software which usually have the security features in place, primed for business use. Whether it be anti-virus or cloud storage, nobody in business should be using free software of any kind.
No Remote Wipe Feature
I spoke about the remote wipe feature in a recent blog and I think it’s a really important, often overlooked feature for business IT.
You might use Dropbox and sync the files and folders to your laptop but what happens if you lose the laptop? Suddenly your important business data is in the hands of whoever finds it.
Similarly, if you use Dropbox to give your staff remote access capabilities you need to consider what could happen if they left under less than amicable circumstances? They could easily take your company documents with them because they’ll be synced not only via a company laptop but quite possibly a personal phone or tablet.
With the remote wipe feature, as the name suggests, you can remotely take the documents off the device. Remote wipe is available with Dropbox, but only with the business version.
Lacking Advanced File Protection
Advanced File Protection is a suite of extra security measures made available exclusively to Dropbox business users. These features include password protected links and links with expiry dates. When you are sharing your data with other people, it’s important that there are extra security parameters in place to safeguard the data accidently getting shared to people who shouldn’t have access.
No Dropbox Support
The Dropbox for Business version includes chat, email and phone support. The free version doesn’t include any support at all. Call me old-fashioned, but I believe every piece of technology a business uses should be supported. There should be someone who is capable of answering questions you have when something seems to go wrong.
What’s a better business choice?
So what are the alternatives? You may well know about the big boys out there but recently I came across a company called Nimbox. I was searching for a tool similar to Dropbox but with exceptional business features. I liked what I found so much that my company, Integral IT, are now Nimbox partners. We use it internally and also actively recommend it to our customers who need such a secure file sharing solution.
So what’s the deal with Nimbox?
Built-in Business Class Security
When you buy Nimbox, you don’t have to upgrade to a better version to get business-class security; it’s already built in. You can set 2-factor authentication and benefit from remote wipe straight away.
Vault Backup Included
A really cool feature of Nimbox is the Vault Backup which is included as standard. The feature backs up the local storage of the devices you’re using. So if you’re a laptop user, for example, the vault will take a backup of your laptop hard drive.
What’s more, the solution can actually replace in-house file servers and backup hardware/software. With the cost of a Nimbox user, this represents massive cost savings for small businesses.
Nimbox are UK-Based
I love to rave about technology that I’ve discovered that really makes a difference to small businesses; especially when that technology is British based. I’ve nothing against technology that is based outside of the UK (I use software myself which is US based), but lots of our business customers need UK based storage for compliance and peace of mind.
Impressive Support and Service Levels
When you buy Nimbox, you also buy an impressive support service coupled with some impressive hosting numbers. The service has a 99.99% uptime guarantee which is backed by a business class Service Level Agreement.
It might surprise you to learn that Nimbox is actually cheaper than Dropbox for Business. A Nimbox account will cost £8.00 per user/per month compared to £11.00 per user/per month you’d pay for Dropbox for Business.