Dropbox is well known for being the first company that made cloud file sync simple and free. With 300 million users as of May 2014, the service is one of the fastest growing in the world. But amidst this rapid adoption, business owners are asking, “Is Dropbox safe for my business to use?” Before we answer that question, let’s take a look at why employees are using Dropbox.
1. “Dropbox is easy to use.”
2. “Dropbox is free.”
3. “It’s what I use at home.”
All of these reasons explain why Dropbox is popular among consumers. But they do not justify the major security risks that the free version of Dropbox creates in a business environment. Which brings us to our last reason why people use Dropbox:
4. Because they don’t know any better
Dropbox’s free service lacks the security, administrative, and productivity features that a business needs. Any business that uses Dropbox exponentially increases their risk of data being lost, stolen or shared with the wrong parties.
A lack of security
For example, imagine that a disgruntled employee leaves the company; because Dropbox Basic does not allow a business owner or IT administrator to remote wipe devices, that employee can take sensitive files and folders with them. Or, as another example, businesses that work with contractors and use Dropbox Basic cannot share securely with a third party, set expiration dates, enforce download limits, and enforce passwords. Instead, any files and folders that they share with Dropbox are made publicly available through a URL that anyone can access.
We frequently meet business owners that will say, “But I use Dropbox at home.” The overarching theme is that just because something is good for personal use or for one employee does not mean it is good for your business as a whole. Personal needs vary substantially from business needs, especially as it relates to data and security. Your business is your livelihood and your data is is essential to its success. There is a good reason why you use a basic lock and key on your home front door and an alarm system in your office.
Easy doesn't mean safe
We also hear business owners and employees say, “But Dropbox is easy to use.” To that, we explain that simplicity and security are not mutually exclusive; business-grade file sync solutions that are easy to use, yet secure are available. These solutions include all of the benefits of Dropbox, and are supplemented by features that business owners and IT administrations can use to keep track of their data. There is a way to sync and share files and folders in a simple and secure manner.
Each software decision demonstrates what value you place on your data. If you get what you pay for, and Dropbox is free, what are you actually getting?