Great Smart Company piece on BYO cloud this week. Reporter David Hancocks’s article -- “Is BYO cloud a threat to your business?” explores the risks businesses take allowing employees to use consumer-grade file sync and share. How many employees upload these important files to their private clouds with the best intentions of upping productivity while they are away from their work desks? While their actions may be good for their productivity, they may be unintentionally putting their business’s important business files into the wrong hands. “Free consumer-grade cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft's SkyDrive (now OneDrive) and Apple's iCloud… are specifically designed to bypass firewalls and other restrictions, to make it easy to access your data from anywhere,” Hancocks says. “One of the easiest ways for hackers to target sensitive business data is through employees who are lax regarding their personal online security. Industrial espionage doesn't just happen in the movies – what would it mean for your business if these files fell into the hands of your biggest competitor?” So how careful are your employees when it comes to their online security? Now you have to wonder if perhaps these important documents might end up in the hands of your enemies. Hancock suggests that companies “…embrace the cloud where appropriate and look for business-grade alternatives to the cloud services which staff have been using on an ad hoc basis.” The difficulty with almost all – even commercial-grade -- file sync and share services have a cloud component, even if “only” meta data. ownCloud Enterprise Edition is installed on premises, integrating with tools most companies already have to track, secure, identify and back up data -- seamlessly becoming part of your IT infrastructure. And ownCloud allows IT managers to gain control of the regulated and critical data by deciding where to store the data – on premises for the most sensitive data (or data subject to regulatory restrictions) or the cloud. BYO file sync and share is indeed a “hair on fire” problem for corporate IT, but file sync and share doesn’t have to be.