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Shaping secure collaboration across company ecosystems

With a suitable operating model and features, sensitive files can be shared securely across a company's ecosystem.

By Ingo Schildt

Ingo Schildt, Director Channel Distribution

Tax advisors, suppliers and the purchasing department of a B2B client: More and more companies are collaborating digitally with their suppliers, service providers, partners contractors and customers in order to boost efficiency. File clouds that enable the secure storage and sharing have a major role in this. Often, companies opt to use public cloud services from large US hyperscalers for this. However, those services are not suitable for files that need to be kept safe or contain personal data.

To supplement these services, companies should consider alternatives that emphasize security and compliance when exchanging sensitive data, such ownCloud, as the open-source file collaboration platform. ownCloud Enterprise with its flexible operating model and functions ensures digital sovereignty, compliance with regulation and security, while providing users with convenient, efficient and productive collaboration tools.

Stay in control of sensitive data

Companies can deploy ownCloud Enterprise either on their own servers or in the data center of an IT service provider of their choice. This means companies stay in control of their sensitive data at all times. The comprehensive range of ownCloud Enterprise features help users to collaborate productively and securely across their company’s ecosystem.

Specifically, ownCloud Enterprise allows files and folders to be shared across federated servers, addressed with a Federated Cloud ID. Federated share recipients need not use ownCloud Enterprise, any file cloud compatible with the Open Cloud Mesh API will do. Those addressed shares are not just valuable in collaboration across companies, but also for collaboration between multiple branches of an organization based in different jurisdictions.

For collaboration with recurring contacts that do not have a compatible file cloud, ownCloud Enterprise comes with a guest user feature. It allows guests to access shares almost like regular users, even using the ownCloud desktop client and mobile apps. For sporadic contacts, ownCloud Enterpise comes with the option to create public links to files and folders as well as file drop folders. These are password-protected folders in which people or groups outside the organization can upload files but cannot view their contents. Upload rules can also be defined for these folders, and the uploads are also checked by a file firewall and virus scanner.

Highly protected data room

With the Secure View feature, ownCloud Enterprise offers a highly protected data room. Documents that require special protection can be made available for viewing by a selected audience, watermarked and with restricted file permissions. In Secure View, documents are only displayed as graphics in the browser and remain on the server at all times. Secure View gives companies maximum control and makes it easier to adhere to compliance guidelines when collaborating digitally on critical data.

Across all the sharing modalities of ownCloud Enterprise, optional expiration dates prevent forgotten shares from causing compliance debacles. With its file lifecycle management, ownCloud Enterprise helps companies keep data only as long as it is needed. The activity stream lists all file and folder actions, and the auditing feature records all user and admin actions to give organizations a comprehensive overview of interactions with sensitive documents. To automate the use of appropriate policies across various protection levels, ownCloud Enterprise comes with the ability to classify documents based on file metadata and assign appropriate permissions.

With comprehensive features and a flexible operating model, ownCloud Enterprise enables organizations to collaborate securely with external contacts, too – reducing friction and boosting efficiency without compromising on security. This makes it a sensible complement to low-cost public cloud services that are not by themselves suitable for collaboration on sensitive files and intellectual property.

Ingo Schildt

Aprile 12, 2021

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