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How to Securely Send Large Files

With the explosion in work-from-home scenarios, you may be experiencing “large file” challenges as you continue to work remotely from your colleagues.

Sending and receiving large files is a painful process that takes way too long. Attaching big files to emails hasn’t worked out well for you (we’ve all seen that error message a few too many times already!) You’re now looking for a secure way to send and receive big documents, HD images, videos, or PowerPoint files.

In this article, we’ll give you some alternate options to help you save time and frustration when working with colleagues on large files – no matter where you are.

Let’s get started.

Most email servers have a file size limit somewhere between twenty-five and fifty megabytes, but if you’re like “most people,” you don’t pay much attention to file size. So what’s going to work for you every time?

Before we get to that, let’s have a quick talk about what you need to consider when looking for a file send/receive service.

  • Consistency – Will it work well with all the file types in your workflow?
  • Security – Does it have encryption, and is it backed by a reputable company?
  • Compliance – Does it measure up to the industry and legislative standards your business must adhere to?
  • Reliability – Does it provide uninterrupted service that works without fail?

You run a risk sending company files through an external file send/receive service. Be sure to check the service out thoroughly and have it vetted by your IT support provider.

Here are some options to consider. 

When it comes to file transfer, there are three main categories of services:

1. Cloud Services Utilizing Email

If you want to use email to send and receive large files, there are services available. Mimecast Large File Send is one built with the business user, compliance, and security in mind. In this arena, be cautious and use only business-class solutions that use email to send large files. Consumer-grade options can leave your data exposed and your business vulnerable.

Some things to consider in a cloud service using email to send big files are:

  • Data leak prevention and protection
  • Integration with office productivity apps such as Exchange, Google Apps, and Microsoft 365 apps
  • User-friendly interface that gives you details about your send/receive/share activities
  • Encryption
  • File size the solution can support

2. File transfer solutions

File transfer solutions are websites or apps that allow file uploads to their server, and your intended recipient receives a download link to email, message, or text.  After a designated timeframe, your document deletes from the file transfer company’s server.

The good news is that this works.

The bad news is this option isn’t usually as secure as it should be, so we regard it as a consumer-grade service. Additionally, there are nefarious sites that offer this “service”, hoping to harvest confidential or proprietary data from your file when uploaded to their system.

As your clients become more cybersecurity savvy, they may hesitate – or even refuse – to download links from such services. So for your brand image, it may be best to find a different alternative.

3. Cloud file storage, access, and collaboration services

Companies pursuing a geographically diversified digital transformation strategy are looking to the cloud to solve their large file transfer challenges.

Cloud-based services for big file storage, access, and collaboration come in all shapes and sizes. The most popular are Microsoft OneDrive, Egnyte, Dropbox Business, and Google Drive. Each is a business class category, but you must evaluate for overall compatibility with your IT environment. You should take the potential for integration and automation of tasks into consideration.

For companies running Microsoft office productivity software such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc., OneDrive is the natural and most cost-efficient choice.

Because OneDrive works natively with Microsoft servers, software, and cloud apps, it is a cohesive way for employees to send, receive, store, and collaborate on files.

Some things to consider when choosing the right cloud-based file collaboration tool are:

  • Encryption
  • Credential protection
  • Storage size and cost
  • Bandwidth for file sharing
  • Disaster recovery functionality
  • Integration capability with your current systems
  • User experience
  • Training cost/time for employees to adopt and use the solution

What File Send/Receive Option Would Work Best for You?

We would recommend staying away from file transfer websites – especially the free ones. There’s too much cybersecurity risk in these solutions for a business application.

Leaving the options of cloud file collaboration systems and email large file transfer solutions.

While each can be found in a business-class format and have appropriate uses within a business context, we recommend cloud-based file collaboration solutions such as OneDrive, Egnyte, Dropbox Business, and Google Drive. These solutions give you a range of business-class features to choose from and offer better than minimum cybersecurity standards for a business solution.

A critical element to consider that we have already touched on briefly is the importance of a solution’s capability in the area of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity. Any file system you choose should be configured by an IT professional to serve your business in an emergency best.

Cloud file collaboration solutions are available on a subscription basis, allowing you to budget efficiently. It’s important to note that if your company is already paying for Microsoft 365, you already have and are paying for OneDrive within your Microsoft 365 subscription. Because you already have this cloud-based file collaboration tool, that may be the best place to start in your evaluation process. If you need some help comparing the various options and seeing which stack best against your workflow requirements, our team would be happy to help.

Want to know more about setting your work-from-home employees for success and cutting down their frustrations with sending/receiving large files? Just reach out by email or telephone.