5 Considerations When Replacing Your File Server


Tech Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for IT pros

Thursday, September 3, 2020

The global pandemic has catapulted companies into adopting cloud-based solutions, forever changing the way that data is used, stored and shared amongst teams. While moving away from legacy systems was an already-growing trend, for some organizations, the shift has come sooner than expected.

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5 Considerations When Replacing Your File Server
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A sudden need for secure remote working has meant that companies have had to act fast in the midst of COVID panic. And although teething issues were inevitable, overall feedback has been largely positive. Many businesses have strengthened their operations through seamless file sharing and collaboration, and workers have been empowered by a more flexible way of working.

This shines the light on cloud services and their many advantages, as well as the success of the remote workforce. However, it’s important to conduct a risk analysis before approaching any cloud strategy. If you’re thinking about replacing your traditional file server, here are some key things to think about first.

1. Choose a solution with security features

For a lot of companies, security is the main concern when it comes to moving things to the cloud. Remote working can heighten risks with unsecure networks, computer sharing and insecure mobile devices. With more devices than ever – including BYOD – there’s a much wider surface area for attack.

However, with easy file hosting services such as Dropbox, remote security needn’t be an issue. Speed, efficiency and data security are essential for businesses in the digital age. That’s why Dropbox provides enterprise-grade cloud security with centralized control over all company files. This puts you in the driving seat, giving you full administration of passwords, expiry dates and access controls.

Through secure solutions, sensitive company data stays in the right hands. When choosing the right platform for your business, it’s vital to look for functionalities that are easy to use, a common-sense interface that makes usability simple for all, and storage capabilities for large amounts of data in the cloud.

2. Add integrations like SSO

As well selecting a secure platform for file sharing, other features that need to be considered are security integrations such as single sign-on (SSO). Products like Okta can be used for modern identity management, streamlining deployment and lifecycle management for IT, while also giving employees convenient access to the tools they need.

With SSO, you’ll benefit from a reliable sign-on method that integrates all of your apps and programs together. This means no longer having to store multiple passwords for your remote team, but just having one identity and password per user.

You can then better manage access levels and improve identity protection, while preventing password fatigue and reducing help desk workloads. In fact, integrating with Okta can reduce login-related issues by 50%, and also makes it 50% faster for users to login and use new apps.

3. Prioritize visibility and control

Security in the cloud is all about visibility and control, so when replacing your traditional file server, remember to look for controls that give you full visibility of where and how data is stored, as well as who is accessing this data.

Seeing is controlling, so make sure you look for the following:

  • Identity and access management controls (like SSO or two-step verification)
  • Sharing and file controls (team folders, view-only folders, passwords and other customized folder permissions)
  • Reporting capabilities (individual user reports or team reports)

For maximum visibility, it’s vital to have comprehensive audit logs. This allows admins to perform targeted investigations into everything from login failures to file events. With Dropbox, for instance, reports can be easily downloaded in CSV format or integrated seamlessly into your event management tools, making it easier to track remote worker activity from anywhere in the world.

4. Make the most of security partners

Whether you’re fully transitioning to the cloud or trialing cloud storage for your remote team, it’s important to consider other security partners on the market. Platforms rarely work their best in silos, but benefit from collaboration with other companies. So not only should your online storage come with powerful features to keep your data and your employees safe, it should also allow easy integration with other tools.

When using Dropbox, there are a few compatible security partners to choose from:


This single sign-on service allows you to integrate multiple apps, with simple control settings for admins. Create, update, and delete users from a single console across all your cloud applications and set granular permissions for different users.


Integration with VMware makes managing devices and access levels super convenient. This helps your team get more done in the day, boosting productivity across the organization.

Symantec CloudSOC CASB

For advanced analytics of user activity, malware detection or risk identification, tools like Symantec CloudSOC CASB can be connected with Dropbox. By doing this, you can protect your business with better access security policies while giving workers flexible access and easy authentication.

5. Don’t forget change management

Replacing your file server with a cloud-based service is a big change. And supporting a remote workforce requires a big shift in processes and procedures. Therefore, effective change management is key if you want to ensure a smooth transition.

Change management covers all the best practices that your employees need to follow in order to make remote working successful. Not only is employee buy-in important for new tools, but the right training can prevent problems and setbacks in the future.

For some workers, resistance to change can be an issue and it can be very easy to fall back into old ways of doing things. This is why having clear policies is essential if you want security guidelines to be followed.

A thoughtful, planned approach to organizational change is more important than ever. As companies replace their traditional file server with cloud storage solutions, they must align resources within the business to support the change and ensure everyone is on board.

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