FileSharing_SQIn February 2013, Yahoo employees learned the days of working remotely, whether full time or for a few hours each week, were numbered. High-speed Internet, sophisticated mobile devices and collaborative tools be damned: CEO Marissa Mayer wanted workers doing their jobs from the office.

But beyond the walls of Yahoo, a shift seems to be taking place. The Family and Work Institute’s 2014 National Study of Employers says 67% of employers offer the option to occasionally work from home. That’s a 17% increase from 2008, the first year the study examined changes in the workplace.

“… especially in tech companies,” this Forbes article noted, “having remote and virtual employees is not only a way to get things done around the clock, without commuting, and with hard-to-find skill sets but is also a way to meet the needs of employees who don’t want to or can’t live near the mother ship.”

The fact that a growing number of businesses big, small and across industries rely on remote workforces raises key questions: How are telecommuters sharing the files, folders and communications generated in the course of collaborating? And what measures are taken to protect privacy, ensure safety and meet compliance?

The answers matter.

Many workers turn to third-party online storage providers. But do those services represent the best option for your business? It’s worth a look.

Cloud storage has its advantages. For starters, users generally have accessibility from virtually anywhere with an Internet connection. This makes collaboration quite easy. You can, for example, update a presentation from your desk that your on-the-go boss can access from her mobile device. Unlimited storage, automatic backup and, of course, affordability are also big benefits.

It all sounds superb, right? But would you reconsider after reading this report published recently on ScienceDaily.com? The opening paragraph is an eye-catcher:

“Johns Hopkins computer scientists have found a flaw in the way that secure cloud storage companies protect their customers’ data. The scientists say this weakness jeopardizes the privacy protection these digital warehouses claim to offer. Whenever customers share their confidential files with a trusted friend or colleague, the researchers say, the storage provider could exploit the security flaw to secretly view private data.”

The report goes on to say that the research team discovered “complete privacy could not be guaranteed by these vendors” if data was shared.

It’s no wonder issues of data security and control cause many IT administrators’ stress levels to spike.

Citing this Ponemon Institute study on the cost of a cloud-based breach, InfoWorld reported that “a breach involving 100,000 or more records of stolen data could increase from an average of $2.4 million to anywhere between $4 million and $7.3 million. For a theft of high-value IP or confidential data, the costs were estimated to balloon from around $3 million to $5.4 million.”

The latest version of GFI MailArchiver is aimed at addressing the need for archiving critical business information that extends beyond email.

With the File Archive Assistant (FAA), GFI MailArchiver 2014 can automatically store copies of important files and folders on your machines. And this automated process doesn’t disrupt existing workflows. The FAA also enables users to share files and folders between their various devices and machines, as well as share with others.

Consider this, too: Vital company information is stored in a safe and manageable place within the company infrastructure, and without using any third-party online storage providers.

For remote workers and IT administrators alike, what could be better?

Learn more about GFI MailArchiver 2014, featuring the File Archive Assistant.