Definition

EFSS (Enterprise file sync-and-share)

Contributor(s): Carl Setterlund

Enterprise file sync-and-share is a service that allows users to save files in cloud or on-premises storage and then access them on other desktop and mobile computing devices.

The primary benefit of EFSS is the ability to securely share files such as documents, photos and videos across multiple devices and with multiple people. The synchronization, or copying, capability allows files to be stored in an approved data repository, then accessed remotely by employees from PCs, tablets or smartphones that support the EFSS product.

EFSS is often viewed by companies as a means to deter employees from sharing corporate data via public cloud storage and file-sharing services such as Google Drive or Dropbox, which are outside of IT's control. EFSS products include security capabilities such as authentication, data encryption, containerization and tracking features to protect enterprise data. Still, not all EFSS offerings include encryption to protect data after it's transferred locally to a user's device.

Enterprises can deploy EFSS through a private or hybrid cloud, or as an on-premises service. With a cloud deployment, employees save files in the EFSS provider's cloud, and users with network connectivity can then access them remotely on another PC or mobile device. In most hybrid and on-premises deployments, the files remain in the company's own data repository.

Vendors that offer EFSS products include Box, Citrix Systems, WatchDox, Acronis and Accellion.

This was last updated in June 2015

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Has your enterprise considered using EFSS for storage or file sharing?
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By definition, if you're sharing data across multiple people and multiple devices, it's not secure. Sorry.
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With Dropbox's recent patent application earlier this year, it is likely they may be added to this list soon.

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Sam Smith
Technology Evangelist and Aspiring Chef
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