Virtual Data Room Blog

Secure File Sharing - Business Grade vs Consumer Grade Solutions

08-Aug-2014 11:00:00 / by Sara Salehian

Are you looking for secure file sharing solutions? You are not alone! Being able to share files and documents securely with third parties is one of the main challenges that companies face and ensuring security is at the heart of this need. 

We recently wrote about 7 ways of sharing documents on the internet but the majority of those options did not have security as their main priority. You will notice that most of these services come under consumer grade solutions. The ones that focus solely on security are business grade solutions. Some of the main differences in the two types of file sharing solutions are:

1) Consumer Grade Solutions:

You will not believe the number of services out there that enable you to share your documents easily on the internet. There are as many as 24 secure file sharing solutions that work on a Do-It-Yourself model and for the initial 5 GB or so are free. For some of these solutions, the actual uploading and transfer of your documents might be secure.  However,  you need to ask where the files are stored once uploaded and what happens to the files once you have given access to a third party.  In most cases, consumer grade solutions host their data in large cloud providers (such as Amazon). You might not care much about where it is stored if you are saving movies or pictures; infact it is advisable that you use consumer grade solutions for such requirements. Just keep in mind that once the recipient gains access to your files by downloading them, you cannot control what they do with those files. As soon as you shift the context to confidential business documents, alot more is on the line so you need to consider a better alternative.

2) Business Grade Solutions:

The need for business grade solutions arise because the consumer grade solutions like DropBox, Google Drive and Box do not protect the data after a user has downloaded them, which is why companies who sharing files securely very swriously rely on Virtual Data Rooms.  The reason Virtual Data Rooms are perfect as a secure file sharing platform for businesses is that they offer 256 bit encryption and allow the company administrators to remotely control each and every documents permission even after its been downloaded. Even after a recipient gets access to your data, he is still constrained by the rules you set on your data. For example, you might make the documents read-only for an external lawyer for a period of only 15 days. Beyond that point access can be revoked and the user who was able to earlier read your files will no longer be able to open them.

Another important point to notice about business grade solutions that consumer grade solutions do not provide are that their services come with a dedicated team of professionals that have gone through strict background checks and have experience in dealing with sensitive confidential information. Not all Virtual Data Room companies provide this level of support but companies like EthosData always do so in order to save their clients time by taking over all their file sharing tasks.


Secure file sharing is paramount for every business. Imagine your business plan or your intellectual property getting leaked by someone you trusted. Imagine it floating around on the internet for competitors to study. The results could be disastrous, which is why Virtual Data Room solutions are tailor made for businesses that need to not only share their files securely but also maintain that security after they have shared their documents.

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Topics: dataroom, fileshare