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How Triofox Mitigates Dropbox File Sharing Limitations for Publishing Firms

In recent years, more and more publishing companies have turned to the internet for marketing and distribution, and many of the editorial process steps are being replaced with technological advances. Technology has allowed them to skip many of the traditional steps in the editorial process. For instance, many publishers receive proposals or manuscripts online, through email or some other means, instead of having to be printed and sent to their location via postal services. This process requires trust. To uphold their integrity, every publisher has to assume responsibility for protecting clients’ files if they are going to be trusted. Clients expect their files would remain safe with the organization, and versions won’t end up being leaked to the internet.

However, secure file sharing is an essential function for any modern publishing company. To enable optimal performance, there should be an effective file system for consolidation between the various departments such as sales, marketing, management, development, and editorial.

This begs the question, “How do you ensure the smooth running of operations if file sharing is a stinging concern?” Surely wanting both security and file-sharing flexibility is an impossibility paramount to eating one’s cake and having it.

Well, Triofox says it is not. In this piece, we review a case study and analyze how the Triofox solution proved to be an effective, secure file server access integration that delivers on both ends.

Use Case – Technology Publishing Firm

Outlined below are the operations of a tech publishing firm, and how a tweak in their file-sharing solution inspired by the lead qualification process could optimize their operations.

  • Company A is a Tech publishing Firm that set up a VMware environment in a local data center to maintain control over data. However, because they require potential clients to submit files for estimation as a prerequisite to closing a deal, they need a client-facing application for those potential clients to upload their files.
  • They tried Juniper Extranet, but the interface wasn’t quite flexible, so they tried Dropbox. The latter didn’t quite work for them either.
  • They settled for having clients/ external users work directly from the file server. The external users are added to Active Directory under a specific organizational unit (a container object created within a Microsoft Active Directory domain on a server for holding different objects such as users and groups).
  • External user access is disabled/removed if the contract doesn’t fall through. But when a deal closes, they set up a site-to-site VPN for the customer to share data with them.

Two issues identified with this workflow include:

  • Multi-platform data redundancy
  • Scalability limitation of VPN

In the next section, we break down these issues and show why they found Triofox an optimal solution.

Multi-Platform Data Redundancy

Dropbox provides a very convenient and nearly unrivaled solution to file sharing among groups of individuals. It’s free and instant, which is great for multi-device file access and backup. However, Dropbox has certain security limitations for enterprises, two of which, in this case, are privacy and data redundancy.  This establishes the need to maintain a centralized data center and explains why many organizations opt for a private file server to keep a tight rein on their data. A process that entails developing custom permissions for each department as well as limiting access based on roles within those departments.

As with company A, to ensure the company has control over their data, data from Dropbox is replicated back to the file server, further burdening the IT administrators. The data redundancy limitations, if left unchecked, can lead to inconsistency issues for publishing firms (Multiply this issue with multiple writers and editors working on different projects in the organization, which could lead to multiple versions of the files existing on both Dropbox and the file server, making it difficult to keep track of file updates).

Meanwhile, when employees work with Dropbox, given the laxity in which data is being stored and shared, a slight oversight could lead to data falling into the wrong hands, a dicey situation in publishing as it can greatly tamper with profits.

Scalability Limitation Of VPN

Setting up a site-to-site VPN is not scalable. Site-to-site VPNs are established by connecting two gateways in separate locations via the internet. To create a site-to-site VPN, two VPN gateways, which could be routers or VPN connection devices, are set up in each location. This is neither scalable nor sustainable, especially with remote working gaining ground.

How Triofox Addresses These Problems

  1. Minimizes Duplication

Triofox is an enterprise file-sharing alternative to Dropbox. It eliminates the need to copy files to external cloud file-sharing platforms and maintains control over file access when shared with external clients, eliminating the visibility issue of Dropbox.

Also, extending the server’s functionality to include remote file access or a private cloud-like file sharing feature prevents data from being replicated on other servers or applications, reducing file duplication. This private file sharing option preserves the company’s integrity, as customers expect their data to be handled with confidentiality.   

  1. Keep Track of File Updates

Whatever department needs to cooperate, having a system where each party can collaborate without overwriting each other’s work is crucial. Triofox has a file locking feature that ensures no one can edit a file being worked on by another person. Its versioning feature also ensures that at any point in time, previous versions can be restored, keeping all parties working in sync as well as serving as a backup in the case data is erroneously deleted. Like with company A, once leads are converted to customers, they can easily collaborate with others on the project. If they are not, access can still easily be revoked.

  1. Maintain Control Over Data

With Triofox, they don’t have to source external cloud file-sharing services to enable remote collaboration. Data remains on the file server, while external users can access files from the web browser via their devices (data is securely sent over the HTTP/SSL protocol).

  1. No Need to Set Up VPN to Access File Server

Users with existing permissions retain access to file shares and can access their files via the drive letter, while external users, who can be in any location in the world, can access the file server network shares with their mobile browsers without using a VPN to connect back to the corporate network. Also, integrating the solution is a seamless process. Minimal training is needed to get users adept at the new process.

Conclusion

Users can have the convenience of a Dropbox solution and the encryption security of a VPN tunneling solution, without the security and performance challenges of both. Other departments are also sure to utilize the advantages of Triofox as it guarantees timely and easy access to data or resources needed to carry out their functions, particularly in a remote-working setting.

Navigating SharePoint Limitations: The Best File Server Access Solution for AutoCAD Users

Businesses that migrate to Office 365 often choose SharePoint for file sharing and collaboration. Whereas Office 365 makes it easy to share files and collaborate with co-workers, it can be challenging to use SharePoint for specific industries.

In this piece, we introduce Triofox as a tried and tested cloud file server access solution for MEP companies and discuss ways in which Triofox makes up for SharePoint as a corporate file sharing platform.

Background: Company Case Study

Outlined below is a case study that describes the previous workflow of an electrical engineering company and specifies the issue they ran into. Companies whose workflow corresponds can take a cue from the results.

  • Company A does solar panel projects for residential utilities.
  • They have a few designers, a lot of AutoCAD-editing users, and the rest are just people that need access to the CAD drawings.
  • They used SharePoint for several years. However, as an engineering company, using SharePoint brought some compatibility concerns when used with their CAD files, which made them seek an alternative file sharing solution.

These issues include:

  1. No File Locking

According to Autodesk, “Since the release of AutoCAD 2000, the program no longer controls file locking or creates lock files. All file locking now is performed by the operating system or file access software.” Although SharePoint has the file locking features set up for co-authoring applications such as MS Office files, it does not support CAD files, which is configured by SharePoint Online to open its files externally on the AutoCAD app as a third-party application.

As a result, multiple people can open the same drawing at the same time and edit it, and they won’t get a notification that someone else already opened it. When this happens, either a user can’t save changes because the write privilege has been revoked, or the other user’s updates are overwritten.

  1. External reference (XREF) is Inconsistent

It is impossible to get the correct referencing between files via path names, and AutoCAD files can’t be accessed via the download folder. With our case study, because they use the files from their Windows machines (to prevent slow performance, people are advised to download the files to the local network and upload when done), the pathnames are inclusive of the OneDrive folder, i.e., “C:\Users\<UserName>\OneDrive”.

The problem is that updates to the file change the pathname for everyone writing to the file. Hence, it can’t point to the same location.

SharePoint Incompatibility with AutoCAD

The CAD file is a container file that references other files or blocks within the same file. It is important for these references to be correctly managed so they can be updated when their corresponding files are edited. In its right, SharePoint is more a document management system than it is a file-sharing solution as phrased by the AIIM, “Microsoft SharePoint is an enterprise content management and collaboration platform that allows organizations to share and exchange information.” Though it allows for storing CAD files, it doesn’t provide sufficient functionality to manage its design files.

Why Triofox?

File locking is an important feature for online file access and team collaboration. It is a feature that prevents the modification of a file by more than one user at once, which is useful when two or more people need to make changes to a document simultaneously. Triofox is a cloud file server access solution that allows you to access your AutoCAD files in the cloud. It allows users to edit the drawings from within AutoCAD but still have quick and easy access to the drawings from a web browser or mobile device.

By providing a mapped-drive approach to access file shares, it solves the file-locking problem, so editing AutoCAD files that have been replicated to the cloud is not an issue. Triofox mapped drive is a file access solution that has an automatic (and manual) file lock feature that is compatible with a wide range of file extension types. It lets you collaborate with AutoCAD DWG/DXF files so users can easily share design plans and drawings without worrying about the AutoCAD compatibility issue or corruption. Cloud file server access solution other benefits include:

  • Great Tool for Remote Working

For designers who need to work with files from their local server when they’re on the go, Triofox enables users to work on the go without the need to use a VPN, as the performance is subject to network availability and the number of users on the network connection. Also, other users can have 24/7 access to the files on the server, unlike when using an RDP, which still requires an active data connection and someone on the ground in the office to turn on the workstation.

Triofox makes working with AutoCAD easier and more efficient. With Triofox, you can access files faster and worry less about the hassle of AutoCAD file corruption. In addition, using a mapped drive, companies can access files they need from their cloud storage service without worrying about network issues as frequently accessed files can be cached for offline access; those files are encrypted at rest.

  • Seamless Integration

This solution provides the same in-office AutoCAD experience and reduces data replication or redundancy concerns. Triofox enables users to access existing file shares so employees can access their company’s file shares from anywhere, using a web browser or a mobile app. It mirrors the familiar on-premise working experience, so it doesn’t matter whether employees work remotely or on the road. Once authenticated, they can effortlessly use their own device to securely access corporate data, even when they’re away from the office.

Its deployment takes little to minimal training, unlike SharePoint, whose adoption can be time-intensive and expensive.

Conclusion

Triofox is an excellent solution as it provides the ease of use functionality as SharePoint and provides design editing functionality not readily available on most cloud computing services. For these reasons, Triofox provides a more comprehensive file-sharing solution to MEPs.

A Secure Enterprise Cloud Sharing Solution for Electrical Construction Companies

The ability to access data when and where it’s needed is a game-changer for organizations. Gone are the days where departments had to truck files to centralized locations for storage. With cloud and mobile technology becoming more coveted, deploying a secure and efficient enterprise file sync and share solution is crucial.

Although studies show that the construction industries are lax in their adoption of cloud computing, the overarching importance of cloud technology is undeniable. 

This article focuses on how Triofox can be used as an ad hoc file-sharing solution for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) companies.

Problem Definition: Electrical Company Case Study

Outlined below is an overview of the operational workflow of a medium-sized electrical construction company:

  • Company A is an Electrical construction company with two branches in the US and almost 300 employees in total.
  • They have an on-premise file server with about 4TB of data, which is replicated in the two offices using VMware.
  • They also have a considerable number of field engineers and workers as they do solar and electrical installations for Oil and Gas corporations.
  • Field/Remote workers previously relied on VPN to connect back to the on-premise file server to access files and Dropbox to share files easily.

The following section highlights the performance issues they encountered with the initial connectivity and file sharing solution and how Triofox addresses them.

Pain Points and Triofox Solution To Them

Research has found that construction companies have difficulty with communication and coordination, which can cause delays, higher costs, and poor ROI. Our case study also reflects how changes in the work environment due to innovative circumvention influenced by the COVID-19 global lockdown heightens the difficulties.

The pain points include:

  1. Employee frustration caused by VPN Performance issues.

Most of the employees worked from the offices in the past, so accessing on-premise file servers was not an issue. However, with the rise in remote working, hundreds of concurrent VPN tunnel connections on a firewall slows down the network, leading to multiple dropped connections and disgruntled employees who constantly have to reconnect with the system.

  1. Lack of granular control of permissions

Most consumer cloud storage platforms make it difficult for IT administrators to follow important security procedures. For instance, even though they use Office 365, they can’t utilize OneDrive/Sharepoint because, in OneDrive, you can’t set different sharing permissions for subfolders as OneDrive folder sync breaks the permission. For their contractors who work with many project folders, permissions are challenging to manage because permissions can’t be set up for each subfolder of a project folder.

Also, IT administrators can’t control which files users are syncing and who has access to shared files when using Dropbox.

  1. Incompatibility with estimation/database application

They use AccuBid Enterprise, a vital estimating software for their business, as it helps contractors create estimates quickly and accurately. However, this software does not integrate well with Dropbox file sync.

An ideal solution for them would be one which:

  • Allows their employees to access the company’s file server both from remote locations and within the company’s network.
  • Offers a secure file sharing alternative to collaborate internally with their contractors and externally with their business partners.

This breakdown makes Triofox an ideal solution.

Triofox file server access solution extends the functionality of local file servers, enabling cloud collaborative features while maintaining crucial attributes of on-premise servers such as data control and security.

It addresses all their pain points and delivers efficiently as a remote file-server access alternative to VPN and a secure file-sharing alternative to Dropbox/OneDrive. Here’s how.

  1. Eliminates VPN issues with its mapped drive approach

A mapped drive serves as both a physical and logical representation of a network that employees easily understand. With this, remote working employees can easily and securely access corporate files from anywhere. Hence, employees can quickly and efficiently accomplish common tasks when using file services in their daily tasks.

  1. Provides a granular level of control over folder structures

It’s important to have a centralized data repository. Doing so allows for easy data management and allows people in different departments to share information quickly.

Unlike other cloud solutions that allow no IT control or visibility, Triofox provides centralized access for IT managers.

  1. Allows For Seamless Collaboration

Collaboration tools play an essential role in facilitating efficient communication as virtual collaboration can be more complicated for contractors and engineering teams that work with real-time data. Field contractors have to report to decision-makers who aren’t directly exposed to on-field intelligence. It’s important to make sure the right information gets to the right person at the right time, as timely communication aids decision-making. This ensures that projects are managed properly and issues are resolved before they become problems during on-site execution.

With Triofox, large media files can be shared as secure web links without copying them to a different service to obtain the shareable link, preventing bandwidth drain, data leaks, and redundancy. Files can also be shared with multiple people without re-uploading and sharing updated links (because they use Office 365, files and folders can be shared as links instead of attachments via Outlook).

  1. Enable Offline Access

For on-field access with limited to no internet connection, the contractors can enable offline access to files they need and set up automatic synchronization of changes when internet connectivity is restored.

  1. Seamless Integration

It integrates with the existing Active Directory and retains NTFS permissions on files and folders. This way, existing users still have access to network shares. Through its client agents, users can access and share files via web browsers and mobile devices.

Users don’t have to worry about ad hoc software integration problems.

  1. Efficient Collaboration

Access to up-to-date project data enables construction workers to participate more effectively and the project team to be better organized. Files are automatically locked when in use to prevent overwriting. This makes it possible to collaborate on a project without worrying that other team members will undo or overwrite each other’s changes. Also, Triofox’s version control and file tracking feature ensures that each update is saved and traceable.

Conclusion Enterprises can be assured that sensitive data never leaves the file server while granting employees the flexibility to work from remote locations with or without an internet connection and on any device.

Enhance End User Access to Amazon AWS S3 With Mobile Remote File Access

The global pandemics have accelerated the rise in telecommuting and remote working has brought about the need to facilitate remote access to objects stored in AWS S3 buckets. Organizations whose end users just require access to Amazon S3 need a client application that provides easy access, as Amazon S3 is not beginner-friendly. While Amazon has an S3 file gateway service/ virtual software appliance that provides an interface for on-premise access to objects in the bucket by caching recent S3 files locally and presenting an SMB or NFS endpoint, one can see how remote access can pose a problem. A clear example is outlined in the use case below.

  • A private investment firm migrated 2TB data to Amazon S3.
  • Deployed the file gateway virtual appliance on their on-premise server but used it as an SMB share via an on-premise virtual appliance.
  • Found it very difficult to connect when working outside the network perimeter, hence deployed a VPN to connect to the office network to mount the drive and access S3 buckets. 

The problems encountered:

  • Multiple objects are created with every change made by an SMB client through the file gateway, and the need for lifecycle policies to be set up to curtail it and can quickly complicate things.
  • It’s inconvenient to connect to a VPN to mount a drive to an internal IP address before using Amazon S3 as an SMB share.

In this article, we’ll show you how to work around Amazon’s S3 file gateway’s LAN access constraints for simplicity and convenience in a remote working environment.

Why S3 Object Storage?

Amazon S3 is a highly durable, cost-effective, and scalable cloud infrastructure service for enterprises. When used as an on-premise server backup, it offers flexible storage management capabilities, even much better than other cloud computing service providers.

Scaling business infrastructure to the cloud is a digital transformation trend businesses are adopting to meet growing business needs and survive in the rapidly evolving digital world. While cost is an inhibiting factor for cloud migration, Amazon S3 offers the best cost-saving incentives, especially for businesses with big data. With S3 bucket unlimited storage capacity, companies do not have to worry about incurring heavy expenses from storing their data in the cloud or managing data centers to keep up with their growing storage needs.

The primary concern about mirroring in-office user experience to ensure seamless collaboration while maintaining security and controlling data resources to stay policy-compliant is quite challenging.

As previously stated, the S3 file gateway enables on-premise applications with low-latency access to data stored in the bucket, which means provisions should be made for users accessing those objects outside the network perimeter. While there are a number of S3 access tools available, such as CloudberryLab S3 Explorer, TntDrive, or ElephantDrive, few provide a ‘file server’ experience to simplify the process, much like Dropbox provided a user-friendly interface to store files, relying solely on the S3 bucket storage architect of the AWS.

1. High Complexity

S3 is a massive storage bucket, so IAM policies need to be updated to provide folder-level permissions for those with access to particular S3 buckets to ensure granular control over data. However, Amazon’s IAM policies can get complex, especially when many users require varying levels of access permissions to multiple buckets.

2. Data Compliance

There is no central console to monitor or account for who has access to what data or to track users’ activity. Because S3 does not have a bucket filter option, any user identity generated in the IAM can display all buckets in the linked AWS account, which could result in a compliance breach.

Triofox is a cloud file server solution that addresses these problems. Equipped with remote and mobile access features, the Triofox client agent can be used as a gateway stand-in when coupled with an identity provider (IDP) for authentication to access files stored in the S3 bucket.

How Triofox Addresses the Challenges?

1. Eliminate VPN Hassles

Triofox’s mapped drive eliminates excessive workarounds to access files (stored as objects), saving users time and enabling IT personnel to focus on more critical tasks.

2. Provides Security Without Compromising Productivity

Triofox supports native integration with Active Directory to protect sensitive files from unauthorized access while providing a seamless remote working experience for authenticated users across devices, improving productivity. End-users also have restricted access to their files and file shares, which are provided automatically when the existing identity management system is integrated.

3. Cache files for low Latency Access and WAN Optimization

Like the S3 file gateway, Triofox provides local caching to enable users offline access to recent files. A helpful feature for users working from home with lower bandwidth. In this case, an encrypted, remote agent cache is set up on each client, and only changes are synchronized to the file storage when connectivity is restored. It is also helpful for employees who need access to data but might not be in a location with an active internet connection.

In addition, access can be immediately cut off from the central console when an endpoint is compromised. 

4. Maintain Data Governance and Compliance Guidelines

IT has full control over what happens to data thanks to a centralized user management panel. Every activity performed on data is logged and traceable to the user thanks to its audit trace and files log feature.

 Triofox Implementation

Here’s how Triofox can be used to enhance S3 bucket access:

  • Deploy Azure Active Directory as the identity provider (sync on-premise AD with Azure Active Directory).
  • Configure and Install the Triofox server on a clean Windows Server virtual machine and integrate Active Directory, selecting S3 as the file storage (see link for complete steps).

The result is end-users can enjoy the ease of a cloud server interface. This is an excellent solution for organizations that prioritize security and productivity.

Register today for a free demo: https://calendly.com/triofox/demo

Cloud Migration: How To Have Better VPN Performance After Moving to AWS EC2

Cloud computing is quickly becoming the standard for enterprises looking to scale operations. Mission-critical workloads traditionally allocated to dedicated servers in data centers are now processed by instances running in the cloud, allowing organizations to cut down their IT expenses and eliminate upfront cost, and the complexity of integrating new technologies with existing workloads. There is no doubt that moving data and applications from on-premise data centers to the cloud is a feasible option for businesses to maintain and strengthen their competitive advantage. However, it is not always easy to make a big change to a large and established business because of all the processes, procedures, and quite recently, work arrangements.

This blog highlights particular challenges remote workers face after a migration process to the EC2 and proffers a solution to the identified issues.

What is EC2?

Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is an AWS service offering that allows companies to create virtual instances of their on-premise servers, store data on virtual drives, distribute loads across machines, and scale existing services.

EC2 Cloud Migration: Case Study

When considering your organization’s cloud adoption, you must take into account the people whose workflow will be affected. According to PwC, one of the biggest challenges to adopting cloud technology is the skill gap or lack of expertise. For instance, employees and users may be familiar with the old process, and it could take them significant effort to acclimate to a new system. It can also be that slight changes in operation affect other areas such as accessibility, which could be problematic as business profitability is inadvertently tied to employee’s productivity.

The case study below is a typical example of what we mean:

  • The company has three sites in the US but is looking to expand operations to the UK.
  • Data is currently being migrated to Amazon EC2 with requisite data taking the lead and legacy data hindmost (as their migration plan was devised to guarantee the least disruption).
  • Installed AWS site-to-site VPN to facilitate EC2 server access from the office.

The problem with this process is that remote users are required to use VPN to connect back to the corporate network to access files in EC2 servers as it is deployed within the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Consequently, the speed of access is affected, especially when the VPN has a performance issue.

Other VPN effects on remote working include:

  • VPN requires an active internet connection, a problem for employees that require on-field access to the instance or offline access to files.
  • VPN connections rely on the tunneling of public network traffic, which introduces inherent variability and unpredictability of performance.
  • CDN can’t speed up content redirected from VPN

The goal of a CDN is to serve content to users from the “closest” possible location. This allows content providers to serve content faster. However, because a VPN connects a user to a distant network, they can’t take advantage of the CDN or edge caching.

  • The office network has to be constantly monitored as any interruption could lead to a single point of failure.

Given the current economic environment, implementing a remote working policy has become essential for business. Not just to keep up with trends but also to stay ahead of the competitive market. Tackling the inefficiencies of VPN is one way to start.

How Triofox Fixes the Problem

One way management can facilitate a smooth transitioning is to mirror the existing workflow. In the case study, remote employees wouldn’t have a problem if the remote file access solution mirrored the mapped drive file access experience working within the office perimeter. Triofox can be provisioned for that.

Triofox caters to the contingent or work-from-home workforce by adding mobility and collaboration functionalities to existing file servers while providing a cloud drive letter solution for seamless operability. When used with Amazon’s EC2, it can transform the server into a private cloud file server or a private cloud file sharing solution, where authorized users can easily collaborate across regions and geographical locations. The result is that employees can stay productive on the go without management sacrificing security or convenience.

Other advantages include:

  • No need to route employee traffic through a VPN.

Triofox speeds up access to network shares without Businesses having to go through the trouble of setting up a VPN.

  • Triofox accepts file requests over HTTPS/SSL protocol and transfers (after AD authentication). It leverages the global delivery network (CDN); HTTPS-based protocol can traverse the CDN and speed up access.
  • Connection to EC2 server is independent of the on-premise network. Hence, even if there is network disruption on-site, remote workers are unaffected.
  • Speeds up access to files stored in the virtual server. Its differential upload feature ensures that only changes are synchronized, saving bandwidth and time.
  • Users can access frequently used files without an active connection to be available offline in the case of a limited or slow connection. However, files in the local cache remain encrypted at rest and can only be accessed after successful login. The files are protected with the same protection level as if they are still sitting in the cloud.
  • Provides an interface to simplify direct access to Amazon S3 buckets (when used to backup rarely accessed files in EC2 instances).
  • Employees can collaborate easily by sharing files over the Internet as secure web links. They can also access network server shares through a browser on their mobile device.
  • Remote wipe feature to deprovision compromised devices or users at the end of their contracts.
  • Provides data auditing and reporting features to keep businesses in control of what happens to their data and accountable to regulatory bodies.

Deployment Overview:

  • Install Triofox server agent on the EC2 instance (click here for the complete steps)
  • Install Triofox client agent.

For businesses yet to migrate to the cloud, Triofox simplifies the cloud migration process by integrating AD and NTFS permissions, allowing employees to maintain access to existing file shares. It can be deployed as a hybrid cloud solution, which is suitable for organizations that aren’t prepared to fully migrate to the cloud.

For more information on this solution, schedule a demo.

Remote Working Technology: How To Avoid VPN Issues and Secure Network Assets

There is no doubt that remote working offers numerous benefits regarding efficiency, productivity, and cost-effectiveness. But to reap these benefits, the right technology must be in place to support remote working. However, data sharing is the foundation that makes remote working possible for companies, with employee’s ability to work remotely being heavily reliant on how quickly and efficiently vital data and files can be accessed by those in need of such data.

One major challenge faced by businesses with employees working remotely is accessing corporate files securely. Hence, the goal is to secure network assets while ensuring employees working remotely have the ease of access as someone working in the office.

This blog explores the most common connection challenges faced by remote users and the best way to solve these issues.

VPN Limitations for Remote Working

Following the global lockdown declaration, it is understandable that most companies opted for Virtual Private Networks, the seemingly fastest connection route to keep their businesses afloat.

Many have since realized the problem with that choice. Listed below are the significant limitations of VPNs:

  1. Offline Editing Capability

With companies hiring cross-continent while offering the work from home option, their employees must have offline editing options. The necessity is even more pronounced for digital nomads or employees working on the go, as they are likely to suffer internet inconsistencies.

Because VPNs require an active/ dedicated connection, when remote employees can’t access the files they need to work on in a timely fashion, it leads to a massive drop in productivity.

  1. Leverage Content Delivery Network (CDN)

VPN traversing over a long distance is slow and fails to leverage CDN benefits such as improved uptime, reduced bandwidth, and SSL encryption, all available for HTTP-based protocols.

  1. Integrate With Zero Trust Security Model

Businesses widely adopt the zero-trust approach to secure valuable network assets, particularly given the rise in remote working. Meanwhile, VPNs by their nature weren’t intended for the remote workforce as it requires perimeter access/ server proximity to work effectively.

Also, VPNs are the polar opposite of the zero trust model. Zero trust implementation is mostly HTTPS-based as a gateway, intercepting HTTPS communications and prompting authentication using advanced authentication methods. VPNs grant unrestricted access to the network, expanding attack surface areas.

  1. Employee’s Hack Leads to Data Sprawl

Another challenge is data sprawl, whereby a user copies important files locally to maintain offline access. Not only does this lead to data inconsistencies, but it also compromises data security.

It is essential to keep data consistent even when offline, especially when working in teams. Ideally, all your data would be synced up when connected to the Internet, so changes are updated on the server and reside securely in the cloud.

  1. Dampens Remote Work Experience

Employee experience in remote working is crucial. As shown in Riverbed’s Future Of Work global survey, VPN logins and disconnection issues were cited as especially problematic. The disconnection from the corporate network and slow file downloads was two of the most significant problems faced by remote working respondents.

If your remote users are constantly being disconnected from the enterprise every time they try to access file shares over the Internet, they could get irritated or frustrated.

Securing the network infrastructure to support flexible working styles is necessary for businesses that are yet to implement a remote working policy. Hence, while a VPN seems like a secure way to connect multiple remote computers to the network, it is not a sustainable option.

Why Any Cloud Solution Just Won’t Cut It

With cloud computing, data stored in one place can be accessed by anyone regardless of where they are physically located. It also offers scalability, efficiency, and profitability benefits. For these reasons, migrating to the cloud is often an attractive option.

For example, migrating to cloud collaborative platforms SharePoint can be a desirable option. But such migration might not be ideal for businesses with specific data infrastructure, especially those built up over several years and spread across multiple file shares, machines, and locations. The uncertainty of the financial implication makes it cost-prohibitive for SMBs with large data sets.

How Triofox Addresses VPN and Cloud Migration Issues

Triofox is designed to give users remote access to existing file shares. It is a great cloud-enabled file sharing and syncing platform that enables secure access across all devices.

This solution is perfect for businesses that:

  • Have large data sets spread across multiple servers.
  • Need to enhance the remote working experience for their staff.
  • Operate in AEC verticals with remote employees.
  • Require a long-term and sustainable secure file and collaboration solution.

Below are some more benefits of Triofox:

Cross-Site Collaboration

When working with a team, file locking is essential for preventing versions from being accidentally overwritten or deleted. Most cloud services don’t support CAD files, but with Triofox’s mapped drive, users can access the file locking and version control features to keep track of the changes.

When working offline, files stored in the local cache are encrypted and can automatically be synchronized when the internet connection is restored.

Support for Large Files and Private File Shares

Triofox affords users the option to transfer large files as secure web links. It takes away the redundancy of copying files to an external storage service to collaborate with partners or clients. It can also integrate with Outlook to automatically convert file attachments to links, secure files with data-at-rest encryption, and transfer over SSL.

Always-On, HTTPS-Based Drive Mapping

Users no longer have to worry about being suddenly disconnected from the network, as Triofox’s mapped drive is a constant. It is simple enough that authorized users can connect to the network at any time without help or network interference.

Centralized Control Across Multiple Sites

Triofox syncs data to a global namespace. It provides desktop agents and mobile applications for a complete end-to-end access solution and simplifies the user experience. It maintains data consistency with versioning and integrates directly with Microsoft Active Directory for user and permission management.

Other advantages over VPN include:

● Eliminate network downtime and provide remote access to enterprise file shares from anywhere without a VPN.
● Reduce network spread and reduce corporate risk. Eliminate costly workarounds commonly used by remote users to access their company file server.
● Triofox provides an efficient, discreet, and cost-effective way for your remote workers to work from any location, even off-grid, by offering offline access to cached file server shares.
● Centralizes data that is spread across multiple locations and devices and can serve as a zero trust solution for remote file server access.
● Triofox combines the advantages of DFS, VPN, and cloud storage to provide a private cloud structure, offering better control over cost and security.

To get started on Triofox, sign up for a free trial or schedule a demo.

Triofox Hybrid Cloud Server Solution: Remote Access VPN Alternative for Creative Businesses & Advertising Agencies

The breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic caught the world by surprise and saw businesses adapting innovative solutions to stay afloat during the worldwide lockdown. Remote work, which was a working perk exclusive to certain positions and job titles, became the only working option for most businesses offering what was considered “non-essential” services. These saw organizations scurrying to adapt the fastest remote working options available to risk sinking in the sudden economic downturn caused by the rapid spread of the flu.

Contrary to the suspicions that remote working would take its toll on businesses because of its perceived lack of structure and solitary nature that contrasted with the connectivity and community that in-office collaboration afforded, remote work has proven to be the future of work.

By now, even with the lockdown ease and rollout of the vaccine, most businesses have realized that remote working is not a passing trend, and they must integrate efficient remote working policies into their business operations. Hence, companies must find and adapt long-term scalable solutions for file sharing and synchronized collaboration between remote teams.

In this article, we will focus on the challenges of working remotely using a VPN in the creative industry and share how organizations can extend remote working long-term for improved performance and security, even without a full cloud migration.

VPN to the Rescue…or Not

VPN was seen as the ultimate quick fix for businesses that wanted their employees to access corporate files without risking security. As a result, its popularity skyrocketed, but the challenges manifested as the months wore on.

Here is a play out of the VPN remote access experience by a previous VPN user:

  • Company designs ads for impulse buy products.
  • The workload was multiplied after COVID hit because they deal with online advertising and sales.
  • An increase in workload led to an increased workforce, doubling data output.
  • The company was fine with the sales team working over VPN connections, but not so for their designers, who had to frequently access the photo library stored on the file server. The directory listing took too long to load over VPN, delaying search and sorting through thumbnails – they used most of the adobe’s creative cloud software.
  • Since their photos were all stored in a single photo library (with pictures dating back to 2003) and had several network shares (each 100GB or more), this made work slow and insufferable.
  • In addition, they could not migrate fully to the cloud because of the heavy media files.

VPN, which provides secure access through its encryption and cloaking features, remains what it is, a temporary fix. Its usage for designers in creative agencies can be off-putting. And slower home network speed, which can be a significant bottleneck for remote teams, is further worsened by the dampening bandwidth effect of a VPN. Using InDesign, remote design teams reported significant slowdowns when connecting to their company’s on-prem file server using VPNs. Still, they had to use it because personal or public networks expose the company to cyber threats and attacks.

Although the needs of businesses vary according to industry and size, irrespective of the differentiating limitations, productivity plunge and employee frustration were shared consequences of VPN usage.

Even though business needs vary by industry and size, VPN use has been linked to decreased productivity and employee dissatisfaction.

Other challenges that could affect operations include:

  • There is a higher risk of data corruption due to reduced bandwidth and high latency fluctuations.
  • VPNs lack the granular level of control needed to monitor and control data access.
  • VPNs are a choice target for hackers, and their successful infiltration affects companies engaging their services, as they have to bear the brunt of data breaches.
  • If a uniform corporate VPN network is not set up, employees risk exposing company data through the use of public Wi-Fi or unscrupulous VPN vendors hiding under the guise of free or cheap VPN providers. Even when companies incorporate this, a data compliance breach is inevitable when the company’s data is replicated on the servers of third parties during VPN tunneling.

Securely Access and Share Files Without a VPN

Some businesses opt out of complete cloud server migration because the process can be hectic and could lead to significant workflow disruption when migrating. Large file size, long path names, windows character limitations, and numbers of files per folder (files have to be reorganized to prevent sync issues) are only a few issues affecting cloud migration and sync. And fixing those limitations is resource-intensive. 

Also, most cloud services do not support essential windows server security features such as file locking and permission control. For instance, Adobe Creative Cloud still doesn’t support control permissions for contributors (the horror of having hours’ worth of work overwritten by a two-second update). As explained by a representative, “Currently shared libraries are always writable by all participants.” 

Since server-side edits aren’t supported, the best bet is for designers to work from their local devices and upload to central storage when done. However, for organizations that rely on PSD and heavy media files, a cloud-based environment is sorely expensive.

Businesses in similar situations (firms who choose to keep their on-premises file servers) can take advantage of Triofox. This hybrid cloud server solution enhances the functionalities of file servers by adding mobility, data sharing, and security capabilities. Triofox server solution allows secure remote file access without a VPN.

Benefits of Triofox Hybrid Cloud Server Solution

Businesses can improve the performance and productivity of their staff with corporate data never leaving the server. This is possible as Triofox compliments the security of file servers with the flexibility of cloud storage. Outlined below are other benefits of deploying the Triofox server solution as a VPN alternative:

  • Organizations no longer have to sacrifice security for accessibility or vice versa as Triofox offers the best of both worlds by enhancing the existing file servers with mobile file accessibility and easy file sharing solutions.
  • Organizations can improve the work-from-home experience for their employees by removing VPN bottlenecks.
  • Secure remote access to on-premise file servers eliminates the need for engaging third-party VPN vendors, greatly reducing the risk of a data breach.
  • Triofox secure file sharing solutions make it easy to share large files and collaborate with teams, partners, and clients.
  • Users can easily adapt the Triofox solution because it offers a similar mapped-drive experience, so there’s no disruption to the workflow after deployment.
  • As a VPN alternative, Triofox fixes the scalability, performance, and security issues while providing management features and security tools.

To get started on Triofox, sign up for a free trial or schedule a demo.

How Businesses Can Securely Share Data and Collaborate Between Various Networks

Any organization’s most valuable asset is its information because it is integral to decision-making, forecasting, and resource allocation. And the more accurate, timely, and consistent information is to business operations, the better one can respond to changing customer needs. Hence, constant and effective data sharing is the key to business success. However, for some verticals, sharing files between different networks is a challenge.

Sharing files across multiple networks can present some bottlenecks, and the costs and difficulties involved in setting up the necessary infrastructure can make this process time-consuming, inefficient, and expensive.

The primary goal of this article is to help businesses understand how Triofox can protect their valuable data and share it across distributed networks to work more efficiently.

Data Sharing Between Isolated Networks Made Easy

Users can quickly share data among themselves and external business partners for collaborative work in today’s digital world. As a result, data is a vital aspect in enhancing performance and productivity, regardless of the type of business. As an enterprise, however, ensuring that data is transmitted securely can be difficult.

In an environment where the business data is located on isolated networks, there should be an easy way to share files securely and efficiently across them. But that is not always the case. Here is a real-life scenario:

An agency operating in different locations needed an easy way to move exported data to other networks. They accumulated several GB per day of emails with their workflow and required a solution accessible to 100-200 users. However, they used the manual approach to data sharing. Employees from other networks had to upload data from the virtual machines in their lab environments to cloud applications to make them accessible to other employees. Currently, they use Accellion to copy the files between networks manually. Both processes proved challenging as they have about 5 TB of information, and on some occasions, large files failed to transfer. Matter-of-fact, they had several situations where the files did fail (smaller than 100GB).

Gladinet’s Triofox solution makes data sharing straightforward. Unlike the existing means of file sharing, it eliminates those extra steps where users have to copy data into an external cloud solution. Instead, users can quickly turn a folder into a web-facing folder, accessible to users on other networks via a mapped drive.

The way out is to deploy Triofox on one network, and have other networks connected to the desired folders using its mapped drive.

Cost-Effective Alternative to Datto BCDR Appliance for Small Business Customers

Businesses can also benefit from Triofox’s scalable cloud backup and disaster recovery solution, which has a lower total cost of ownership, more flexibility, and, of course, security. For many firms, integrating disaster recovery and backup services is essential. In addition, customizing services to meet your company’s demands fosters trust and can help decide its profitability.

Because cost might deter using cloud services, consolidating different cloud services products for efficiency could be a game-changer. Many firms fail to establish an adequate backup plan for business continuity and disasters because the cost is a decisive issue for them when picking a backup solution.

Our BCDR strategy combines on-premises capabilities with cloud-based storage to preserve data for clients’ business needs and make it accessible whenever and wherever they are needed. Triofox accomplished this using version control to the files, and it keeps snapshots and full logs of file modifications.

Triofox’s sync and share feature turn on-premises file servers into private file sharing servers and a centralized data repository as files are stored at multiple locations on different devices. Hence, they act as backups, and previous versions can easily be restored.

Simplified Access & Management

Businesses need a simple product to deploy and manage while providing a simplified data-sharing experience across networks or geographies to increase productivity and improve efficiency.

Dispersed teams have created a demand for a more efficient data-sharing solution that utilizes existing infrastructure to efficiently distribute information among a broad set of data partners. Some solutions are so complex that users have to reach out to the IT department to share large files or specific file formats, increasing employee frustration and reducing productivity.

Secure File Sharing for External Collaboration

Compliance problems arise when businesses entrust their data to third-party cloud services during file sharing. Not only do they open themselves up to lawsuits, but they also risk leaking vital information to big players. However, with Triofox, businesses gain the flexibility of a public consumer cloud service without compromising control over corporate data. Its key features are mobility, ease of access, and security.

Triofox provides advanced drive mapping technology in its solution. It is the perfect option for businesses with security concerns about using external cloud storage for sensitive information. The mapped drive provides:

  • Endpoint encryption.
  • On-demand synchronization.
  • Local file caching.
  • Binary differential uploads.
  • Other optimizations for files and folders to be accessed over the Internet.

Triofox offers centralized control over data permissions and updates, missing when end-users engage external cloud storage services like Dropbox. 

In all, Triofox offers a holistic solution to corporate data sharing and proactive backup services for disaster recovery.

To learn more about how Triofox can better suit your organization’s needs, request a demo

Enterprise File Sync and Share Solutions: Why Triofox Is the Perfect Replacement for DatAnywhere

The most pressing issue facing businesses today can be summed up in a single word: data. A major issue is the lack of control over where data is stored and how it is used. Data sharing must be done in a transparent and barrier-free manner. For some businesses, this means entrusting third-party providers with the management and security of their cloud files. However, it is common knowledge that using public cloud services to share company data is a high-risk activity due to GDPR violations, data loss, and cyber-criminal vulnerability.

Varonis DatAnywhere was popular enterprise sync and share solution for a long time since it offered a simple, cost-effective alternative to public cloud-based file-sharing services. However, since it has reached its end of life (EOL), you are putting your business at risk if you are still using their service. “New updates and upgrades will not be published, and new platforms (such as new versions of IOS, Android, Windows, and so on) will not be supported,” according to them. After February 28, 2020, DatAnywhere support services will be discontinued.” Triofox offers the same secure private file sharing experience with support guaranteed to give you a good run for your money.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the most common data-sharing concerns and why the Triofox server solution is the best way to turn your corporate infrastructure into a secure private cloud-like platform for secure remote access and collaboration.

The Need for Secure File Sharing

Dropbox has become a popular cloud storage platform in recent years. Its most notable advantage is the ease with which you may share files with your team and external business partners. However, the way Dropbox is used in corporate situations poses some security concerns. For example, data can be very sensitive for a construction company. The remote collaboration will sometimes require sharing vital organizational information such as contracts, blueprints, field photos, videos, etc. Hackers or unscrupulous competitors can intercept the right tools. This is why it is essential to make sure your data is safe.

Businesses have reported millions of dollars in lost revenue and productivity because of the recent data breaches, and the material damage continues. This can be devastating for an organization. Though the commercial impact of a data breach varies greatly depending on the size of the company and the industry in question, the effect that can range from a decline in revenue, decreased productivity, and financial ruin can significantly impact a business.

Why Triofox Is a Better Alternative to DatAnywhere

As they most often operate in different locations, construction companies can’t run their operations optimally without a system that provides employees with the proper flow of information and allows them to share and store documents in real-time. Also, the need to share documents with clients or partners requires the share functionalities of cloud storage. Triofox solves the challenges of transferring data securely across geographies while minimizing costs, complexity, and errors – whether human error or hardware.

Triofox addresses these problems by providing a safe and collaborative working environment to store files in one place. It is a cross-platform team collaboration solution that offers efficient and secure enterprise file sync and share services without the risk of data exposure. Its solution makes it easy for people to work wherever and whenever they need to, and without the fear that their sensitive data will wind up in the wrong hands. Beyond the safety and ease of use factors, Triofox provides real-time backup and recovery in case of disaster.

A real-life examination of a construction company whose needs are aligned with the Triofox solution is outlined below. If your firm can relate to the majority of the pain areas, Triofox could be the ideal solution for you.

  • Construction Company with over 30TB data and a distributed team spread across four (4) branches.
  • Due to the sensitive nature of the business, prefers to keep data on private file servers
  • Wants more control than Dropbox offers; wants to keep control of data even after it has been copied to Dropbox for sharing.
  • The constant fear of data falling into the wrong hands, plus the fact that engaging Dropbox violates data compliance policies.
  • Considering cloud migration but doesn’t have time or resources to deal with migration complexities.
  • Needs a solution that users can quickly implement and manage; file-sharing shouldn’t require the specialty of a tech person.
  • Needs a partner that will help with initial setup and configuration and ongoing support.

Benefits of Triofox Server Solution

Similar to Datanywhere, Triofox extends the file-sharing functionality of existing windows file shares, making them accessible over the web. Matter-of-fact, file sharing can be as easy as sending a link. It provides a mapped drive, where users can quickly access file shares.

By deploying a self-hosted version of Triofox, you can ensure data security and control while improving the performance and productivity of the users. Listed below are the benefits of deploying the Triofox server solution:

  • Triofox eradicates the issues that come with employing external cloud services for collaboration as its solution is built on existing file server infrastructure to extend its functionalities.
  • Its AD & NTFS Integration features ensure seamless technology adaptation to prevent lost productivity, which can cost your business a lot of money.
  • It is cost-effective as the solution requires little to minimal training; Users can easily adapt since it provides a familiar working experience.
  • Allow businesses to maintain data governance and control for policy compliance and privacy of client’s information.
  • It offers more control than Dropbox. Triofox provides centralized access controls, audit tracking, and report features, giving you autonomous control over your data.
  • It offers simplified management and user experience
  • The solution keeps data on private file shares
  • It has remote device wipes and encryption to reduce device vulnerabilities.

To learn more about how Triofox can better suit your organization’s needs, request a demo

Drive growth with Triofox

Why become a Triofox reseller?

Market opportunity

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations all around the world decided to transition to remote working. The global enterprise file access, file synchronization, and the file-sharing market is expected to reach USD 16.99 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 26.3% during the period of 2020 – 2025.*

*ReportLinker global enterprise file synchronization and sharing market forecast 2020-2025

Accelerate growth

We work together with our reseller partners to expand business for mutual growth. Potential to earn as much as 30% on all the revenue generated together.

Increase profitability

Continued demand and consistent performance of Triofox ensures continued contracts, giving our partners a high ROI.

Better together

We have a culture that is open, transparent, and centered on our customers and partners. Full access to the deal registration portal for 100% protection and monitoring.

To learn more about becoming a Triofox reseller, contact our team.

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