While the IC’s research organization looks into adding security to cloud environments, in the here and now, intelligence agencies are sharing more data.
Cloud-based file-sharing services offer a simple means by which users can collaborate on files over great distances. However, security concerns discourage many federal agencies from using these services. The ShareFile application in the Citrix XenMobile suite can alleviate these concerns and add a secure mobility component as well.
On the client end, ShareFile allows users to manipulate files, edit them and share them securely with others. If a device is ever lost or stolen, all files managed by ShareFile can be securely wiped from that unit. If a user leaves the agency, any secure files stored with ShareFile can likewise be purged without affecting the user's personal data.
Agency IT staff on the back end can choose to install ShareFile completely on in-house servers or inside a government cloud so that no data is ever allowed to leave an agency's control. Files stored on the back end this way are protected using encryption that complies with Federal Information Processing Standard 140-1. ShareFile also supports the use of Security Assertion Markup Language.
One of ShareFile's most useful features is its automatic integration with email. For example, an agency that limits the size of outgoing email to 10 megabytes may establish a policy that automatically sends any file over this limit to be uploaded to ShareFile. When the email is sent, the recipient is told that the file is in ShareFile, where it can be downloaded and opened. Recipients can also be required to log in using agency credentials before viewing a file, but they don't need the ShareFile program on their computer or mobile device to do so.
A recipient can even open and edit a file, saving changes to the document, which is automatically synced to the cloud or with agency servers. If an agency deploys XenMobile in-house, users can make use of all the features of long-distance file-sharing while mitigating many of the inherent risks. ShareFile can be installed as a stand-alone program, but it also integrates with the apps and programs found in the XenMobile suite.