Every smart organization knows file security is a must, and many companies use complex and expensive tools to secure their data. But this complexity can cause issues when it comes to implementing policies and procedures for data protection.
For example, many password management policies require a certain level of password strength and require users to change passwords frequently. As a result, many users look for shortcuts to circumvent these policies. Reusing passwords, slightly modifying them, and using common phrases can all compromise organizational data in the event of a breach.
When employees are working outside of a shared workspace or server, the risk of data breach increases. This is due to a number of file security factors, such as not deploying antivirus software for devices or remote workers storing company data on personal devices and storage platforms.
So, how can organizations better protect their files and data? While many people consider file compression to be an old-school tactic for saving disk space, it also provides high levels of encryption, ensuring only authorized users can access company data.
Encrypting data at a file level ensures that you can safely manage and share data across platforms no matter the end users’ location. If a user’s device is lost, stolen, or compromised, file-point encryption allows IT administrators to wipe the company’s data from the affected device remotely.
File compression is so much more than a storage space optimization solution. Let’s take a look at the top three benefits of file compression for today’s modern enterprises (and their IT teams).
1. Compress Files to Save Space and Money
File compression is a great solution for businesses that handle, process, and store a large number of documents. When you have hundreds or even thousands of documents circulating within your organization, a large amount of disk or cloud space is required to store them all.
Some files, such as word-based documents, can be reduced to 90% of their original size via file compression. Compressing files can cause some companies to hesitate because of the risk of reduced image or audio quality. However, solutions such as WinZip® Enterprise compress MP3s by 15–20% and JPEGs by 20–25% with no loss of photo quality or data integrity.
Compressed files can also be sent much faster than uncompressed files due to their smaller size. On average, it takes a tenth of the time to transmit a compressed file as it would to send the uncompressed version of the same file. Faster transit times for sharing documents improves productivity because users spend less time waiting for files to transfer and download.
For example, if you have a 1 TB hard drive but you’ve exceeded the space allotment by another 200 GB, you’ll need to buy another hard drive. With WinZip Enterprise, you can simply compress those files into a ZIP folder that’s nearly half the original file size and reclaim more storage space.
2. Protect Your Data with Lossless Compression Techniques
File compression consists of much more than just creating a ZIP folder on your desktop. In fact, there are two file compression techniques you should be aware of: lossy and lossless.
Lossy file compression means there is a permanent loss of data to make the file size smaller. This can be an effective compression technique when used once. However, for companies that send the same files back and forth between collaborating coworkers, this method will slowly reduce the quality of those files because you lose more and more data every time it’s compressed.
Lossless file compression keeps the exact same starting file size when the files are reconstructed. It simply means that no data quality is lost when compressed. This is done by removing any redundant information within the file.
For example, if you take “TTTTHHHHHEEEEEEYYYYYYY” and compress it using the lossless technique, you get “T4H5E6Y7.” When you decompress this type of file, your computer knows to revert the information back to its original form automatically.
Using WinZip Enterprise to compress files won’t negatively impact their quality. This is because WinZip compression is always lossless, which means there’s no risk of losing important information within documents when using this compression technique.
3. Leverage File-Level Encryption Security
Encrypting individual files offers greater security than encrypting an entire disk or device. With file-based encryption, each item has a unique key for access. Think of it like keeping a lockbox inside a safe—even if the safe is accessed, the lockbox is an additional layer of protection that keeps intruders from accessing your valuables.
WinZip Enterprise is a file encryption solution that secures your digital data at the file point—not the end point. This process enhances security for companies that handle large amounts of sensitive data while also reducing storage space requirements.
WinZip Enterprise is also compliant with Windows Information Protection (WIP), which protects corporate data on employees’ devices. With WIP, IT administrators can set internal security controls that apply protective tags to corporate data. These tags trigger an automatic encryption of the data whenever it is downloaded from or saved to the company’s applications, networks, and protected domains.
Not only is WinZip Enterprise compliant with WIP protocols, but it also uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption to keep your data secure. AES is a military- and bank-grade cryptographic security method that WinZip Enterprise offers in two different strengths: 128-bit AES and 256-bit AES. When used properly in an overall security protocol, WinZip Enterprise’s AES encryption gives companies a high level of security in a way that is fast and easy to use.
WinZip Enterprise encryption also complies with all major standards, such as the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS). FIPS 140-2 is a security standard developed by the US government to validate cryptographic modules. DFARS is a level of security used by the Department of Defense (DOD) for its external employees and contractors.
Use WinZip Enterprise File Compression and Customization to Meet Your Company’s Needs
WinZip Enterprise is an ideal solution for IT administrators that need file compression capabilities within as a highly customizable solution. Customization makes it easy to remove unwanted features, control access to cloud services and social media, and set and enforce password policies as well as encryption standards for all your users. This gives IT administrators the ability to create a “sandbox” for their users that allows them to use only approved sharing platforms.
As mentioned, WinZip Enterprise encrypts your files at the file level, not the device level. When a device is encrypted, it will secure the files on that device alone. However, this doesn’t help if you have a remote working environment with many employees using unsecured devices. Having your documents encrypted at the file level ensures that no matter what device a file is sent to, it will be secure.
WinZip Enterprise also backs up your files and archives them in the event of data corruption or loss on an endpoint. If your device is lost or stolen, having an encrypted archive of your files stored in the cloud ensures nothing is lost.
File compression might seem like an outdated or limited tool, but it goes far beyond just reducing file storage requirements. It’s a solution that enhances file security and accelerates file transfer which improves employee productivity.