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  • Writer's pictureFlagler Technologies

SharePoint for SMEs: Secure Collaboration and Efficiency Tips

Updated: May 7


Microsoft SharePoint offers small and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs) a centralized, secure location to store, organize, and share documents with their staff and authorized third parties. This incredibly versatile document and information storage system facilitates safe cloud-based storage. Companies can create a secure SharePoint website that holds libraries, lists, and pages for teams and companies. 


However, many companies create SharePoint sites without really understanding the versatility of the product or the potential risks involved in using a web-based storage platform with multiple users. That’s why many organizations choose to outsource the oversight of their SMEs to a managed service provider (MSP). 


This article will provide tips for leveraging SharePoint to its fullest potential for secure collaboration and communication. Flagler Technologies provides managed security services to help protect SharePoint from SMEs.


A SharePoint Overview

SharePoint provides a central location for documents and other types of files. Users can create files and folders, provide access to files and folders that they’ve created with other parties, and edit the files and folders that have been shared with them. Because it’s a web-based system, users can access it from any device if they have the proper login credentials. Organizations can share files or folders with external parties who need to access the content. 


For example, a content team prepares ten pages of copy for a client who needs to edit the content before it goes live. The content team can share a link with the client that allows them to make the edits directly in the live documents. The team can review the edits and make the corrections for final approval. The SharePoint portal allows all parties to be in the document at the same time. It replaces the clunky process of emailing Word docs back and forth. 


Because all SharePoint data is encrypted, unauthorized users are unable to intercept the communications. If this sounds like other platforms, like Box or Google Drive, it does work similarly to those products. What separates SharePoint from these other platforms, including Microsoft’s OneDrive, is its strong security features, such as data loss prevention, multi-factor authentication, and on-premise deployment options. We will explore these powerful security measures later.


Managed SharePoint Services for SMEs

Many businesses are implementing SharePoint and replacing other systems because of its superior collaboration features. As a Managed SharePoint Services provider, Flagler Technologies has been able to help businesses improve efficiency and bolster security by integrating SharePoint with their existing software. 


Here are some of the most significant benefits that SharePoint has to offer for small and medium enterprises. 


Centralized Document Management

All documents are stored and organized in a central, cloud-based repository. Because all parties have access to the documents, it ensures that the document they are reviewing is the most current version. Additionally, they are able to see when other parties are in the document at the same time. Real-time updates prevent users from getting old versions of documents. 


Workspaces Designed for Collaboration

Multiple individuals and teams are often tasked to work on the same project. SharePoint’s collaborative tools ensure that all project members can stay on the same page. SharePoint’s collaborative tools include calendars, workflows, message boards, and task lists, all of which can be linked to the applicable project. 


Office Integration

Microsoft’s Office suite is used by over a million companies and over a billion users worldwide. It is by far the most popular product of its kind. SharePoint automatically integrates with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. If you use Google Workspace, we can add a SharePoint source connection that will make SharePoint work flawlessly with your files. 


Automation

If your team works on documents with multiple approvals, SharePoint has tools that allow your team to move the documents to various stages automatically. For example, assume you have a document that requires drafting, editing, and approval for publication. You can set up a flow that moves the document to editing once the team working on drafting is finished. 


Version Control

With all collaborative efforts comes the need to revert to earlier versions of documents and files. SharePoint’s version controls allow team members to see revisions, restore older versions, and see which users made changes. 


Mobile Access 

Team members don’t have to be in the same place, time zone, or organization to work on documents. They can use smartphones or tablets from any space with an internet connection. 


Securing SharePoint in a Hybrid Cloud Environment

One of the most appealing aspects of SharePoint is the enhanced security features, which are crucial in a cloud-based environment. SharePoint encrypts all transmissions. In order to decrypt any information, the user has to log into the system and have the required level of authorization to view the data. Multi-factor authentication ensures that a bad actor can’t use a compromised password to log in. Authorized persons will have to verify access by entering the code they receive via email or text message.


Data-loss prevention protocols ensure that sensitive data can only be accessed by authorized users and under particular circumstances. They can also block access to specific documents until an administrator can review the request. 


Information rights management allows document owners and other authorized parties to limit the actions of others. For instance, they can restrict printing or editing on view-only documents. 


Network and Connectivity Best Practices for SharePoint

Flagler Technologies uses best practices when integrating SharePoint with our client’s information systems. This includes bolstering the network infrastructure to avoid having single points of failure and increasing bandwidth to support data traffic. 


We also secure network access by establishing intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and firewalls to prevent unauthorized parties from accessing data. All generated documents and sites use an HTTPS secure connection to ensure end-to-end encryption. 


Flagler Technologies monitors network traffic usage with the most effective tools to detect suspicious patterns in the movement of data or failed login attempts. 


Flagler Technologies – Managed SharePoint Service Provider

We are a managed service provider (MSP) and managed security service provider (MSSP) that specializes in securely integrating Microsoft SharePoint into the information systems of small and medium-sized enterprises. If you own or manage a business that requires secure collaboration, give us a call. Our SharePoint experts will be happy to discuss your needs. 


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