Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Another way around attachment issues

In Put down the attachment and walk away slowly..., the LiB points us to two unique web sites that get around some attachment issues. You simply stash your file in a dropbox at Dropload or YouSendIt. They will then notify the recipient(s) via email that the file is available for downloading for the next two or seven days, respectively. Since the file itself is never sent, size limits never enter the equation whether you are sending or receiving.

For the paranoid among us, YouSendIt offers a version you can host yourself. I think other alternatives, such as a secure team workspace, would make more sense than that.

8 Comments:

Blogger David said...

this is a bit scary. If we talk about such solutions, the security folks have made it clear that the material cannot be "owned" by Southern. It has to be public knowlege. If not, then we can't use such suggestions.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't agree 100% with David's comment. It may be an extrapolation taken from another context, when we did take an exceptionally hard line for some reason.

Broadly speaking, I would say any 'attachment' that represents publicly available information requires no special handling guidelines, monitoring or enforcement from IT Security.

I estimate 95% of our emailed files meet this definition. That number is based solely upon my (perhaps informed) imagination.

Where that clear line becomes blurry is when several "open source" materials in combination (extra emphasis) infer something about the company which we would not wish to disclose.

Lastly, let's remember we are an electric utility and not the CIA. I am as guilty as anyone for misplaced enthusiasm in this regard.


- Guy

5:25 PM  
Blogger Guy said...

Oops, I am posting as Guy, even when I leave the radio button in default position.

- anonymous

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or should I say "could be used to infer information about us etc ..."?

Or should I have gone with "imply" rather?

Or should I just shut up now?

5:32 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

My two cents...
I would agree with Eric that using another form of workspace for file sharing/file collaboration is the way to go.
I thought that _one_ of the reasons for imposing a file size limit to e-mail in the first place was to allow (read: force) people to think about even sending the file through the e-mail system to begin with and help them understand that the S:\ drive was a "better" place for the file (in other words, send a link instead but keep it in our system). And, as David has pointed out, it makes employees think about managing/sharing their data better. (Of course we all know the limitations of the S:\ drive but those will be addressed.)
I don't really see how using an outside service to manage large e-mail attachments would help the employees manage their data better.
However, sending large files to outside people is another story...Right now we use anyting from sneakernet, our FTP site to multiple e-mail attachments. This might be something to look at for those one or two times that we need to send a file to an outsider, but don't really need a full on collaboration area.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Points all round, I'm rescinding my initial comment. I think the key again is as Scott said - the person needs to THINK before they share. If they deem it as worthy of sharing, then other means should be provided. The outside website and pick-up method is a good option.

My downside now is: I wonder what the "Catch" side of those two sites are? Do they harvest the e-mails of the exchangers and spam them for eternity?

I think if we do want to use something like an outside source for a way station, we need to contract it as a company. Maybe some sort of ASP holding spot.

8:59 AM  
Blogger David said...

D'oh! That was David talking

And interesting enough you can't use greater-than, less-then signs in this box. It assumes it's HTML....

9:01 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Clearly, this about sending or receiving attachments across the firewall, whether it's our limit or the other party's limit that's causing the problem. I think this has merit for onesy-twosy sharing needs. For anything beyond that, a team workspace that's accessible from wherever you may be as long as you have the proper credentials is the ticket.

Neither of these services help you get around storage limits, only sending/receiving limits. Storage limits brings up gmail, which is another discussion entirely. We will ignore the fact that if you are "inside," this link will redirect you to the "Oops" page.

9:29 AM  

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