19 Reasons Why Zero Trust Data Access is an Essential SharePoint Add-in

A SharePoint Add-in built around Zero Trust Data Access architecture delivers robust security, flexible data access, and compliance capabilities, making it indispensable for modern organizations prioritizing data protection and efficient collaboration, particularly for remote and external users.

19 Reasons Why Zero Trust Data Access is an Essential SharePoint Add-in

Estimated reading time: 4.5 minutes

    1. What is SharePoint?
    2. 19 Reasons Why Zero Trust Data Access is a Necessary SharePoint Add-in Especially for Remote and External Users
    3. Summary – The Synergy of Zero Trust Data Access Technology as a SharePoint Add-in

SharePoint Add-in What is SharePoint?

SharePoint is a collaboration platform developed by Microsoft primarily used for document management, content management, and team collaboration. It allows organizations to create websites for various purposes, such as intranets, extranets, content management systems, and more and provides a wide range of features and tools for users to create, share, and manage information and data.

Key features and capabilities of SharePoint include document management where users store, organize, and manage files in a centralized repository. Version control and document check-in/check-out features help maintain data integrity and ensure that multiple users can collaborate on the same documents. Collaboration with filesharing, real-time co-authoring, discussion boards, and shared calendars and workflows with automation capabilities allow users to create and manage business processes that can help streamline and automate tasks such as document approval and feedback collection.

SharePoint comes in different versions including on-premises, cloud-based (SharePoint Online), and hybrid solutions. SharePoint Online, as part of Microsoft 365, has gained popularity due to its ease of use, scalability, and regular updates.

19 Reasons Why Zero Trust Data Access is a Necessary SharePoint Add-in Especially for Remote and External Users

Zero Trust Data Access technology, as implemented by FileFlex Enterprise, is an essential SharePoint Add-in especially for remote and external users by enhancing the security, flexibility, and accessibility of data stored within SharePoint repositories. Here are the top 19 reasons why zero trust data access is a required SharePoint Add-in:

      1. Brings Cutting-Edge Zero Trust Security:

        • The fundamental principle of Zero Trust Data Access is that access to data should be granted only on a need-to-know basis, and every access request should be authenticated and authorized against policy before granting access. Under the Zero Trust Data Access model, every data access request is verified against a set of rules that dictate what data can be accessed, and by whom. By implementing a Zero Trust Data Access SharePoint Add-in, organizations can bolster their security and reduce the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access, even from trusted devices or users.
      2. Reduces the Risk of Ransomware:

        • By limiting access to sensitive data, monitoring user activity, and restricting lateral movement, ZTDA can help prevent ransomware attacks and minimize their impact on data integrity.
      3. Provides Access to Multiple SharePoint Accounts from One FileFlex Account:

        • The power of a ZTDA architecture as a SharePoint Add-in means that multiple SharePoint accounts from potentially multiple departments, subsidiaries or even organizations can be federated into one FileFlex account accessed from Windows File Explorer or any Windows app such as Microsoft 365, AutoCAD and Adobe. For example, org1.sharepoint.com, org2.sharepoint.com and org2.sharepoint.com could all be accessed from one FileFlex account in Windows.
      1. Containerized Guest Profiles Maintained Outside of Active Directory/Azure AD:

        • External parties such as customers, suppliers and partners can be given limited access to specific files or folders stored in SharePoint under an IT-controlled chain of command via containerized guest profiles without having to add them to the company Active Directory. This can allow for team collaboration on SharePoint documents that includes external parties without them needing a SharePoint license.
      2. Superior Regulatory Compliance:

        • ZTDA can be used as a SharePoint Add-in to help facilitate compliance with data privacy regulations like HIPAA, GDPR, CIRCI, CMMC, ISO 27001, and ENISA, ensuring that only authorized users can access sensitive data.
      3. Exceptional Insider Threat Mitigation:

        • ZTDA can be used as a SharePoint Add-in to effectively reduce insider threats, such as unauthorized access by employees or contractors, by strictly controlling access based on user roles and responsibilities, preventing lateral movement and keeping infrastructure dark to users.
      4. Enhanced User Experience:

        • While prioritizing security, ZTDA is a great SharePoint Add-in that integrates SharePoint seamlessly into Windows and all Windows apps so that users continue with established workflows to SharePoint data via Windows File Explorer or from within any Windows app such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, AutoCAD or Adobe apps. Users can access and share files without complex VPN or authentication processes.
      1. Unique SharePoint Add-in to Federate Storage Management:

        • ZTDA brings SharePoint access and sharing into Windows and federates it with on-premises and cloud-hosted repositories across multiple domains together as a drive in Windows allowing central access control, reducing administrative burdens, and enhancing operational efficiency.
      2. Improved Data Visibility and Control:

        • Since all activities must be authorized and controlled by a zero trust policy server, all actions are recorded in an activity log that can be used stand-alone or exported to the SIEM enabling IT managers to monitor user behavior, detect anomalies, and identify potential security threats.
      3. Adds Secure File Sharing:

        • A Zero Trust Data Access SharePoint Add-in as implemented by FileFlex Enterprise includes secure file-sharing capabilities from within Windows, eliminating the need for additional file-sharing platforms and enhancing security by aligning file-sharing activities with Zero Trust principles. This is particularly useful for company-hosted implementations of SharePoint that lack the ability to share with external parties.
      4. Brings an IT-Controlled Chain of Command:

        • The management console provides IT dynamic granular access controls over permission levels down to the file level, protecting sensitive SharePoint data.
      5. Is a Low-Cost Model:

        • ZTDA operates on a cost-effective subscription model.
      6. Distinctive Granular Contractor and External Access:

        • Organizations can grant contractors, customers, partners, gig-workers access to specific SharePoint resources without granting direct site access based on micro-segmentation and least privilege principles, reducing the risk associated with providing SharePoint access to external parties.
      1. Extends Centralized Control with Decentralized Administration:

        • ZTDA allows decentralized administration to the IT departments of subsidiaries and partners while maintaining centralized corporate IT control and visibility.
      2. Remarkable Granular File and Folder Micro-Segmentation for Enhanced Data Protection:

        • Zero Trust Data Access can segment and protect sensitive data within SharePoint. It ensures that only authorized users can access specific files or folders, even within SharePoint, minimizing the risk of data breaches.
      1. Does Not Allow Direct Access to Infrastructure:

        • Users and recipients cannot directly access SharePoint, enhancing security by abstracting users from the infrastructure.
      2. Supports Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Environments:

        • Zero Trust Data Access solutions can work across hybrid and multi-cloud environments, allowing organizations to secure data stored not only in SharePoint but also in other cloud services or on-premises repositories.

18. Provides Creation of Virtual Data Rooms:

      • Users can set up as many rooms with as many users as they need, and IT can set permissions on a user-by-user basis at no additional costs. In addition, the rooms can be facilitated from any repository, and all user activity is logged for analytics, monitoring, and alerts.

19. Superior to VPN for Remote and External Users:

      • Most companies use some form of a VPN to enable on-prem access for SharePoint network access for remote users as well as for external users. ZTDA can eliminate this need and alleviate the burden on maintaining and managing these additional network connections that are not as secure. For more details see “Why Replacing FTP with ZTDA is a No-Brainer”.

Summary – The Synergy of Zero Trust Data Access Technology as a SharePoint Add-in

In summary, Zero Trust Data Access technology, as implemented by FileFlex Enterprise, is a necessary SharePoint Add-in that complements SharePoint, particularly for external and remote users by adding an extra layer of security and flexibility to how SharePoint data is accessed and shared making it an efficient solution for organizations seeking advanced data access and protection. It addresses the need for secure, remote, and external access to SharePoint resources while maintaining granular control over data security. This combination is especially valuable for organizations that prioritize data security, compliance, and modern work environments.

In the following webinar, Tom Ward, VP of Marketing for Qnext explains how zero trust data access can allow for file sharing with external parties for company hosted implementations of SharePoint.

Watch ‘Zero Trust Sharing of On Premises Implementations of SharePoint’

To understand more about how a Zero Trust Data Access platform can help your organization see Top 13 Reasons to Adopt Zero Trust Secure Virtual Data Rooms and Top 13 Reasons to Use a Zero Trust Secure File-Sharing Platform for Business.

For more study also see, 21 Reasons to Supplement Microsoft 365 E5 Security with Zero Trust Data Access, Accelerating Digital Transformation Leveraging Zero Trust Data Access (ZTDA) in a Microsoft Ecosystem, and How to Remotely Access and Share Self-Hosted SharePoint Securely.

* Microsoft

Tom Ward is the VP of Marketing for Qnext Corp. He is an expert in the technology industry with a history of achievement. Tom holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University.