Executive Summary

The user-driven adoption of consumer-based syncing and sharing productivity tools runs rampant in today’s enterprise, creating a host of challenges for CIOs. Employees unknowingly create corporate data security risks by adopting these easy-to-use, personal applications. In fact, a whopping 70% of IT managers recently surveyed by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) know or believe that users have business data stored in personal file-sharing accounts.

This risk then is compounded if they—or their IT departments—decide sync/share tools provide “good enough” functionality for the backup of data stored on laptops and desktops. Created for different purposes and according to different priorities, sync/share and enterprise backup differ at core, fundamental levels. As a result, taking this misinformed approach to enterprise endpoint backup exposes your organization’s sensitive data and intellectual property to unnecessary risk.

In this executive brief, you’ll learn:

  • The primary purpose of cloud-based sync/share and cloud-based endpoint backup
  • The main differences between them
  • Why your organization’s risk management and data security strategies demand a standalone enterprise endpoint backup solution

Different Tools for Different Needs

Some cloud-based vendors tout their file sync/share solutions as viable solutions for the online backup of business information stored on laptops and desktops; but existing sync/share products aren’t designed to adequately secure enterprise endpoint data. Understanding at a high level the primary purpose of each application helps differentiate between them.

Enterprise Endpoint Backup

Enterprise endpoint backup creates a secondary copy of data stored on endpoint devices (laptops and desktops), making it recoverable should the primary copy of data become lost. Ideal endpoint backup solutions:

  • Are continuous to minimize data loss risk, ensuring all data is always backed up
  • Don’t interrupt users or slow their productivity when backing up data
  • De-duplicate data for superior performance and lower bandwidth requirements
  • Automatically retain multiple versions of files, so data can be recovered from multiple, previous points in time
  • Support complementary data management initiatives such as data migration, mobile data access, data loss prevention and even data compliance

File Sync/Share

File sync/share applications are used to access and share active files across different devices and between different people inside or outside the organization. Ideal file sync and share solutions:

  • Offer immediate access to synced files via an application or Web-based interface from any Internet-connected device
  • Let users select specific files—rather than their entire file system—to sync/share
  • Can be easily customized and integrated with existing enterprise applications, such as Active Directory and content management systems

Why Backup ≠ Sync/Share

As you can see, the differences between the two applications are obvious at even their most basic level of functionality. These fundamental differences are the foundation for our three iron-clad reasons why file sync/share is not enterprise endpoint backup.

Iron-Clad Reason #1: Sync/share isn’t data protection.

We believe endpoint backup and sync/share cannot be securely, efficiently accomplished with a single solution. Enterprise endpoint backup is engineered and optimized specifically for the secure, reliable backup and restore of data on laptops and desktops; sync/share prioritizes its principles differently, optimizing for usability rather than security.

Different Priorities















Iron-Clad Reason #2: People and enterprises want to protect all of their data, but they want to share only a subset of their data.

As an end user, you shouldn’t back up all of your laptop/desktop data to an application primarily intended for the public sharing of only a sliver of your content. Taking this lax approach exposes your organization’s and your users’ private data to too much security risk.


Private data for backup2






Iron-Clad Reason #3: The security model for sync/share is architecturally and fundamentally incompatible with data protection.

By its very definition, things you “share”—including data—are intrinsically less private and less secure than things you want to keep to yourself. Shared data goes to co-workers but also is exposed to those outside the enterprise with whom you collaborate.


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Due to its “social” essence, sync/share requires a more open, less rigorous data security approach. Enterprise endpoint backup, however, demands the highest measures of data security. Selecting a single solution that combines the security of endpoint backup technology with the convenience of file sync and share technology give you the best of both worlds. Fat Guy Bald Guy is the only integrated solution that delivers both technologies.