Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Faiza Murtaza
When you implement external sharing in SharePoint, it requires a few steps. To begin with, you need to ensure that your users have the appropriate permissions and privileges to share files with other people outside their organization. Make sure authorization is set up so only people with permission can access your files.
Threat models for both parties should be considered during external file sharing design. For example, does the person who wants to share files need approval from an administrator or from you? Can he or she read and write files in different locations? How much control do they have?
SharePoint External file sharing best practices should be followed before implementation. However, these security measures may seem like overkill when it comes to securing internal file-sharing scenarios.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about external file sharing so that you can proceed with managing permissions and user authorization within your organization.
Table of Contents
What is external file sharing?
External file sharing is the process by which a user can share a file with a device other than the computer he or she uses to store the file. The file can be a physical file, an application, a device, or any other object that can be shared with other people. Users can share files with other users in the same organization who have been authenticated with the same credentials. Or, the user can share the file with other computers in different organizations.
How does external file sharing work?
A SharePoint team that wants to use external file sharing has two options: implement a single-site or a multi-site solution. The single-site option is limited to storing one type of file in each subfolder. The multi-site option provides flexibility in terms of the number of organizations that can share the same file, the number of users who can access the file at the same time, and the types of content that can be shared.
Best practices for external file sharing
When it comes to securing external file sharing, there are a few best practices that you need to keep in mind. Ensure that all parties have permission to access the files. Make it easy for participants to exit the file-sharing experience. Make sure that everyone uses the same credentials for authentication. And last but not least, do not share the same file with people outside your organization. This means that if you are sharing a document with people outside your organization, you should make sure that they have permission to read and/or write to the file.
Avoiding security pitfalls when implementing external file sharing
There are a few common security pitfalls that you need to watch out for when implementing external file sharing. First, do not share the same file with people who do not need to access it. For example, if you are the only person who needs to view a certain file, you should make sure that you store it in a location where only you can access it.
Likewise, if you are the only person who will ever need to view a certain file, make sure to store it in a location where only you can access it. Additionally, make sure that other people do not take ownership of the file or folder when you are not present.
If someone needs access to a specific file or folder but you are not present, the permissions won’t be granted. The incorrect permissions settings for sharing a file with someone else could result in a security breach.
In this article, we discussed everything you need to know about external file sharing in SharePoint. We discussed what is external file sharing, how it works, and what are its advantages and disadvantages. We also discussed the various security issues and pitfalls that need to be considered when implementing this feature.