Security Concerns for Collaborative Tools
IT News and Notes - A monthly series on technology in the workplace

Many employees have questions about how the use of collaborative tools at work affects security concerns. Here are some answers.

Q: Why can’t I use Google Drive, and other public collaborative tools to store and share NYCHA documents?

A: NYCHA is a recipient of federal funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Public housing agencies, including NYCHA, that receive these funds must comply with all federal regulations including the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). FedRAMP regulations specify that the hosting location for any cloud-based solution must be in the United States. While convenient, these public collaborative tools and anything you save to them are hosted in or backed up to locations outside of the United States. Providers like Google and are trying to offer FedRAMP-compliant cloud services with U.S. hosting locations, called “G-Services,” for a licensing fee.

Q: What can I use instead of these services to store and share NYCHA documents?

A: Starting in March 2017, NYCHA will be enhancing its collaboration tools to improve how we share information with outside organizations. Currently, NYCHA staff may use NYCHA Express to email documents securely outside of NYCHA. Beginning in March 2017, Globalscape Workspaces will be used to provide FedRAMP- compliant file sharing and collaboration services. With Workspaces, employees may invite users to share folders and their content without NYCHA losing governance, visibility, or control. NYCHA’s Department of Communications is working with the IT Department to further expand our digital toolkit. We will keep you informed as these tools become available.

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