How to securely web enable access to CIFS / SMB File Shares

One of the predominant use cases that many companies have is to enable file access to SMB file shares that live behind the corporate firewall , or indeed  are hosted on IaaS infrastructures (such as Amazon FSX or Azure Files), without the need for a VPN and without reconfiguring permissions whilst using Active Directory or LDAP for authentication and also ensuring that data is secure and compliance legislation is satisfied.

This has of course become even more of a requisite during the recent Covid-19 pandemic in which there is a pressing need to enabled. such access for remote workers.

Global storage Metamodel

Accessing files over CIFS/SMB network over VPN using a mobile network is possible but access can be patchy, clients apps limited and it is often extremely slow.

The File Fabric enables this using its built in CIFS / SMB connector. This blog post will step through how to web enable SMB file shares.

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New Update of the Enterprise File Fabric: Strengthening Remote Working and Cybersecurity Features for a Company’s Existing File and Object Data

We recently announced a new release of the Enterprise File Fabric. Probably one of the most exhaustive updates so far. Focusing on pandemic related feature enhancements on remote working and cybersecurity, and providing a powerful combination of privacy and collaboration that works with a company’s existing file and object data sets.

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Webinar: Enable your end users to get secure web, mobile and desktop access to Azure Files, Amazon FSx and other SMB File Services.

Join us for this “how to” webinar  which will demonstrate the ability of the Enterprise File Fabric for enabling a secure, audited way for end users to access their native file data including web, mobile and desktop Apps.

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CISO Bulletin: Multi-Cloud Authorization With the Enterprise File Fabric™

In a recent post about authentication with the Enterprise File Fabric™  I briefly mentioned authorization and committed to a follow-up post on that topic.  This post explains how the the File Fabric’s authorization features are used to manage user access to directories and their contents on the storage that is attached to the File Fabric.  As we’ll see, the File Fabric can use the groups that are set up in  authentication system to create a unified security structure that spans all storage.  Additionally, for some resources,  the File Fabric can import and use established  user authorizations  and also allow the storage’s native access controls to govern users read and write actions.

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How to Enable Remote Employees to Securely Access On-premises Company Data in Under 1 Hour

Interest in letting employees to work from home has never been higher and will remain high even after the Covid-19 virus has run its course.  For Companies large and small  the key challenge is how to make Company data available remotely in a way that is easy for employees to use without compromising on information security.  The Enterprise File Fabric™ offers an unmatched set of features to support secure remote working.  In this post we’ll see how to set up the File Fabric in less than an hour to provide secure remote access to on-premises data, be that SMB, NAS / SAN or Microsoft DFS shares.  The best part is that data is not copied or removed anywhere, it remains in the same secure place and the File Fabric provides web scale secure access  to it .

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How to securely and productively enable employees to work from home using existing company data with the File Fabric

Remote Working CoronavirusOne of the things the Coronavirus Covid-19 has brought sharply into focus is the topic of employee remote working.  Whether this is to limit the spread of the virus or because employees are self isolating, many companies may find themselves in a position where a significant part of their workforce is working out of the office.

The aim of this post is to outline how the File Fabric software may help companies who wish to prepare or facilitate remote working.

Firstly some background on the File Fabric.  The File Fabric is a secure multi-cloud content management data collaboration solution. It does not provide any storage rather it indexes and works with existing on-premise or on-cloud storage silos. It unites files in these disparate storage platforms to provide a single cohesive way for people to securely work and collaborate.

The File Fabric has a strong ethos and governance and compliance of the data that it indexes and makes available providing event based audit and configurable compliance policies.

There are three ways to use the File Fabric today:

1.  For small businesses from our SaaS hosted platform. This version of the File Fabric does not have all of the features of the enterprise version.

2.  Enterprise Version that is self hosted by a company and can be deployable on-premises or on-cloud.

3.  For free using our self hosted personal version.

Let’s take a looks at some of the challenges and solutions that may be faced by remote workers and how the File Fabric solves them.

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Non-Proprietary Storage Workflows for Media Asset Management

Today’s Media and Entertainment workflows can depend on multiple storage types and their associated protocols.  Assets might be delivered via an AWS S3 bucket, Dropbox share, Azure Blob container, proprietary file acceleration vendor, FTP, SFTP, or a host of other new technologies.  Once delivered an asset needs to navigate Hot, Nearline, and Archival storages while being edited, conformed, transcoded, shared, distributed and broadcasted.

While some software vendors have updates allowing access to some of the cloud based storage protocols, other applications remain stuck exclusively on only internal NFS or CIFS access.  When this happens many workflows are downgraded to the lowest common denominator (CIFS/NFS) preventing the use of more cost effective, durable or highly available scale-out storage systems.  Alternatively, a CIFS/NFS gateway might be considered to “convert” protocols.  However, almost all gateways proprietize data and compromise the cost savings of scale-out storage.

The Enterprise File Fabric speaks multiple protocols/APIs, indexes data in-place and can eliminate workflow headaches without proprietizing the data.

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Share Files Securely Using Slack and the Enterprise File Fabric

Slack is a cloud-based collaboration tool which many teams and organisations already use as a collaboration hub. The File Fabric is a ‘single pane of glass’ fo unstructured file data, be that on-clodu or on-premises and it makes using, sharing, and accessing these files ultra secure. The File Fabric Slack connector brings together the best collaboration hub with the best File hub !

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Replacing the Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) to securely access on-premises DFS or SMB File Shares

Providing remote users with access to on-premises file systems, such as Microsoft DFS or Windows CIFS / SMB shares,  can be a hard task, especially as multiple security layers often exist, like firewalls and VPNs.

Some companies have opted to solve this challenge by deploying the Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) as a bridge to provide users who are remote with access to these on premise systems. The UAG was a software solution, facilitating access to file shares, intranets and corporate systems.

The Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway is now officially deprecated.

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Access Microsoft Distributed File System Shares (DFS) from a web browser using the Enterprise File Fabric – Part 2

In part 1, we set up the SME appliance with a Microsoft DFS Storage Provider. Today we will continue the setup, enabling AD user authentication, corporate shares, department shares, and home directories for each user.

Prerequisites

This article assumes you followed along in Part 1 and met the prerequisites there, in addition you’ll need a few more shares configured on your fileserver, and a few users and groups configured in Active Directory.

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