What’s the best way to share files with clients?

Thumbnail for a blog post on the best way to share files with clients

Sharing files with your clients isn’t always straightforward. File size limitations, compatibility issues, and inadequate access control can cause workflow disruptions, data breaches, and financial setbacks. You need a reliable and secure file-sharing method to protect your business from these risks.

Let’s explore the various challenges of document sharing and uncover why the cloud is the best way to share files with clients.

What is document sharing with clients?

Document sharing with clients gives them access to various types of documents, such as business proposals, contracts, invoices, reports, marketing collateral, and more.

You can use different methods to send these files to clients: 

  • Email attachments
  • Physical USB drives
  • File transfer protocol (FTP) services
  • Online chat platforms 
  • Cloud sharing services

Just keep in mind the common challenges of document management.

File sharing challengesWhy it’s an issue
File sizeLarge file sizes can lead to prolonged upload and download times and are prone to size-limit restrictions if stored on physical devices or shared via email
SecuritySending client files without proper encryption or access control puts sensitive info at risk of unauthorized users and breaches
Version controlManaging documents can become confusing if multiple individuals work on different versions of the same file, leading to overwritten changes or new versions being created in silos

Call to action to explore a guide on enterprise and consumer file sharing

Top reasons why the cloud is the best way to share documents with clients

File-sharing solutions in the cloud offer robust security — with the convenience of letting you and your clients access documents from anywhere. 

Let’s review four top reasons to use cloud-based file-sharing services.

  1. Enhanced data security and compliance

Secure cloud tools offer features like data encryption (for in-transit and at-rest files) and granular access controls to ensure your clients can only access the data that pertains to them, including specific folders. You can also adjust your internal user permissions, defining what can be shared and the level of control your admins have over their accounts. 

Enhanced security is important because, according to a Verizon report, 68% of data breaches involve a non-malicious human element — for example, when individuals share sensitive information by mistake. 

Statistics indicating that 68% of data breaches involve a non-malicious human element

Even if you’re not sending files immediately and simply need to archive them, data governance features like retention policies and advanced trash controls help you manage your content lifecycle, ensuring compliance with specific industry regulations and international privacy standards. Hospitals, for example, abide by HIPAA requirements for securing protected health information. 

Cloud file-sharing platforms also provide audit trails and insights into document activity, so you can find out if your client has viewed, downloaded, or interacted with the content. And security log reports can help you detect and remediate issues indicating account compromise, such as:

  • Suspicious user activity
  • Multiple failed login attempts
  • Changes to settings (for example, disabling multi-factor authentication)

Get to know the best practices for data leakage prevention.

  1. Increased convenience and collaboration features 

Sending documents in the cloud makes the process easy for your clients, allowing them to access and, if necessary, collaborate on files anytime and anywhere. In comparison, FTP requires additional software, and email attachments might be flagged as spam. 

A cloud-based workflow also simplifies collaboration. With centralized client file sharing and the ability to leave comments and feedback, all stakeholders can provide input, track changes, and approve content in real time, streamlining the review process and eliminating version control issues.

Explore the top features of cloud collaboration tools

  1. Scalability and cost savings

Client document sharing in the cloud is cost effective, minimizing your need for physical storage and additional IT overhead. Subscription-based models let you pay only for what you use, making it easy to scale at your own pace. No more investing in expensive servers or worrying about maintaining hardware — your cloud service provider manages and maintains everything.

With scalable cloud data storage, you won’t stress out about file sizes or the number of documents you’re sharing. Whether you’re sending a high-resolution product catalog or a thousand-page report, the cloud handles it seamlessly, making it the best way to share large files with clients. This flexibility means you can focus on delivering value without being bogged down by technical limitations.

  1. Workflow automation

Cloud document-sharing platforms integrate with tools and systems you already use, boosting collaboration without complex setups and allowing you to simplify your processes with digital workflow automation

Imagine you’re onboarding a new client for your professional services firm. Integrating your cloud platform with a CRM like Salesforce makes the process intuitive, enabling you to send requests for electronic sign-off, facilitate real-time feedback, and automatically store completed documents in the cloud — all within the same ecosystem. Once completed, the system sends receipts to your client and designated team members, keeping everyone on the same page. 

Why the cloud is the best way to share files with clients

Get secure file sharing with clients

Box offers a centralized, secure collaboration platform to create, store, edit, and share in the cloud. The Content Cloud integrates with your existing workflows and is compatible with over 1,500 apps. 

Easily send all types of files to your clients, who can preview, edit, comment, or download on any device — with or without a Box account. You can also request signatures with Box Sign and automatically route signed documents to specific folders with Box Relay automations.

Encryption, seven user-friendly sharing roles, robust access controls, and threat detection help safeguard your information flow and reduce the risk of your documents falling into the wrong hands. You can create expiration dates on shared files, enable optional password protection, and more. 

Contact us today to learn why using Box is the best way to share files with your clients.

Call to action to share files easily with Box

While we maintain our steadfast commitment to offering products and services with best-in-class privacy, security, and compliance, the information provided in this blog post is not intended to constitute legal advice. We strongly encourage prospective and current customers to perform their own due diligence when assessing compliance with applicable laws.

Free 14-day trial.
No risk.

Box free trial includes native e‑signatures, let's you securely manage, share and access your content from anywhere.

Try for free