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  • Chris Bratton - Tech Journalist

What is SMB? Best practices IT decision-makers need to know

Server Message Block (SMB) is an influential file server protocol for efficient and scalable networked file sharing. Achieving the highest work order with SMB software can be pretty challenging as organisations find achieving license, performance, security measurements and portability quite complex to manage.



SMB network file sharing system usually helps to share resources throughout the network. From a client PC on a network to a remote server or printing over the web with adequate security is handled by SMB protocol. Common Internet File System (CIFS) goes hand in hand with SMB; since Microsoft implemented Windows 95 integration, everyday use is still on a roll. SMB clients can connect with SMB servers to access SMB shares with the help specially designed for it. By doing so, files can be accessed through a safe route, and business organisation managers can collaborate on the fly without having files stored on a disk locally. Which eventually saves a ton of space and gives portability options, making work easy and reliable.


There are tons of cybersecurity measures taken throughout every step of the process automatically. As attacks like phishing, spamming, social engineering have become quite common, for handling such issues, decision-makers find it easy to access files via SMB. To reduce the risks and achieve cybersecurity goals, proper employee training and SMB management need excellent handling. It is essential to understand what employees prioritise in case of what to do or what not and how to handle such challenges.


Avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach is another inefficient way to go for practical and constant SMB monitoring. SMB v1 (SMB1) was initially developed in the 1980s since Windows 95 became obsolete, and we currently have the newer operating systems. It was insecure because encryption is not in its state today, making communication vulnerable to cyber threats. Later came SMB v2 (SMB2) with the introduction of Windows Vista, with a slight performance boost and security audit. The Latest SMB v3 or SMB3 came with Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 and was later updated for Windows 10.


SMB Features

  • Authentication: To restrict unauthenticated use, SMB has authentication integration for both user and share-level authentication. The client must authenticate to gain access to resources, which require user-level authentication. The servers with resources put by a company or even a managed service provider (MSP) requires share-level authentication.

  • Data Transfer: Data transfer is easy and reliable over SMB encryption as they are always live on a network. The latest version of SMB is currently in use for most of the tasks.

  • Performance: security in SMB today is excellent, but performance matters the most because if accessing files is inefficient, performance slowly deteriorates.

  • Reliability: Scalability, failover, availability and similar patterned features recall reliability as a whole, which is perfected over the years.

Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) who has a decent number of employees need adequate file system which is eventually achieved by SMB’s. A large enterprise with over 1000 employees and annual revenue of over $1 billion should have full-time IT staff and cybersecurity monitoring personnel handling SMP specifically. It only makes sense to acquire SMB protocols to boost their workflow. Portability, Licensing and vendor support are the there most critical criteria to achieve optimal SMB work experience.


Many managed service providers give out the protocol with a packaged subscription or as a core service, which is highly beneficial that decision-makers need to be aware of.


Though employee attitude and behaviour are essential with assessed training, comparison rose way higher. SMEs are known to take risks, and deducing SMB related risks only gives out profit nonetheless.

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