Securing Your Data: Why Making Your CIFS Share Everyone-Readable Might Not Be the Best Idea

In the digital realm, securing your data, as well as the data of your clients, is a paramount priority. Unfettered access to data that is not meant to be public can lead to real-world complications and damages. A glaring case of insecure data settings can be that of making your CIFS (Common Internet File System) share set to everyone-readable. This might seem appealing, as it simplifies the sharing of files and resources, but it could be a doorway to many potential security issues. Let's delve deeper into why making your 'cifs-share-everyone-readable' could be detrimental.

Understanding the CIFS and Its Shares

The Common Internet File System, or CIFS, is a network file-sharing protocol. In simpler terms, it specifies how devices should share files and printers over a network. It is considered a dialect of the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol - they represent written languages for machines to converse.

CIFS shares are the shared folders and resources that are made accessible to network devices via the CIFS protocol. By setting these CIFS shares to everyone-readable, you are allowing any device on the network to access, read, and potentially alter the data kept in these shares.

Risks Associated with 'cifs-share-everyone-readable'

The most significant risk that comes with making your CIFS share everyone-readable is, of course, the risk of unauthorized data access and alteration. This can lead to an array of security threats, such as data theft, data loss and even ransomware attacks.

The reason behind this is quite simple. By allowing all network devices to read your shares, you are inadvertently opening up the possibility of malicious entities accessing the data. This could be an unauthorized user who has found their way onto your network, or a malicious program that has infiltrated one of the machines on the network.

Securing Your Data: Alternatives to 'cifs-share-everyone-readable'

There are, fortunately, numerous ways to maintain the functionality and ease-of-use of CIFS shares while enhancing their security. The most effective alternative to making your share everyone-readable is to implement robust permission settings. This would involve categorizing users or devices into groups and assigning each group different levels of access to the data.

In addition to this basic step, it is also good practice to regularly update your software and systems to the latest versions. This helps to ensure that all known vulnerabilities are patched and reduces the risk of attack. Implementing a strong and comprehensive backup strategy is also crucial as it ensures that your data can be recovered following a security compromise.

Enhancing Security with Encryption

Another effective way to further enhance the security of your CIFS shares is to incorporate encryption into your data protection strategy. By encrypting your data, you are effectively securing it by transforming the data into unreadable text that can only be deciphered by authorized users or devices that hold the correct decryption key. Even if your data was intercepted or accessed by an unauthorized entity, they still wouldn’t be able to understand or utilize it.


In conclusion, while setting your CIFS shares to everyone-readable might seem like an easy solution for file sharing, it brings serious and unnecessary security risks. When it comes to the security of your data, 'cifs-share-everyone-readable' should be avoided at all costs. Instead, robust permission settings, regular system and software updates, and strong encryption methods should be your tools of choice. By employing these strategies, you can significantly enhance the security of your CIFS shares, and in turn, protect your valuable data from unauthorized access, alteration, or theft.

John Price
Chief Executive Officer
October 6, 2023
4 minutes