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The Stack Archive

Preventing data leakage – a solution from Storgrid?

Tue 8 Apr 2014

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The reseller market is not geared towards selling the cloud because it’s a completely different model, said Rob Christ the CEO of Storgrid. But, he said, with its epnoymous enterprise file service 2.0 solution resellers, telcos, systems integrators and distributors have the opportunity to build or customise their file and sync solutions to meet their needs as an alternative to offerings such as Drop Box.

This young company began life just at the beginning of 2013. So it remains for the meantime in the conceptualisation phase. It aims to address some of the issues that have affected solutions like Drop Box, whereby enterprises have seen their data leaking away at times. He, therefore, believes that they need to ask themselves about what’s causing the problem and his own firm’s target audience should in his view consider whether the security concerns can be solved by selling new services.

A deeper conversation is needed, asking questions such as: “Do you use Drop Box and is it sufficiently secure?” Customers tend to relate to this type of question, which they often find easy to answer, but all too many are going into a state of denial by not blocking it. Often they will source an alternative by buying it in, but Rob Christ thinks that the likes of Snowden have shown that privacy is not high up on the security agenda because someone needs to make money. “Someone needs to make money; so if you have 500 million users for Drop Box you can’t offer it for free”, he explained.

“Yet if you bring on new users to Drop Box your storage level increases, and to be fair they created this market”, he says before pointing out that Gartner has cited the enterprise file server 2.0 market as being one of the top 3 growth markets for 2014. This demand is created by people wanting to use their own devices from anywhere and at any time, for business and for work purposes and this means that consumerisation is all around us. This therefore raises questions about how your protect your files and data, and in some circumstances it’s a must to meet certain regulatory compliance standards.

At the moment he thinks there is no controllability, and particularly because the raise of bring your own device (BYOD). This means that many personal cloud accounts are being used – falling outside of the control of an organisation’s IT department. For this reason “IT doesn’t know what data an employee has, or what has been received in project and this would traditionally be stored behind a fire wall on a file server”, he explains.

So how do you create a product that fits into that marketplace? He wants to go to his customers and have the ability to tell them that his company is providing software without risking complexity, and in a way that allows the mobile workforce to securely collaborate on projects from anywhere. For telcos and service providers this is something they need to offer because they could otherwise lose their traffic and hosting business. It’s in their interest therefore to use a solution such as Storgrid.

“The market is getting warm as they are realising that they need to stop the data leaks, and in Europe people are concerned about where there data is located”, he comments. US companies also fall under the Patriot Act, which he says allows the National Security Agency to just walk in. This is creating the fear amongst American companies that the US government is going to pry into their databases. For this reason Storgrid is favoured in Asia as a European company. It doesn’t have any of the back doors that some other countries are required to build in.

“The Patriot Act is forcing corporates to move outside of the US and President Obama is looking at changing the Patriot Act because it could damage the US economy, costing tens of billions of dollars”, he revealed. Yet many of these companies use file serving, and so they all expect to see Storgrid offering that same functionality as Drop Box provides. This will become increasingly challenging because as the market grows, competition will increase too. In order to be successful a clear vision is needed to reduce complexity and risk.

“Our sweet spot is that we can be installed on-premise without a major impact on existing infrastructure and policies”, he claimed while suggesting that his competitors are still concentrated on the hosting space. He, therefore, wants to help corporations to get their data back by ensuring that data is transferred within a secure environment because, for example, it’s illegal for doctors in Europe to share patient data in one that is insecure. So it’s important to remember that in-sourcing and outsourcing is about cost, risk and impact.

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