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The Snowden Effect: Why International Companies Are Wary of U.S. Public Clouds

June 20, 2014 - 9:17am
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Following a steady drumbeat of news stories about the NSA’s widespread surveillance of consumers, companies, and even foreign heads of state, companies based outside the U.S. are increasingly wary of trusting their data to cloud services managed by U.S. firms.

A story in IT World reports that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s disclosure of the agency’s data collection activities has “prompted a slew of requests from European customers to have data cordoned off from U.S. infrastructure.” German companies are leading the movement, with Swiss companies close behind.

Germany has a strong tradition of protecting the privacy of its citizens: the German federal state of Hesse passed the first data privacy law of the computer age back in 1971. Not surprisingly, then, Germans have been rattled by disclosures that the NSA routinely sweeps up email data from U.S. public-cloud vendors and has tapped the cell phone of German Prime Minister Angela Merkel.

To preserve the privacy of their data, German, Swiss, and other European companies are now asking that their service providers “cordon off” their data from US infrastructure. Some companies are trying to avoid infrastructure based in Canada, the U.K., and other nations known to have cooperated closely with the U.S. on its intelligence-gathering.

It’s difficult, however, for public-cloud service providers, especially those based in the U.S., to avoid infrastructure in U.S. territories. John Dickson, a principal with The Denim Group, told IT World: “That kind of thing is an anathema to the cloud.” He points out that hosting firms need to maintain centralized control of their assets and customers’ data. For U.S. firms, that centralized control will almost certainly involve U.S. infrastructure.

To provide E.U.-based alternatives to U.S. public-cloud vendors, companies based in the E.U. are launching new cloud services. New start-ups specializing in local cloud services may appear as well.

Of course, international companies have another option for protecting the privacy of their data: avoid public clouds altogether. By running services on their own private clouds, they can minimize the risk of intelligence agencies sweeping up data in violation of local privacy laws, and they can know for certain exactly where their data is residing, and how has control over it.

Learn more about Accellion’s private cloud file sharing solutions here.

Tags:  Data Security and Compliance, Private Cloud File Sharing

New Study Highlights the Risks of Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC)

June 18, 2014 - 1:05pm
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A new study by the Ponemon Institute, The Insider Threat of Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC), analyzes the risks of enterprise employees using cloud services without the permission or oversight of the IT department—a practice that the study’s author calls “Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC).”

The study findings highlight the risks of insiders’ accidentally or intentionally disclosing confidential data through unmonitored public clouds. Here are just some of the findings, which are based on responses from 400 IT and/or security practitioners:

  • 62 percent of respondents reported they knew of employees using their own private accounts for public-cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Docs, and Evernote in the workplace yet only 26 percent of respondents said this practice was permitted.
  • 55 percent of respondents say the risks posed by BYOC are increasing, and that BYOC affects data security risks overall. What are these risks? According to the study, they include “the loss or theft of intellectual property, compliance violations and regulatory actions and loss of control over end user actions”
  • 85 percent of respondents say BYOC makes it harder to manage access governance and privileged access to sensitive and confidential data

The scariest finding is probably this one: “Most respondents say they are not confident or have no confidence that they could stop or prevent data loss in the BYOC environment. The primary reason could be attributed to the lack of BYOC security measures and difficulty in addressing the insider threat to data in the cloud.”

Since most enterprises do not officially support BYOC and since most IT workers recognize that BYOC is risky, why is BYOC allowed to be so prevalent?

According to the survey, employees using BYOC services are more productive. This makes sense, as popular services like Dropbox, Evernote and other file sharing services do address the productivity needs of today’s mobile-first workforce. However, they do so in a risky, unmonitored, and decentralized way that leaves IT and security teams on the sidelines.

To benefit from the productivity of a BYOC-style workforce without incurring the risks of unmonitored cloud usage, enterprise IT teams should step forward and offer their own solutions for file sync and sharing, group editing, and other common collaboration tasks. By offering a secure alternative to BYOC, enterprises can keep data safe while offering employees solutions for increasing productivity.

Tags:  Consumer Products, Data Security and Compliance, Private Cloud File Sharing

Consumer Solutions are Revolutionizing Enterprise Computing

June 12, 2014 - 10:32am
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Are consumer solutions revolutionizing the way that enterprise software is created? Quentin Hardy of The New York Times says yes, and points to the increasingly short time period between product updates on newer solutions like Workday, as compared to product updates from traditional enterprise vendors like Oracle that can take years to be released. Today’s fast updates allow software vendors to pivot quickly with market trends, and quickly integrate features that customers are requesting.

I agree with Hardy; consumer solutions are dramatically affecting the way enterprise software solutions are created and where I’m seeing this influence the most is in the user experience and design of enterprise solutions. Professionals use consumer apps in their personal life, and they are demanding the same ease-of-use and intuitive designs be implemented for their enterprise apps and solutions.

In today’s mobile world, we need tools that are designed mobile-first, so that users have one simple interface to learn, whether they’re accessing the solution on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. However, some companies are moving towards this too slowly for users, and thus their enterprise software deployments are getting left by the wayside, by employees that find it too cumbersome or complicated.

My opinion is that many companies just aren’t willing to invest the time to re-create their solutions for the mobile world we now find ourselves living in. To create a beautiful, simple mobile-first experience takes much more than just bolting a PC-based solution and workflow onto a mobile device. The two form factors are fundamentally different from a user experience perspective.  Not only do they not operate the same way, there are also inherent differences in how someone performs various functions on a PC versus a mobile device. Just as an example, you have no overlapping windows on a tablet or a smart phone and you don’t have a mouse.  Creating a software solution for the desktop/laptop first, and then scaling it down for mobile devices is just not the right approach.

At Accellion we approached designing for our latest solution, kiteworks, from a tablet-first perspective. Why a tablet?  We believe it is the optimum form factor for employees in today’s mobile era and it is also a more restrictive platform.  Once we’d created a beautiful experience for the tablet form factor, we scaled the functionality down for smartphones and up for desktop/laptops. We now have the same user-experience across all devices, which greatly simplifies the learning curve for users, and ensures that employees can access information or content in the same manner, no matter what device they have close to hand.

I believe that enterprise software vendors need to take a page from consumer solutions, and create solutions that are easy-to-use, and fun to use. The easiest way to get started down this path is to design your solution for mobile first, and then expand the same interface onto other platforms - companies that don’t will be left behind by their customers.

Tags:  Consumer Products, UX

Are Cloud Services Taking on a Life of Their Own?

June 10, 2014 - 4:26pm
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A new report from SkyHigh Networks – a company that tracks the use of cloud services for corporate customers – found that cloud services are growing exponentially within enterprises. The findings in the report were based on traffic generated in the cloud by more than 8.3 million users in organizations spanning multiple industries. The research showed that services seem to be multiplying by the minute, deployed faster than IT can even say, “Help!”

Check out these numbers:

  • On average, organizations use 759 cloud services – a 33 percent increase since last quarter.
  • On average, 24 different file sharing services are being used and 91 different collaboration services.

Managing such an overwhelming quantity of services could only be done by a superhero in disguise. And since most IT administrators aren’t donning capes, they are finding themselves outnumbered by the seemingly unstoppable growth of cloud services. Does it sound ominous? It should, particularly when SkyHigh did additional digging – looking at encryption, retention policies and past security compromises – and discovered that of the 3,571 cloud services in use only 7 percent were “enterprise-ready.”

So, not only are there way too many cloud services available for employees to use on a whim, but the vast majority are not secure. It’s time for enterprises to take inventory of what services are available, and be selective about which ones are being used to share or collaborate on sensitive business information. No company should have 91 collaboration solutions running, or 24 file sharing solutions. Having this many competing solutions running in an organization decreases productivity, as employees try to learn how to use different solutions, and it dramatically increases the risk of data leakage through an unsecure, public-cloud solution.

Take back control of your IT environment by deploying a standardized set of cloud services for file sharing  and collaboration that are designed for enterprise use, with robust security capabilities. Learn more about why Accellion is one of the 7 percent of cloud vendors considered “enterprise-ready” here

Tags:  Consumer Products, Data Security and Compliance, Private Cloud File Sharing

What Consumers Risk When They Put All Their Data in a Public Cloud

June 5, 2014 - 10:40am
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Are consumers better off putting everything in the cloud?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal asked that question and presented answers by two industry pundits:  Frank Gillett of Forrester Research and Triona Guidry of Guidry Consulting, Inc.

Before considering their answers, it’s worth noting that consumers unquestionably are trusting more of their data to cloud services. Every day, millions of consumers trust Dropbox with files ranging from family photos to financial spreadsheets to confidential customer records. Consumers also trust their confidential files to Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Zoho, and other public cloud services.

Should consumers trust cloud services?

Yes, says Frank Gillett of Forrester Research. He points out that without cloud services, our mobile devices become far less useful. We need access to our data for those “mobile moments” where we’re going to make a decision or take action on the go. As for security, he maintains that cloud services do a much better job addressing data security and service availability than average consumers can do on their own. He also believes that, in light of recent news stories about data breaches and subpoenas from government agencies, cloud service providers now feel compelled to demonstrate that they are committed to safeguarding consumer data. Consumers, therefore, should trust the cloud and take advantage of the convenience of anywhere, anytime data access. Consumers who refrain from adopting cloud services have more or less confined themselves to the PC era with its limited, immobile access to data and services.

Triona Guidry counters that when consumers use cloud services, they trade security and reliability for convenience. She points out that security breaches have become so common that risks of identity theft now seem ubiquitous. Data assumed to be confidential might not be, since cloud service providers mine consumers’ data for advertising purposes. Also, cloud service providers are not as trustworthy as they are often portrayed to be. She cites a survey that predicts that 25% of the top Internet service vendors will be out of business by 2015. So much for business continuity.

Guidry recommends that consumers set up their own local services that they can closely monitor and control. While non-technical consumers are not likely to follow this advice, small businesses and larger businesses certainly can, and should.

Private cloud services offer the convenience of file sync and sharing lauded by Gillett, while avoiding the risks of security breaches, service outages, and business failures cited by Guidry. Business data, particularly confidential business data, has no place in a public cloud whose vendor claims rights of re-use and publication (as Google does for Google Drive) or who has failed to protect customers from spamming or accounts going half a business day with password protection turned off (as Dropbox has).

Consumers using cloud services should choose prudently, avoiding risks and realizing the benefits of convenient access and improved productivity. Businesses on the other hand, who have IT experts available to them, should move towards private cloud services that enable users to enter the mobile-first era, knowing that their data will be both available and secure.

Tags:  Consumer Products, Data Security and Compliance, Private Cloud File Sharing

Good News: Enterprises Take Mobile Security Risks to Heart

June 4, 2014 - 12:21pm
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According to Good Technology’s “Q1 2014 Good Mobility Index Report”, more companies than ever are taking steps to mitigate security risks by leveraging secure mobile apps. The report found that secure enterprise app activations among its customer base grew 57 percent from Q4 2013, which is great news.

That’s not all. Good Technology also found that companies are prioritizing providing VPN-less access to employees via secure browsing apps – wanting to enable easy access to enterprise data while maintaining the highest level of data security. In addition, apps such as mobile printing, notes and unified communications grew more than 100 percent quarter over quarter, supplementing organizations’ mobile computing strategies.

We, as a Good Technology partner, are doing our part too to help IT address the proliferation of mobile devices without sacrificing security. The kiteworks Mobile App for Good allows users to:

  • Securely share enterprise content while content policies, and access controls are transparently managed and applied without impeding end-user productivity
  • Enable secure content sharing with Good for Enterprise email integration
  • Enforce app level policies. If an app or device policy is violated, or if there is a need to revoke app level access, the app, its container, and all of its contents can be selectively wiped, while keeping other device data intact
  • Prevent users from cutting and pasting content to unapproved consumer apps;
  • Separate work and personal data via the secure mobile container

Providing secure mobile apps to end users is crucial, as it enables employees to work how and where they prefer, without exposing sensitive organizational data to the risk of leaks or breaches. The use of mobile apps and devices for business purposes will continue to grow, and companies that don’t take steps now to secure their sensitive information on all devices will be subjecting their company to unnecessary risk.

Tags:  Data Security and Compliance, Mobile Productivity

CTOs in the Education Sector are Focusing on Mobile Security

May 28, 2014 - 4:50pm
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I have yet to see a CTO job description that highlights gymnastics as a pre-requisite. Yet, much of the role’s strategic planning and day-to-day operations are an ongoing balancing act. CTOs need to meet users’ 24x7 mobile computing needs, giving them everything needed to be successful and productive. While being on the hook to keep data access and file sharing secure.   

Five CTOs in the K-12 space recently revealed what keeps them up at night when it comes to data privacy and the best practices they’ve deployed to balance the growth of mobile devices in a predominantly cloud-based world. Here’s what struck me about this roundtable: mobile security challenges don’t discriminate.

What is keeping one CTO on her toes within a public school district in Massachusetts, is likely also plaguing a CTO at a financial services firm in New York and a CTO at a hospital in Texas. Many of the issues discussed at this education event are the same business challenges that we hear from prospective customers, which lead CTOs to our solution. The full Q&A is definitely worth a read, but here are six concerns that jump out as ones facing CTOs everywhere:

1) Bypassing IT: “Anyone can sign up for free, cloud-based Web software and potentially be sharing private student data in a matter of minutes, entirely bypassing an IT department or any approval process.”

2) Consumer-based file sharing not meant for enterprise use: “An office worker may mistakenly place a spreadsheet of FERPA-protected data into an online file-sharing service like Google Drive, Dropbox or Box and mistakenly share this data with persons not approved to access it.”

3) When lost devices mean lost data: “We have guidelines and policy in place that explicitly state that all student information should be kept private and secure, including encrypting information that may be on a mobile device or online storage. However, we still risk incidents each year where a laptop is stolen or a USB drive lost that has FERPA-protected information that is not encrypted.”

4) Without a single, approved solution, users call the shots: “It is difficult to keep a list of approved/unapproved resources. Therefore, we must trust our teachers to make wise decisions about their chosen resources and provide them with the education and resources to help them make the best decision.”

5) When ease of use means sacrificing security: “In my district we use Google Apps. This makes collaboration and sharing quite easy for students and teachers alike. But we find we have to be very diligent about educating teachers about information that is okay to put in a Google doc and what is not.”

6) Being kept in the dark about cloud vendors’ use of your data: “We are using contracted cloud services. We have certainly not perfected the adoption of these. And many educational software cloud providers seem mystified when you start questioning them about their policies and how they store and share data.”   

At Accellion we help organizations address these challenges head-on with a private cloud file sharing solution built exclusively for enterprise use. From universities to financial institutions to ad agencies to retailers, Accellion enables users to easily share information and CTOs know that private data is being kept secure, allowing everyone to sleep easy. 

Tags:  Data Security and Compliance, Education, Private Cloud File Sharing

Move Your ECM Content into the Mobile-First World

May 27, 2014 - 4:06pm
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SharePoint is in use in 78% of the Fortune 500, and competitors Documentum and OpenText boast their own impressive adoption rates. These enterprise content management (ECM) platforms not only provide secure on-premises storage for files and business data but also document collaboration functionality. However collaboration with external partners, supplier or any other external party is nearly impossible, and organizations are now looking to extend mobile access to people working outside the corporate firewall.

These challenges not only impair users’ productivity, but also can lead to security concerns and lack of ECM adoption. There is a real need for a file sharing solution that integrates with multiple ECM systems securely and seamlessly, provides organizations a secure unify access to ECM content from any mobile device, and extends the sharing and collaboration with third-party partners.

For those organizations looking to mobilize their ECM systems and extend their collaboration with their third-party partners, here are best practices to improve the user experience:

· Provide a single interface for all data repositories and ECMs. Today, over 70% of enterprises have two or more types of ECM systems. Different locations, different interfaces, different workflows for file access—no wonder users are frustrated. A single coherent interface should span all ECMs and repositories, allowing users to focus on working with content, not extracting it.

· Support mobile access without the use of VPNs. It’s well known that using a VPN on a mobile device can be unwieldy and frustrating. To provide a convenient and productive user experience, ECM content should be accessible from a mobile device without the use of a VPN.

· Support of annotation and editing of files on mobile devices. Most ECMs provide limited, if any, viewing and editing of files on mobile devices. For businesses that rely on documents—for example, for legal firms whose workers routinely interact with hundreds or thousands of pages of documents—the ability to easily access and annotate files ,such as PDFs on a mobile device, is critical.

· Support the ability to share content securely with external users. Only 30% of enterprises have deployed features for sharing SharePoint content with external users such as partners. In too many organizations, IT ends up deploying and maintaining multiple ECM solutions, one for internal users and one for external users. This increases costs and complexity.

Accellion enables users to access files on mobile devices directly from multiple ECM platforms, such as SharePoint, Documentum, Office 365 and our newest connector OpenText Content Server 10 (Livelink), all without requiring a VPN. Accellion’s ECM connectors make files stored in an ECM platform available for authorized users and enable enterprises to take full advantage of the secure, centralized file storage, access control policies, and other valuable features of ECM systems, while also ensuring that mobile workers have ready access to the files they need, wherever.

Learn more about Accellion’s integration with ECM systems here.

Tags:  Enterprise Content, Mobile Productivity

451 Research Takes a Hard Look at Box and Dropbox

May 23, 2014 - 10:36am
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Both Box and Dropbox began as consumer services for file sync and sharing, and are now focused on moving into the business of selling their services to enterprise organizations. With their nearly identical names, it is not surprising that many customers confuse the two companies.

To clear up that confusion, Alan Pelz-Sharpe of 451 Research recently issued a new report pointing out some stark differences between the two companies. Here’s a summary of how the companies differ:

  • Cloud Strategies

Dropbox runs on the public cloud, specifically on the Amazon Cloud (AWS-S3), meaning that customers do not necessarily know the physical location of their files. Consumers might trust their files to public cloud services, but businesses, especially those in regulated industries, do not. To appeal to the enterprise market, Box runs their production services in the own dedicated data centers and relies on Amazon only for non-production services. (Neither company offers a private cloud solution, despite clear interest in this option from enterprises.)

  • Acquisition Strategies

Dropbox has acquired 11 companies in the past three years. Most of them provide features for the consumer market, such as couponing, music streaming, and ad creation. Box has acquired only two companies, one for mobile file management and another for document rendering. The report notes that if Box had not been spending so much of its cash on operations and R&D, it might have made other acquisitions.

  • Platform vs. Product

Box considers its solution a platform, which will eventually support other applications. Dropbox is clearly a product—an application for file sharing and collaboration.

  • Finances

Both companies are expected to IPO sometime in the next 12 months. The report notes that Box “has been burning through cash at a rapid rate, and is a long way off from profitability.” Both companies face challenges with their “freemium” model, as offering free services to customers and hoping that they will upgrade. The report notes: “The ‘freemium’ model seldom works in the long term, and the most successful freemium products are not, in fact, free—for example, Google mines your data and sells the results to advertisers.” Both companies will have to convince customers to pay for more than their basic services.

  • Prospects

The report notes that both startups are heavily leveraged and that “success is far from guaranteed.” Box will eventually have to rein in its expenses, and Dropbox will have to find a way to compete against Google apps and Microsoft Office 365. Dropbox may find it increasingly difficult to compete against companies like Google who can always give away more for “free”.
 

At the end of the day, both Box and Dropbox have solid solutions, but neither have the security features such as a three-tier architecture, data segregation or ownership of encryption keys that many enterprise companies require. It will be interesting to see how both companies evolve their solutions over the coming 12 months as they continue to try and gain ground in the enterprise, in the meantime Accellion offers a solution designed for enterprise organizations that want to increase business productivity while ensuring security and compliance.

The full 451 Report, "Box and Dropbox: squaring off (sort of) in the enterprise", is available here.

Also here are links to reports comparing Accellion vs. Box and Accellion vs. Dropbox for a side-by-side comparison of Accellion’s enterprise-grade solution with the two “Box” options.

Tags:  Consumer Products, Data Security and Compliance, File Sharing

Serving Up DRM with a Side of Usability

May 20, 2014 - 10:27am
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One of the biggest complaints we hear around digital rights management (DRM) is how complex it makes even the most basic of actions. While its intentions are pure – securing confidential data – it’s often considered too unwieldy to use in day-to-day activities.

Enterprise organizations and government agencies have an urgent need for enhanced solutions that protect sensitive business information, no matter what device it is being shared or accessed from. With this in mind, we’re introducing user-friendly DRM features for kiteworks that enhance the security of document sharing, without hampering business productivity.

For example, a sales representative needs to send proprietary product roadmap information to a prospective customer, in order to close a deal. To ensure that the prospect doesn’t accidentally forward along the materials to other people, where it could end up in a competitors hands, the rep makes the document View-Only in kiteworks, and watermarks the content. This means that the prospect can view the materials, but they cannot download, forward or copy the file. The sales rep can win a new customer by providing future product capabilities, without fear that he will be the cause of a data breach for the company.

Or say a legal counsel is preparing documents for a court case. She goes to send a number of exhibits to opposing counsel, only to realize that she accidentally included documentation from a different case. In kiteworks, she can now go into the Activity Stream and withdraw the file, ensuring that her current case can continue on schedule, but that sensitive data has not fallen into the wrong hands.

With our new features users get the security benefits of DRM, without impeding their day-to-day activities. Click here to learn more about our new kiteworks features that securely improve the productivity of any workforce.

Tags:  Data Security and Compliance, Mobile Productivity, UX

Serving Up DRM with a Side of Usability

May 19, 2014 - 3:46pm
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One of the biggest complaints we hear around digital rights management (DRM) is how complex it makes even the most basic of actions. While its intentions are pure – securing confidential data – it’s often considered too unwieldy to use in day-to-day activities.

Enterprise organizations and government agencies have an urgent need for enhanced solutions that protect sensitive business information, no matter what device it is being shared or accessed from. With this in mind, we’re introducing user-friendly DRM features for kiteworks that enhance the security of document sharing, without hampering business productivity.

For example, a sales representative needs to send proprietary product roadmap information to a prospective customer, in order to close a deal. To ensure that the prospect doesn’t accidentally forward along the materials to other people, where it could end up in a competitors hands, the rep makes the document View-Only in kiteworks, and watermarks the content. This means that the prospect can view the materials, but they cannot download, forward or copy the file. The sales rep can win a new customer by providing future product capabilities, without fear that he will be the cause of a data breach for the company.

Or say a legal counsel is preparing documents for a court case. She goes to send a number of exhibits to opposing counsel, only to realize that she accidentally included documentation from a different case. In kiteworks, she can now go into the Activity Stream and withdraw the file, ensuring that her current case can continue on schedule, but that sensitive data has not fallen into the wrong hands.

With our new features users get the security benefits of DRM, without impeding their day-to-day activities. Click here to learn more about our new kiteworks features that securely improve the productivity of any workforce.

Tags:  Data Security and Compliance, Mobile Productivity, UX

5 Key Differences between Accellion and Box

May 16, 2014 - 2:42pm
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Security questions stemming from Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations are continuing to concern IT leaders, who are now looking at just how much control they have over data housed in public cloud solutions. This is causing them to look more seriously at private cloud solutions for mobile file sharing, which were built for enterprises looking to have control over their sensitive business data. 

With this in mind, we decided to compare our private cloud solution with Box’s public cloud solution, so IT leaders had a clear view of the differences. To really understand what Box is offering, it’s necessary to read more than feature checklists and press releases. For example, Box’s LDAP integration turns out not to support multiple-LDAP instances, and its so-called support for Enterprise Content Management requires enterprises to duplicate any ECM content they want to make available to mobile users.

Here’s a quick summary of five key differences between Accellion and Box:

  • Architecture. Surveys (for example, this one by ESG and this one by Research Now) show that enterprises strongly prefer private-cloud or hybrid-cloud solutions for storing and sharing confidential files. Accellion supports private clouds and hybrid clouds. Box offers only a public cloud solution. Public clouds deprive enterprises of full control over their data. For example, Box controls the encryption keys used to store enterprise data on its servers.

  • Integration with Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Platforms. Box requires enterprises to duplicate ECM content on the Box platform in order to access ECM connect through the Box service. Accellion enables mobile workers to access ECM content securely from mobile devices without investing in duplicated storage.

  • Secure Mobile Editing. Accellion enables mobile users to edit files in a secure environment. Box requires users to edit files in third-party editors, potentially exposing files to malware and unauthorized distribution.

  • Enterprise Integrations. Accellion provides integration with existing enterprise infrastructure, including anti-virus (AV) services, Data Loss Prevention (DLP) services, LDAP, multi-LDAP, and in-house applications. Box supports more limited integrations. For example, Accellion integrates with any standards-based DLP solution, but Box only integrates with one DLP solution, who happens to be another cloud vendor.

  • Compliance. Accellion supports compliance with SOX, GLBA, HIPAA, and FDA requirements, and has received FIPS 140-2 certification required for use by U.S. federal government agencies. Accellion also complies with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information from European Union member countries and Switzerland (the “Safe Harbor Frameworks”). Accellion also meets the data sovereignty standards of European nations who mandate what region data must be stored in based on a files content or user access. Box has achieved compliance with HIPAA and HITECH obligations and is willing to sign HIPAA Business Associate Agreements (BAAs). The company has been issued an SSAE 16 Type II report and is Safe Harbor-certified. Box has not received FIPS 140-2 certification. Being a public cloud service hosted in the U.S., it cannot comply with data sovereignty and location regulations in the E.U. and in other regions outside the U.S.

Enterprises choosing Box end up with less-than-complete control and security, while assuming the operational overhead and added expense of duplicating files and undermining their strict ECM security policies. In contrast, the Accellion private-cloud solution answers the enterprise market’s need for mobile, scalable, flexible file sharing. Accellion preserves and extends existing security policies and infrastructure, rather than subverting or duplicating them.

To learn more about the differences between these two solutions, download our new white paper, Accellion vs. Box: 5 Key Reasons Enterprise IT Selects Accellion.

Tags:  Data Security and Compliance, Enterprise Content, Private Cloud File Sharing

5 Key Differences between Accellion and Box

May 16, 2014 - 2:29pm
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Security questions stemming from Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations are continuing to concern IT leaders, who are now looking at just how much control they have over data housed in public cloud solutions. This is causing them to look more seriously at private cloud solutions for mobile file sharing, which were built for enterprises looking to have control over their sensitive business data. 

With this in mind, we decided to compare our private cloud solution with Box’s public cloud solution, so IT leaders had a clear view of the differences. To really understand what Box is offering, it’s necessary to read more than feature checklists and press releases. For example, Box’s LDAP integration turns out not to support multiple-LDAP instances, and its so-called support for Enterprise Content Management requires enterprises to duplicate any ECM content they want to make available to mobile users.

Here’s a quick summary of five key differences between Accellion and Box:

  • Architecture. Surveys (for example, this one by ESG and this one by Research Now) show that enterprises strongly prefer private-cloud or hybrid-cloud solutions for storing and sharing confidential files. Accellion supports private clouds and hybrid clouds. Box offers only a public cloud solution. Public clouds deprive enterprises of full control over their data. For example, Box controls the encryption keys used to store enterprise data on its servers.

  • Integration with Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Platforms. Box requires enterprises to duplicate ECM content on the Box platform in order to access ECM connect through the Box service. Accellion enables mobile workers to access ECM content securely from mobile devices without investing in duplicated storage.

  • Secure Mobile Editing. Accellion enables mobile users to edit files in a secure environment. Box requires users to edit files in third-party editors, potentially exposing files to malware and unauthorized distribution.

  • Enterprise Integrations. Accellion provides integration with existing enterprise infrastructure, including anti-virus (AV) services, Data Loss Prevention (DLP) services, LDAP, multi-LDAP, and in-house applications. Box supports more limited integrations. For example, Accellion integrates with any standards-based DLP solution, but Box only integrates with one DLP solution, who happens to be another cloud vendor.

  • Compliance. Accellion supports compliance with SOX, GLBA, HIPAA, and FDA requirements, and has received FIPS 140-2 certification required for use by U.S. federal government agencies. Accellion also complies with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information from European Union member countries and Switzerland (the “Safe Harbor Frameworks”). Accellion also meets the data sovereignty standards of European nations who mandate what region data must be stored in based on a files content or user access. Box has achieved compliance with HIPAA and HITECH obligations and is willing to sign HIPAA Business Associate Agreements (BAAs). The company has been issued an SSAE 16 Type II report and is Safe Harbor-certified. Box has not received FIPS 140-2 certification. Being a public cloud service hosted in the U.S., it cannot comply with data sovereignty and location regulations in the E.U. and in other regions outside the U.S.

Enterprises choosing Box end up with less-than-complete control and security, while assuming the operational overhead and added expense of duplicating files and undermining their strict ECM security policies. In contrast, the Accellion private-cloud solution answers the enterprise market’s need for mobile, scalable, flexible file sharing. Accellion preserves and extends existing security policies and infrastructure, rather than subverting or duplicating them.

To learn more about the differences between these two solutions, download our new white paper, Accellion vs. Box: 5 Key Reasons Enterprise IT Selects Accellion.

Tags:  Data Security and Compliance, Enterprise Content, Private Cloud File Sharing

Mobilizing Your Road Warriors

May 15, 2014 - 10:44am
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When traveling for work – whether to a sales meeting two hours away or a product development meeting across the country – your employees aren’t just thinking about work, they are actually being productive. At least that’s what every organization hopes is happening.  

A survey conducted by HP of European business travelers revealed some interesting findings:

  • 93% of business travelers prepare materials for meetings while en route to the meeting.
  • 54% use at least half of their travel time for managing tasks relating to the purpose of the trip.
  • 88% are able to follow-up on work-related matters and be productive while on the road, estimating that 31% of their time is used for reading emails, 24% for doing research and 22% for content production and editing.

Therefore, it wasn’t a huge surprise to learn that the office is no longer the place where employees feel the most productive. The survey found that 73% of business travelers feel that the time spent on the road provides them with an opportunity to be more productive and take care of tasks that are behind. Plus, 56% said they feel most innovative and get the best ideas outside the office space. 

In order to harness this innovative thinking and overall productivity boost, employees need mobile tools that make that happen. After all, it’s pretty tough to do content production and editing on the road without easy access to the information you need.

Graphic Systems Group, a creative production agency in New York City, was facing this exact predicament. One of its top executives was regularly on the road to meet with clients and had no easy way to get a hold of video files, movie demo reels and other client deliverables. With kiteworks he’s able to access files, make edits or content changes, and send graphic-heavy client deliverables to all stakeholders, from wherever.

Learn how kiteworks helped turn GSG’s road warriors into mobile productivity machines. Download the full story here

Tags:  Advertising, Mobile Productivity

Mobilizing Your Road Warriors

May 15, 2014 - 10:41am
Blog Image: 

When traveling for work – whether to a sales meeting two hours away or a product development meeting across the country – your employees aren’t just thinking about work, they are actually being productive. At least that’s what every organization hopes is happening.  

A survey conducted by HP of European business travelers revealed some interesting findings:

  • 93% of business travelers prepare materials for meetings while en route to the meeting.
  • 54% use at least half of their travel time for managing tasks relating to the purpose of the trip.
  • 88% are able to follow-up on work-related matters and be productive while on the road, estimating that 31% of their time is used for reading emails, 24% for doing research and 22% for content production and editing.

Therefore, it wasn’t a huge surprise to learn that the office is no longer the place where employees feel the most productive. The survey found that 73% of business travelers feel that the time spent on the road provides them with an opportunity to be more productive and take care of tasks that are behind. Plus, 56% said they feel most innovative and get the best ideas outside the office space. 

In order to harness this innovative thinking and overall productivity boost, employees need mobile tools that make that happen. After all, it’s pretty tough to do content production and editing on the road without easy access to the information you need.

Graphic Systems Group, a creative production agency in New York City, was facing this exact predicament. One of its top executives was regularly on the road to meet with clients and had no easy way to get a hold of video files, movie demo reels and other client deliverables. With kiteworks he’s able to access files, make edits or content changes, and send graphic-heavy client deliverables to all stakeholders, from wherever.

Learn how kiteworks helped turn GSG’s road warriors into mobile productivity machines. Download the full story here

Tags:  Advertising, Mobile Productivity

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