Archive for the ‘Private Cloud’ Category

Data Security Questions Every Enterprise Should Ask

Over the past decade, cloud computing has transitioned from being a buzzword to becoming a staple technology for most enterprises, mainly driven by cloud’s accessibility, superior flexibility, and capacity compared to mainstream computing and storage techniques. However, just like mainstream data sharing and storage methods, cloud computing does not lack its fair share of data security issues. Palliating data security risks is essential to creating a level of comfort amongst CIOs, to migrate data applications to the cloud. The decision to transition to the cloud has to be dependent on how sensitive the data is and the security guarantees the cloud vendor provides.

Is your data safe in the hands of a cloud service provider?

In today’s exceedingly mobile world, enterprises are heavily relying on cloud vendors, and allowing remote access to more devices than ever before. The end result is a complex network that requires higher levels of security. The only way organizations can maintain the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of these different applications and datasets is by ensuring their security controls and detection-based tools have been updated to work with the cloud computing model. Whenever data is stored in the cloud, the main point of focus is typically the security of the cloud provider and hosting facility. However, this focus is usually at the expense of how the data itself is handled. This begs the question, do you trust the cloud vendor’s technology? Do you trust their employees? Do you trust their safeguards? Are you completely sure that if their back was against the wall they would not sell or compromise any of your data?

The fact of the matter remains that, once you move your data to a public cloud platform, you can no longer exercise your own security controls. Outsourcing also introduces a costly threat to intellectual property in the form of digital information like engineering drawings, source code, etc. An organization has to give its cloud service provider access to important IP assets, which are vital to the organization’s core business. Exposing invaluable information to third parties presents an epoch-making security risk. In most cases, migrating to the cloud means you have no option but to trust the vigilance, knowledge, and judgment of your chosen vendor.

As cloud-based solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive become more popular within the business setting; enterprises have to come to grips with the fact that issues like loss of control over confidential data are a looming security threat. Despite the fact that cloud vendors implement several security measures to isolate tenant environments, the organization still loses some level of IT control, which equates to risk as sensitive data and applications no longer reside within a private, physically isolated data-center. Is the business value worth the risk?

Why is Metadata Security Important?

In a nutshell, metadata is data about data. The bigger question is whether or not metadata is personally identifiable. If enough of it is linked together, a detailed profile of an individual or organization can be created; enough to personally identify them. Most IT security experts agree that metadata typically contains sensitive information, hidden from obvious view, but easily extractable. Metadata poses a great data leak risk since employees are not even aware of its existence. Whenever a request is made to store or retrieve data from a cloud storage server, the request and subsequent response contain metadata about both the request and the data itself. Since the organization has little to no control of this metadata, there is no way to guarantee its security.

What Happens in the event of a data breach?

As cloud adoption rates increase, cloud providers are increasingly becoming attractive targets for cybercriminals because of the huge amounts of data stored on their servers. Access to unencrypted metadata is enough to count as a full-fledged breach. The severity of a data breach is dependent on the sensitivity of the data being exposed. Breaches that involve trade secrets, health information and intellectual property are usually the most direful. It is worth noting that cloud vendors are not subject to similar data breach disclosure laws as federal agencies, banks, and other entities. So if a breach does occur, it may never be publicized or associated with the vendor.

Despite numerous efforts from public cloud providers to implement stringent security measures to curb the risk of data breaches; the burden of responsibility for data security ultimately falls on the organization and a breach will have critical financial and legal consequences.

Who Controls Your Data?

Ensuring that the data and applications residing in the cloud are kept safe is becoming more crucial as high-value data, mission-critical applications and intellectual property is transferred to the cloud. Despite the fact that cloud computing, in general, can be perceived as less secure, the fear of cloud security is situational. The real conundrum shouldn’t be whether or not to migrate to the cloud, but which cloud to migrate to. From a security standpoint, most cloud service providers are not ready. Using unsecured cloud vendors can expose sensitive cooperate data without your organization even realizing it. Enterprises commercially and legally have to maintain control over their data while customers and employees need to be able to freely collaborate, share and sync files they require. The solution is simple! Private Cloud.

Private Cloud Offers a Better Alternative

A private cloud computing model facilitates control and collaboration while protecting confidential data from unauthorized access. IT stakeholders need to have a detailed understanding of where and how data is being stored and transferred. With a self-hosted cloud deployment for critical data, you have maximum control, integration, and configuration of all the layers of security.

  • Flexible Infrastructure

A cloud deployment is considered private when it is hosted on the organization’s servers. However, that does not necessarily mean the servers are hosted on-premises. By going the self-hosted route, companies are able to choose whether they want to house their files on-premises or in a remote data center. Despite the fact that on-premises infrastructure has the added advantage of more control and ownership, you will also be responsible for capacity planning. Given the costs associated with operating a data center and the redundancy required to operate at 100 percent network and power uptime; organizations can opt to leverage a hosted private cloud in the form of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS).

This model allows the organization to have a scalable, isolated computing environment that has been custom-designed to meet its specific workload requirements, with the jurisdiction of their choice. A good example is AWS’ VPC which provides cloud hosting capabilities with enterprise-grade IT infrastructure through a virtualized network of interconnected virtual servers. GovCloud also allows US government agencies to host private clouds in secure regions operated by U.S citizens, and is only accessible to vetted U.S entities.

In a nutshell, a private cloud allows organizations to develop a flexible infrastructure to deliver applications while retaining control and managing the risk of the services delivered to business partners, users, and customers.

  • Maximum Control

A private cloud deployment gives you control over security, privacy, and compliance. You can manage all your applications, IT services, and the infrastructure in one place using powerful tools like application and performance monitoring, VM templates, and automated self-service deployment. Since you have the control from the ground up, you will not be forced to adjust your security processes to meet those of the cloud; instead, you will bend the cloud to your will. A self-hosted cloud lets you leverage your current security infrastructure and procedures and easily integrates with existing tools. It simply works within your set framework; and when your data requirements scale, you will have the ability to scale with them.

The physical location of the data-center plays a crucial role in cloud adoption. A private cloud creates the opportunity to choose the region data will be stored. By having control over your selection of hosting provider/ data center, you know precisely where your servers are located, and under which nation’s data laws they are governed. Organizations may be obliged or simply prefer, to store data in a jurisdiction or country that is not offered by a public cloud provider.

In Closing

A private cloud expands visibility into workloads and cloud operations. Thus enabling IT administrators to design data storage, hardware, and networks in a way that guarantees the security of data and associated metadata. When IT is fully aware of where the data is located and who has access to it at any given moment in time; the risks of compliance violations, data security vulnerabilities, and data leakage are thwarted.

Author: Gabriel Lando

Data Owner Responsibilities When Migrating to an EFSS

While it is easy to say and conclude that all data belongs to your organization, complications arise when the person accountable for data ownership has to be identified. Even when the IT department spearheads the process of processing, storing, and backing up data among other functions, the fact is that it does not own business data. Worse still, outsourced service providers do not own this data any more than the IT department does.

Who Owns Data? What are Data Owner’s Responsibilities?

In the cloud environment, a data owner is a business user who understands the business impact of a security breach that would lead to loss of data, integrity, and confidentiality. This responsibility makes the data owner very conscious of decisions made to mitigate and prevent such security incidents.

When migrating to an EFSS, business data owners should do the following:

Classify Data

Data classification has been extensively labeled as a remedy to data breaches. In essence, data classification helps to significantly reduce insider threats, which are reported to cause 43% of data breaches. Other than malicious employees, data breaches are a result of human error. Additionally, the growing data volume experienced by businesses makes it difficult to track data; hence, it is challenging to know where data is stored, who accesses it, and what they do with this information. By making sure that only authorized employees access certain information, the probability of a data breach is likely to reduce.

Clearly, the need for data classification has never been more evident. To properly classify data, a few measures should be taken by a business.

  • Have detailed “acceptable use” policies. All employees should internalize and sign these documents, which are then reviewed annually or as needed.
  • Make use of data classification technologies. When you train employees using a data classification technology, they will better understand the sensitivity of the data they are creating, storing, and sharing. Consequently, they will treat this data with the highest level of confidentiality and caution.
  • Understand industry regulations to classify data accordingly.
  • Once data is properly classified, apply appropriate access controls and continuously yet randomly monitor data activity to nab suspicious activities as soon as they are carried out.

Monitor Data Life Cycle Activities

When migrating to an EFSS, issues such as data retention and disposal should constantly be monitored by a business data owner. Simply put, how long will the EFSS solution retain your data and how long will it take to dispose of your data completely after you have deleted it? What happens to your data once your contract with the provider ends?

Before a business owner looks at an EFSS provider’s life cycle, he needs to understand the typical seven phases of data life cycle. From the first stage of data capture, data maintenance, data synthesis, data usage, data publication, or data archival to data purging, how safe is it? Who has access to it and how long is it retained in the EFSS?

When this data is stored, is it used and accessed by third-parties who, sadly, cause 63% of all data breaches? Is the EFSS data retention and disposal policy compliant with the law? For example, data retention requirements stipulated in the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) state that organizations that accept credit cards must adhere to a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) data retention and disposal policy.

Understand Enterprise File Sync-and-Share (EFSS) Deployment Models, As a Way of Assessing Risks

Despite the existence of extensive advice on the best EFSS solutions that exist, business data owners need to gain some technical knowledge. How many EFSS deployment models do you know, for example? Since this is a pretty broad topic, we will briefly discuss three models.

Public Cloud EFSS

In addition to being fast and easy to set up, a public cloud could be cheaper in terms of both infrastructure and storage costs. However, public cloud EFSS might not be the best regarding data protection and security, leaving your company exposed and vulnerable to regulatory non-compliance. It is, therefore, important to analyze the security measures the public cloud has to offer before settling.

Private Cloud EFSS

Although private cloud is believed to be more expensive compared to the public cloud, the cost of ownership depends largely on the vendor and infrastructure choice (for example, FileCloud offers the lowest cost of ownership across public and private clouds). Private cloud EFSS is worthwhile regarding services and security offered. With an adoption rate of 77%, private cloud solutions such as FileCloud are better options. This opinion is attributed to the flexibility and control over where data is stored. Consequently, users can choose which regulations to comply with and have better control over a breach because the IT department can access all the files and monitor, protect, and salvage them, as opposed to a public cloud.

Hybrid Cloud EFSS

According to RightScale’s, “Cloud Computing Trends: 2016 State of the Cloud Survey,” hybrid cloud EFSS adoption rate is 71%. The success is believed to be the result of the ability to harness the positive attributes of both a public and private cloud all at once because, usually in a hybrid environment, some components will run on the premises while others run in the cloud. One great example of a hybrid model is an EFSS application that runs as Software as a Service (SaaS) while data is stored on the premises or at the discretion of the user company.

Closing remarks

It is the responsibility of a business data owner to ascertain that data will be kept safe and confidential before migrating to any EFSS solution. This person needs to be savvy with the advantages a chosen EFSS model offers, compliance with industry regulations, proper access and identity management, understand the EFSS data life cycle processes, and ensure that security measures such as data encryption and authentication processes are in place.

 Author: Davis Porter

 

Launching FileCloud 12 – Branch Office File Sharing, Full Text Search, Mobile Offline Sync and much more …

We are  happy to announce that FileCloud 12.0 is now available for general availability. Like a chocolate box, FileCloud 12 brings pleasant surprises for every one of our customers and target market segments. It is probably one of the best releases delivered by our engineering team. We have addressed hard engineering problems in the following areas: remote branch office file sharing, full text search and mobile offline sync.

It is our goal to deliver a truly innovative EFSS solution that addresses practical pain points in managing and sharing enterprise information. With FileCloud 12.0, we have taken a great leap forward to achieve that goal.

Here is the summary of major capabilities offered by FileCloud 12.

FileCloud ServerLink – Remote Office and Branch Office File Sharing

FileCloud ServerLink is an industry first, true remote office and branch office solution that addresses the latency and high availability requirements of organizations that have sites across countries and remote locations. ServerLink is a FileCloud add-on that seamlessly replicates one FileCloud site to another site in different location.

FileCloud ServerLink, Branch Office Access

Following are some of the practical scenarios where ServerLink can help greatly in sharing organization information,

  1. Companies in the construction sector often have sites in remote locations. Using ServerLink, they can replicate the files from HQ to local job sites to avoid latency and give faster access to employees who work in remote locations.
  2. Multinational companies and organizations who have offices in different countries and continents can deploy ServerLink to their branch office to reduce latency and get faster access to files.
  3. Oil and Gas companies typically deal with large data files and have job sites in remote locations. They can benefit greatly from deploying ServerLink to their job sites.
  4. Media firms with offices across countries can deploy ServerLink in each of their branch offices to get faster access to large media files.

The above mentioned scenarios are just a tip of the iceberg. Every market segment can get a true value addition by deploying ServerLink.  ServerLink is currently a Beta functionality and will be priced separately from FileCloud.

ServerLink-Branch Office File Sharing

Full Text Content Search

FileCloud 12.0 brings full text search to our customers. Now customers can search files not only based on  file name, extension and also based on the content inside the document. Full text search is supported both on managed and network shares. The content search is supported for the following file formats: txt, pdf, doc, docx, xlsx, ppt and pptx.  In the future releases, we will further augment the file search capabilities to support data leak prevention, e-discovery and federated search capabilities.

FileCloud_Full_Text_Search

Office add-in for Word, Excel and Powerpoint

We are launching a new FileCloud office add-in that will enable users to open/edit/save files to FileCloud server directly from Microsoft word, powerpoint and excel apps on a PC. Now users can work directly from their favorite office apps and save the files to FileCloud. Moving forward, we continue to provide first class integration with Microsoft Office productivity suite on both desktop and mobile.

FileCloud_Office_Add-in

 

Mobile Offline Sync

FileCloud 12 brings mobile offline sync to iOS devices. Now users can sync folders (two way or one way) directly from the FileCloud server. It is great for users who work in remote job sites or traveling sales people who can update the documents in their iPads without requiring an internet connection. Mobile Offline sync will also come to Android devices in near future

Mobile_Offline_Sync

Mobile 2FA support (Google Authenticator)

With FileCloud 12.0 onwards, we also support Google Authenticator app for two factor authentication. One can download the Google Authenticator  mobile applications from respective app stores. The user will be required to setup the Google Authenticator once and then subsequently will need to provide the code generated by the Google Authenticator app inorder to login.

FileCloud 2FA Google Authenticator

FileCloud 12 also brings 2FA support to FileCloud admin accounts.

Faster access to Network shares protected by NTFS file permissions

One of the unique selling proposition of FileCloud is that it supports your existing network shares and NTFS file permissions seamlessly.  With FileCloud 12, we have further improved the access performance of listing network shares with large number of files. This will require the updating of web server components. When it comes to enabling web, desktop and mobile access to your network shares we can confidently say FileCloud is the best solution out in the market.

Further FileCloud brings hundreds of features, incremental improvements and bug fixes. For the complete list of new improvements please check the FileCloud 12 release notes here.

FileCloud is currently used by thousands of organizations across 55 countries including world’s leading space agency, 5 of top 500 legal firms, largest title insurance company, Americas leading home builder to the third largest poultry producer. We are incredibly thankful to our customers who have a complete faith and trust in our offerings.

Innovation never stops and it is a continuous process. Our strategy  is to out innovate our competitors and lead the Enterprise File Sharing and Sync market segment.  We promise our customers that we will hyper focus our efforts  in creating the best, innovative Enterprise File Sharing and Sync Solution in the market.

Alternative to WatchDox – Why FileCloud is better for Business File Sharing?

WatchDoxVsFileCloud

FileCloud competes with WatchDox for business in the Enterprise File Sync and Share space(EFSS). Before we get into the details, I believe an ideal EFSS system should work across all the popular desktop OSes (Windows, Mac and Linux) and offer native mobile applications for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. In addition, the system should offer all the basics expected out of EFSS: Unlimited File Versioning, Remote Wipe, Audit Logs, Desktop Sync Client, Desktop Map Drive and User Management.

The feature comparisons are as follows:

Features WatchDox
On Premise
File Sharing
Access and Monitoring Controls
Secure Access
Document Preview
Document Edit
Outlook Integration
Role Based Administration
Data Loss Prevention
Web DAV
Endpoint Backup
Amazon S3/OpenStack Support
Public File Sharing
Customization, Branding
SAML Integration
Anti-Virus
NTFS Support
Active Directory/LDAP Support
Multi-Tenancy
API Support
Application Integration via API
Large File Support
Network Share Support Buy Additional Product
Mobile Device Management
Desktop Sync Windows, Mac, Linux Windows, Mac
Native Mobile Apps iOS, Android, Windows Phone iOS, Android
Encryption at Rest
Two-Factor Authentication
File Locking
Pricing for 20 users/ year $999 $3600

From outside looking-in, the offerings all look similar. However, the approach to the solution is completely different in satisfying enterprises primary need of easy access to their files without compromising privacy, security and control. The fundamental areas of difference are as follows:

Feature benefits of FileCloud over WatchDox

Unified Device Management Console – FileCloud’s unified device management console provides simplified access to managing mobile devices enabled to access enterprise data, irrespective of whether the device is enterprise owned, employee owned, mobile platform or device type. Manage and control of thousands of iOS and Android, devices in FileCloud’s secure, browser-based dashboard. FileCloud’s administrator console is intuitive and requires no training or dedicated staff. FileCloud’s MDM works on any vendor’s network — even if the managed devices are on the road, at a café, or used at home.

Amazon S3/OpenStack Support Enterprise wanting to use Amazon S3 or OpenStack storage can easily set it up with FileCloud. This feature not only provides enterprise with flexibility to switch storage but also make switch very easily.

Embedded File Upload Website Form – FileCloud’s Embedded File Upload Website Form enables users to embed a small FileCloud interface onto any website, blog, social networking service, intranet, or any public URL that supports HTML embed code. Using the Embedded File Upload Website Form, you can easily allow file uploads to a specific folder within your account. This feature is similar to File Drop Box that allows your customers or associates to send any type of file without requiring them to log in or to create an account.

Multi-Tenancy Support – The multi-tenancy feature allows Managed Service Providers(MSP) serve multiple customers using single instance of FileCloud. The key value proposition of FileCloud multi-tenant architecture is that while providing multi-tenancy the data separation among different tenants is also maintained . Moreover, every tenant has the flexibility for customized branding.

NTFS Shares Support – Many organizations use the NTFS permissions to manage and control the access permissions for internal file shares. It is very hard to duplicate the access permissions to other systems and keep it sync. FileCloud enables access to internal file shares via web and mobile while honoring the existing NTFS file permissions. This functionality is a great time saver for system administrators and provides a single point of management.

Conclusion

Based on our experience, enterprises that look for an EFSS solution want two main things. One, easy integration to their existing storage system without any disruption to access permissions or network home folders. Two, ability to easily expand integration into highly available storage systems such as OpenStack or Amazon S3.

WatchDox neither provides OpenStack/Amazon S3 storage integration support nor NTFS share support. On the other hand, FileCloud provides easy integration support into Amazon S3/OpenStack and honors NTFS permissions on local storage.

With FileCloud, enterprises get one simple solution with all features bundled. For the same 20 user package, the cost is $999/year, almost 1/4th of WatchDox.

Here’s a comprehensive comparison that shows why FileCloud stands out as the best EFSS solution.

Try FileCloud For Free & Receive 5% Discount

Take a tour of FileCloud

Alternative to Pydio – Why FileCloud is better for Business File Sharing?

FileCloudVsPydio

FileCloud competes with Pydio for business in the Enterprise File Sync and Share space(EFSS). Before we get into the details, I believe an ideal EFSS system should work across all the popular desktop OSes (Windows, Mac and Linux) and offer native mobile applications for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. In addition, the system should offer all the basics expected out of EFSS: Unlimited File Versioning, Remote Wipe, Audit Logs, Desktop Sync Client, Desktop Map Drive and User Management.

The feature comparisons are as follows:

Features Pydio
On Premise
File Sharing
Access and Monitoring Controls
Secure Access
Document Preview
Document Edit
Outlook Integration
Role Based Administration
Data Loss Prevention
Web DAV
Endpoint Backup
Amazon S3/OpenStack Support
Public File Sharing
Customization, Branding
SAML Integration
Anti-Virus
NTFS Support
Active Directory/LDAP Support
Multi-Tenancy
API Support
Application Integration via API
Large File Support
Network Share Support
Mobile Device Management
Desktop Sync Windows, Mac, Linux Windows, Mac, Linux
Native Mobile Apps iOS, Android, Windows Phone iOS, Android
Encryption at Rest
Two-Factor Authentication
File Locking
Pricing for 100 users/ year $4199 $1772

From outside looking-in, the offerings all look similar. However, the approach to the solution is completely different in satisfying enterprises primary need of easy access to their files without compromising privacy, security and control. The fundamental areas of difference are as follows:

Feature benefits of FileCloud over Pydio

Document Quick Edit – FileCloud’s Quick Edit feature supports extensive edits of files such as Microsoft® Word, Excel®, Publisher®, Project® and PowerPoint® — right from your Desktop. It’s as simple as selecting a document to edit from FileCloud Web UI, edit the document using Microsoft Office, save and let FileCloud take care of other uninteresting details in the background such as uploading the new version to FileCloud, sync, send notifications, share updates etc.

Embedded File Upload Website Form – FileCloud’s Embedded File Upload Website Form enables users to embed a small FileCloud interface onto any website, blog, social networking service, intranet, or any public URL that supports HTML embed code. Using the Embedded File Upload Website Form, you can easily allow file uploads to a specific folder within your account. This feature is similar to File Drop Box that allows your customers or associates to send any type of file without requiring them to log in or to create an account.

Unified Device Management Console – FileCloud’s unified device management console provides simplified access to managing mobile devices enabled to access enterprise data, irrespective of whether the device is enterprise owned, employee owned, mobile platform or device type. Manage and control of thousands of iOS and Android, devices in FileCloud’s secure, browser-based dashboard. FileCloud’s administrator console is intuitive and requires no training or dedicated staff. FileCloud’s MDM works on any vendor’s network — even if the managed devices are on the road, at a café, or used at home.

Device Commands and Messaging – Ability to send on-demand messages to any device connecting to FileCloud, provides administrators a powerful tool to interact with the enterprise workforce. Any information on security threats or access violations can be easily conveyed to the mobile users. And, above all messages are without any SMS cost.

Amazon S3/OpenStack Support Enterprise wanting to use Amazon S3 or OpenStack storage can easily set it up with FileCloud. This feature not only provides enterprise with flexibility to switch storage but also make switch very easily.

Multi-Tenancy Support – The multi-tenancy feature allows Managed Service Providers(MSP) serve multiple customers using single instance of FileCloud. The key value proposition of FileCloud multi-tenant architecture is that while providing multi-tenancy the data separation among different tenants is also maintained . Moreover, every tenant has the flexibility for customized branding.

Endpoint Backup: FileCloud provides ability to backup user data from any computer running Windows, Mac or Linux to FileCloud. Users can schedule a backup and FileCloud automatically backs up the selected folders on the scheduled time.

Conclusion

The preference for enterprises will depend on whether to rely on Pydio whose focus is split between trying to be open source and commercial with their enterprise offering or FileCloud with the only focus to satisfy all enterprise’s EFSS needs with unlimited product upgrades & support at a very affordable price.

Here’s a comprehensive comparison that shows why FileCloud stands out as the best EFSS solution.

Try FileCloud For Free & Receive 5% Discount

Take a tour of FileCloud

Alternative to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant Leaders – Syncplicity, Box, Citrix, Accellion

Gartner recently released their 2015 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing(EFSS). The criteria for a vendor to be included in the list are Revenue, Geography, Commercial Availability, Total Users, Largest Deployment, References and Product Capabilities.

Most of the criteria seemed to favor companies backed by venture capitalists or larger enterprises. Other than Product Capabilities and the Cost of the solution, rest of the criteria is not really matter for a company looking to find an EFSS solution for their needs. This blog will cover how FileCloud is a perfect alternative to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant Leaders in Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) – Syncplicity, Box, Citrix, Accellion taking into account Gartner’s Product Capabilities inclusion criterion.

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant Leaders in Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing(EFSS)

 FileCloud   Syncplicity   Box   Citrix ShareFile  Accellion 
File Synchronization
File Sharing
File Access
Content Manipulation
Mobile OS Diversity
PCs
Security
Management – AD, LDAP, MDM
Integration
Delivery Model
File Transfer
Collaboration
Security – SAML, DRM
Secure Deployment
Management – Group Policy, Data Migration
Data Governance
Certifications, Compliance & Audit
Pricing for 100 users/year $4199 $15000 $35000 $22480 $29000
Detailed Comparison FileCloud vs Syncplicity FileCloud vs Box FileCloud vs Citrix FileCloud vs Accellion

Lets take a closer look on how FileCloud actually provides an advantage to the above listed products.

File Synchronization

FileCloud provides effortless File synchronization across computers running Windows, Mac, Linux and even Netgear ReadyNAS NAS devices. Moreover, FileCloud is one of the few products that enable real-time synchronization of files stored in network folders (CIFS, NFS).

File Sharing

With FileCloud one can create a public or a fully private share to folder or files. Changes to shared folders like uploads or file changes are sent out as notifications via email to everyone connected to the share. Activity Streams for every folder allows users to review and view all changes that happened to a folder or a file over a period of time. Additional powerful features includes ability to limit the maximum number of downloads for a shared file, automatically expire a share after a certain time, anonymous file uploads, prevent downloads, integrated file uploads  widget and more.

File Access

FileCloud offers multiple ways to access your organization’s files securely: Web access, Desktop Sync, Virtual Drive, Mobile Apps, & WebDAV.

Content Manipulation

With FileCloud one can easily view documents using the built-in Document Preview. In addition, one can edit documents from the web browser with a Lock (check-out) feature that will prevent others from editing the files at the same time.

Mobile OS Diversity

FileCloud’s highly rated apps are available for Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, Android Phones, Android Tablets, Windows Phone 8, Blackberry and FileCloud Metro Windows 8 App. And, administrators have the tool to disable any mobile device from accessing FileCloud.

PCs

FileCloud provides an array of client apps/plugins such as Drive, Sync & Outlook Plugin. The Sync app works on Windows, Mac and Linux. With FileCloud’s Outlook Plugin one can easily provide links to FileCloud files and folders.

Security

FileCloud’s security features include Encryption At Rest & Transit, Customer Managed Encryption keys, Two-Factor Authentication, and Anti-Virus Integration scanning. In addition, FileCloud supports SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) based web browser Single Sign On (SSO) service that provides full control over the authorization and authentication of hosted user accounts that can access FileCloud Web based interface.

Management – AD, LDAP, MDM

FileCloud was primarily built for the purpose of easily integrating with existing storage and authentication systems. FileCloud allows your existing Active Directory users to use FileCloud using their existing credentials. In addition, provides support for multiple Active Directory servers, support for Mixed Domain Active Directory (Hosted AD).

With FileCloud, one doesn’t need to buy a separate MDM(Mobile Device Management) application. FileCloud has built-in features with which administrators can block any mobile device from access and do a remote wipe for absolute security & control.

Integration

FileCloud offers strong integration with popular productivity apps from Microsoft (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Apple Keynote and others). FileCloud’s comprehensive API enables seamless integration with Enterprise e-discovery, DRM and Analytics platforms.

Delivery Model

In addition to providing an on-premise solution, FileCloud provides  ready made images for easy installation on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. FileCloud Public AMI (Amazon Machine Image) is currently available in Amazon AWS Marketplace. Using FileCloud’s AMI and Azure VM, one can host their own file share sync and mobile access solution for their organization is less than 10 minutes.

Collaboration

The built-in FileCloud features such as unlimited versioning, recycle bin support, lock while editing, ability to edit document over the browser provides a powerful set of tools for collaboration.

Security – SAML, DRM

FileCloud offers a SAML-based Single Sign-On (SSO) service that provides customer with full control over the authorization and authentication of hosted user accounts. FileCloud administrator tools include features such as auditing, detailed logging of activities, and ability to disable access or feature on mobile apps. With ease administrators can set up policies with respect to user access, password setup and client applications usage.

Secure Deployment

FileCloud can be securely deployed on Enterprise private clouds and on-premise servers. It can also be hosted on public IaaS providers like AWS and Azure. Compared to other vendors listed in Gartner EFSS magic quadrant, FileCloud offers a 100% private cloud deployment without any connection to our infrastructure. One can also run FileCloud in an internal network without exposing to public internet.

Management – Group Policy, Data Migration

FileCloud provides array of features with respect to group policy enforcement, data migrations, backup and so on. FileCloud is bundled with necessary tool to perform full backups of your cloud installation that includes both files and database.Some of the features of these backup scripts:

  • can be run at anytime manually from command line
  • can be part of an automated system like cron job.
  • can be run on a live cloud installation .
  • can backup to local or remote Linux targets.

With FileCloud Administrators can easily create groups and classify their users. With AD integration and its sync functionality to integrate AD groups to FileCloud specific groups it becomes a lot easier to maintain access control.

Data Governance

FileCloud provides powerful features such as content search, ability to run audit reports and tools to extract critical data from the audit logs. The extensive Auditing support make sure every operation in FileCloud is logged into the Audit logs to help meet some of toughest compliance such as HIPAA.

Certifications, Compliance & Audit

The below table lists features that makes FileCloud stand apart even from 2015 Gartner’s Magic Quadrant Leaders.

 FileCloud   Syncplicity   Box   Citrix ShareFile  Accellion 
On Premise/Self-Hosted
IAAS (AWS)
Multi-Tenancy
Mobile OS Compatibility All All All Not All Not All
iOS, Android Media backup
Integrate – Existing Home Directories
NTFS Support
Network Share Support Buy
Network Share Versioning
Active Directory Support Buy
Multiple Active Directory Buy
Single Sign-On (NTLM/SSO) Buy
Data At Rest Encryption
File Lockingt
Outlook Integration
API Support Buy
Amazon S3/OpenStack Support
Mobile Device Management (Block devices, remote wipe, notification to devices) Limited Buy Buy Limited

Conclusion

With FileCloud, enterprises get one simple solution with all the needed features ready to be installed. Moreover, for a 100 user package, FileCloud costs $4199/year, almost 1/5th to 1/10th the price of Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant Leaders – Syncplicity, Box, Citrix, Accellion

Try FileCloud For Free & Receive 5% Discount

Take a tour of FileCloud

Alternative to Huddle – Why FileCloud is better for Business File Sharing?

FileCloudVsHuddle

FileCloud competes with Huddle for business in the Enterprise File Sync and Share space(EFSS). Before we get into the details, I believe an ideal EFSS system should work across all the popular desktop OSes (Windows, Mac and Linux) and offer native mobile applications for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. In addition, the system should offer all the basics expected out of EFSS: Unlimited File Versioning, Remote Wipe, Audit Logs, Desktop Sync Client, Desktop Map Drive and User Management.

The feature comparisons are as follows:

Features Huddle
On Premise
File Sharing
Access and Monitoring Controls
Secure Access
Document Preview
Document Edit
Outlook Integration
Role Based Administration
Data Loss Prevention
Web DAV
Endpoint Backup
Amazon S3/OpenStack Support
Public File Sharing
Customization, Branding Limited
SAML Integration
Anti-Virus
NTFS Support
Active Directory/LDAP Support Buy Additional Product
Multi-Tenancy
API Support
Application Integration via API
Large File Support
Network Share Support
Mobile Device Management
Desktop Sync Windows, Mac, Linux Windows
Native Mobile Apps iOS, Android, Windows Phone iOS, Android
Encryption at Rest
Two-Factor Authentication Buy Additional Product
File Locking
Pricing for 100 users/ year $4199 $4000

From outside looking-in, the offerings all look similar. However, the approach to the solution is completely different in satisfying enterprises primary need of easy access to their files without compromising privacy, security and control. The fundamental areas of difference are as follows:

Feature benefits of FileCloud over Huddle

Embedded File Upload Website Form – FileCloud’s Embedded File Upload Website Form enables users to embed a small FileCloud interface onto any website, blog, social networking service, intranet, or any public URL that supports HTML embed code. Using the Embedded File Upload Website Form, you can easily allow file uploads to a specific folder within your account. This feature is similar to File Drop Box that allows your customers or associates to send any type of file without requiring them to log in or to create an account.

SAML – FileCloud supports SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) based web browser Single Sign On (SSO) service that provides full control over the authorization and authentication of hosted user accounts that can access FileCloud Web based interface. FileCloud acts as a Service Provider (SP) and connects with the identity provider (IdP) for authentication. FileCloud SAML SSO service is based on SAML v2.0 specifications. Further, FileCloud also supports ADFS (Active Directory Federation Service) and third party identity providers like Okta for Single Sign-on.

Unified Device Management Console – FileCloud’s unified device management console provides simplified access to managing mobile devices enabled to access enterprise data, irrespective of whether the device is enterprise owned, employee owned, mobile platform or device type. Manage and control of thousands of iOS and Android, devices in FileCloud’s secure, browser-based dashboard. FileCloud’s administrator console is intuitive and requires no training or dedicated staff. FileCloud’s MDM works on any vendor’s network — even if the managed devices are on the road, at a café, or used at home.

Device Commands and Messaging – Ability to send on-demand messages to any device connecting to FileCloud, provides administrators a powerful tool to interact with the enterprise workforce. Any information on security threats or access violations can be easily conveyed to the mobile users. And, above all messages are without any SMS cost.

Amazon S3/OpenStack Support Enterprise wanting to use Amazon S3 or OpenStack storage can easily set it up with FileCloud. This feature not only provides enterprise with flexibility to switch storage but also make switch very easily.

NTFS Shares Support – Many organizations use the NTFS permissions to manage and control the access permissions for internal file shares. It is very hard to duplicate the access permissions to other systems and keep it sync. FileCloud enables access to internal file shares via web and mobile while honoring the existing NTFS file permissions. This functionality is a great time saver for system administrators and provides a single point of management.

Network Shares Support – FileCloud’s network share feature satisfies enterprise requirement of user/group specific access to folders. And, as files are already shared via network shares, no need for additional setup or products to buy. Moreover, FileCloud provides Active Directory & LDAP support along with NTFS permission support restricting access to network folders to just authorized users.

Customization & Branding – FileCloud can be customized extensively to reflect their brand. Some of the customizations include Logos, Labels, Email Templates, UI Messages and Terms Of service. However, Accellion’s kiteworks customization is very limited to header images displayed on the login and registration pages.

Conclusion

Based on our experience, enterprises that look for an EFSS solution want 3 main things. One, easy integration to their existing storage system without any disruption to access permissions or network home folders. Two, ability to easily expand integration into highly available storage systems such as OpenStack or Amazon S3. Three, ability to truly customize their self-hosted EFSS solution with their company branding.

Huddle neither provides OpenStack/Amazon S3 storage integration support nor extensive customization/branding capability. On the other hand, FileCloud provides easy integration support into Amazon S3/OpenStack and extensive customization/branding capabilities.

Here’s a comprehensive comparison that shows why FileCloud stands out as the best EFSS solution.

Try FileCloud For Free & Receive 5% Discount

Take a tour of FileCloud

Alternative to Thru. – Why FileCloud is better for Business File Sharing?

FileCloudVsThru;

FileCloud competes with Thru for business in the Enterprise File Sync and Share space(EFSS). Before we get into the details, I believe an ideal EFSS system should work across all the popular desktop OSes (Windows, Mac and Linux) and offer native mobile applications for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. In addition, the system should offer all the basics expected out of EFSS: Unlimited File Versioning, Remote Wipe, Audit Logs, Desktop Sync Client, Desktop Map Drive and User Management.

The feature comparisons are as follows:

Features Thru
On Premise
File Sharing
Access and Monitoring Controls
Secure Access
Document Preview
Document Edit
Outlook Integration
Role Based Administration
Data Loss Prevention
Web DAV
Endpoint Backup
Amazon S3/OpenStack Support
Public File Sharing
Customization, Branding
SAML Integration
Anti-Virus
NTFS Support
Active Directory/LDAP Support
Multi-Tenancy
API Support
Application Integration via API
Large File Support
Network Share Support
Mobile Device Management
Desktop Sync Windows, Mac, Linux Windows
Native Mobile Apps iOS, Android, Windows Phone iOS, Android
Encryption at Rest
Two-Factor Authentication
File Locking
Pricing for 100 users/ year $4199 Not Public

From outside looking-in, the offerings all look similar. However, the approach to the solution is completely different in satisfying enterprises primary need of easy access to their files without compromising privacy, security and control. The fundamental areas of difference are as follows:

Feature benefits of FileCloud over Thru

NTFS Shares Support – Many organizations use the NTFS permissions to manage and control the access permissions for internal file shares. It is very hard to duplicate the access permissions to other systems and keep it sync. FileCloud enables access to internal file shares via web and mobile while honoring the existing NTFS file permissions. This functionality is a great time saver for system administrators and provides a single point of management.

Network Shares Support – FileCloud’s network share feature satisfies enterprise requirement of user/group specific access to folders. And, as files are already shared via network shares, no need for additional setup or products to buy. Moreover, FileCloud provides Active Directory & LDAP support along with NTFS permission support restricting access to network folders to just authorized users.

Document Quick Edit – FileCloud’s Quick Edit feature supports extensive edits of files such as Microsoft® Word, Excel®, Publisher®, Project® and PowerPoint® — right from your Desktop. It’s as simple as selecting a document to edit from FileCloud Web UI, edit the document using Microsoft Office, save and let FileCloud take care of other uninteresting details in the background such as uploading the new version to FileCloud, sync, send notifications, share updates etc.

Embedded File Upload Website Form – FileCloud’s Embedded File Upload Website Form enables users to embed a small FileCloud interface onto any website, blog, social networking service, intranet, or any public URL that supports HTML embed code. Using the Embedded File Upload Website Form, you can easily allow file uploads to a specific folder within your account. This feature is similar to File Drop Box that allows your customers or associates to send any type of file without requiring them to log in or to create an account.

Unified Device Management Console – FileCloud’s unified device management console provides simplified access to managing mobile devices enabled to access enterprise data, irrespective of whether the device is enterprise owned, employee owned, mobile platform or device type. Manage and control of thousands of iOS and Android, devices in FileCloud’s secure, browser-based dashboard. FileCloud’s administrator console is intuitive and requires no training or dedicated staff. FileCloud’s MDM works on any vendor’s network — even if the managed devices are on the road, at a café, or used at home.

Device Commands and Messaging – Ability to send on-demand messages to any device connecting to FileCloud, provides administrators a powerful tool to interact with the enterprise workforce. Any information on security threats or access violations can be easily conveyed to the mobile users. And, above all messages are without any SMS cost.

File & Folder Locking – Simplify collaboration and work on files together with colleagues by marking a file or folder as locked. Locked files or folders prevent other users from uploading changes when you are in midst of changes. This prevents later conflicts and merges.

Amazon S3/OpenStack Support Enterprise wanting to use Amazon S3 or OpenStack storage can easily set it up with FileCloud. This feature not only provides enterprise with flexibility to switch storage but also make switch very easily.

Conclusion

Its a no-brainer. FileCloud hands down beats Thru in feature set and value.

Here’s a comprehensive comparison that shows why FileCloud stands out as the best EFSS solution.

Try FileCloud For Free & Receive 5% Discount

Take a tour of FileCloud

OwnCloud Windows Alternative? Checkout FileCloud!

FileCloudVSownCloud

Recently, OwnCloud has announced that “OwnCloud Server 8.1 Will Not Support Windows as Server Platform Natively”. You can find the owncloud’s rationale behind the decision to drop Windows Server support in their blog post. It seems to be a strategic decision from OwnCloud team to focus only Linux OS’es.

Contrary to OwnCloud team’s experience we find Windows Servers are very stable platform to host FileCloud. Infact 50-60% of our customers run FileCloud on Windows Server operating systems. Also FileCloud on Windows has excellent integration capabilities with Active Directory, NTFS file permissions and existing windows shares. Infact we are expanding our partnership with Microsoft to bring FileCloud on Windows 2012 OS to Microsoft Azure marketplace.

Windows_Server_Market_Share

According to Microsoft, Windows Server now holds about 75 percent of the market share for x86 server operating systems. Thats a whole lot of servers. So if you are looking for a owncloud alternative to run on Windows Server OS please checkout FileCloud. If you want to compare the features and pricing of FileCloud vs OwnCloud, please check our comparison here.

How Manufacturing Companies Leverage the Cloud

cloud manufacturing

Cloud computing is increasingly infiltrating different types of businesses, with manufacturing now joining the league of information and communication industries as one of the primary industries currently leveraging it. Manufacturing companies are now tightening their belts as they battle their competitors through effectual cloud computing strategies.

In a survey conducted by Plex Systems and published in a report titled “The State of Manufacturing Technology, 66% of the 130 interviewed manufacturers acknowledge the benefits of cloud computing in improving business insights. The same percentage of respondents claimed that they had indeed improved their overall plant productivity thanks to the cloud, while 90% were particularly excited about improved data security facilitated by managed services.  When the respondents were asked to further delve into their strategies, 81% reported that they were indeed heavy mobile cloud users, and they had experienced significant benefits including scalability and increased accessibility.

These numbers prove that cloud computing has indeed become a major business improvement strategy among manufacturing companies. But how do they achieve this? How do manufacturing companies leverage the cloud? What are their subsequent benefits?

Improving Collaboration

Cloud collaboration helps even the smallest manufacturing companies run like already established, large fortune 500 corporations. They use the cloud to power controlled and managed operations, where all customers are kept informed through feedback and info systems; employee tasks are scheduled efficaciously; and the management teams collectively streamline overall company workflows.

These systems reduce the amount of wasted man hours and improve overall efficiency across all departments in an organization. Although each department is assigned special tasks and requests, they all work collectively through the cloud to achieve common enterprise objectives and goals.

Securing Sensitive Data

The cloud, a few years back, was vulnerable to attacks which resulted in cases of data breaches. Consequently, a significant number of corporates and business owners have been wary of it and have been storing sensitive data on on-premise storage disks. Years later, due to the combined effort by managed service providers, vendors and CIOs, cloud providers have managed to improve their data security, subsequently changing the status quo, and attracting even the most data-protective enterprise owners. Currently, about half of all cloud users transfer and share sensitive data through it, and 75% of enterprise owners, including manufacturers, have confidence in the cloud when it comes to securing their private, sensitive data.

Manufacturing companies are particularly very concerned about data security due to sensitivity of their data- patents, intra-organizational product secrets, etc. It would therefore be very detrimental to a company if such data was leaked to their competitors. To avoid such occurrences, most are shifting such data to secure self-hosted cloud platforms which are safer.

Optimized Data Control

Gone are the days when manufacturing companies stored their data on various workstations, making data exchange a very complicated process. It was even more cumbersome for companies with different branches situated in different locations, where one had to travel just to generate critical data.

The cloud has not only eased the data exchange process, but also improved overall control. Data can now be stored in a single central server, which is accessed by employees according to their credentials and posts. This allows CIOs and executive members to keep track of the accounts accessing data and define the number of people they’d like to distribute data to. The more sensitive and complex the data is, the less the number of people that are allowed to access it.

Implementing Disaster Recovery Measures

Manufacturing companies are usually faced with a lot of challenges, some of them with a potential of developing into disasters. It’s therefore imperative for an entire organization to implement requisite measures to prevent disasters. They should also be combined with effectual recovery measures, just in case the preventive measures fail to provide sufficient resistance.

Data is arguably the most valuable asset in most manufacturing companies, and protecting it through the cloud has proven to be quite effective in shielding it from a wide range of disasters. Natural disasters for instance, can destroy entire manufacturing plants and equipment, including computers and data storage disks- but leave the cloud data intact. Although a company affected with such incidents would incur a significant amount of losses in terms of physical equipment, it would recover comfortably thanks to cloud data storage.

By storing data in secondary servers, the cloud has also proven to be exceptionally effective in recovering even from data disasters. A breach, which has the capability of stealing extremely sensitive data, may fail to drag it to its knees due to reliable cloud data disaster recovery measures. In such cases, secondary servers usually kick in to support the entire systems and facilitate recovery before primary servers are restored. The cloud has therefore proven to also be a good recovery option even to attacks directed to it.

These strategies are bearing fruits which are eliciting excitement within the manufacturing industry. Businesses which are yet to implement cloud solutions are now calling in experts to assess their overall organization set up, recommend cloud solutions and implement them. So far, the progress has been very encouraging and it’s expected that the cloud will be an even bigger feature in the future among small, medium and large manufacturing companies.

Author: Davis Porter

Image Courtesy: ddpavumba, freedigitalphotos.net