As the consumerization of IT converges with the cloud storage services market, many channel partners are seeking new ways to help customers protect business data — both on premises and in the cloud.
This week I had the opportunity to speak with Rani Osnat (pictured), VP of marketing at CTERA, about those risks and challenges. CTERA has addressed secure mobile access in its offerings; the first time Mr. Osnat and I spoke was for the release of the CTERA Mobile App in April.
Readers my recall how IBM recently banned its workforce from using consumer storage solutions like DropBox because of security concerns. Rani Osnat’s take on that development? Provide a viable alternative that ensures IT security.
Mr. Osnat indicated during our interview how a report on cloud storage security from the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology in Germany has shaped his views. He pointed out that it has received little attention in the United States; the report can be downloaded for free from the Fraunhofer Institute website.
Talkin’ Cloud: What are the main security issues that enterprises need to solve when dealing with cloud storage?
Osnat: “The first thing is that (the solution) has to be encrypted end-to-end. You can’t leave the device unencrypted, so there has to be client-side encryption. Number two, the customer must be able to control the keys, to prevent the service provider from looking at their data. And number three, there has to be a way for enterprise customers to know that their data isn’t mixed and will not be duplicated against other customers’ data.”
Mr. Osnat commented that consumerization and BYOD have sent a warning shot to corporate IT: “There’s kind of a scramble right now on the market to find alternatives that will work in the enterprise and will also work for service providers looking to (offer cloud storage) to their customers.”
He cited the example of Swisscom, in Europe, deploying a white-label cloud data protection and collaboration service based on CTERA technology. “This is an example of a service that is secure. Every client has their own tenancy, their data doesn’t mix.” There is data access only to authorized users. “The customer controls the encryption. So SwissComm, the service provider, can’t look at their data. It’s client-side encryption. So basically your have enterprise-level security on this, including secure, remote access from mobile devices.”
Talkin’ Cloud: How does CTERA service the needs of the enterprise cloud storage market?
Osnat: “We enable service providers to launch these kinds of services, and do it with enterprise-grade security, based on the cloud infrastructure of their choice. So, it’s a real alternative to these public consumer services and it’s something we know enterprises are looking for. I’m not sure—the IBM ban on DropBox—how well they can actually enforce it. If you can’t fight it, you had better provide an alternative, that’s the message here.”
Talkin’ Cloud took a look at CTERA in March, and noted several milestones: “…the company recently completed another round of funding, though a dollar amount was not disclosed. And in 2011, CTERA had double-digit revenue growth and reached 100,000 business end-users, the company claimed.”
Finally, as Talkin’ Cloud has reported before, CTERA markets exclusively through its channel partners. Our readers can click here for an overview on their partner program.
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CTERA Shares Secure Cloud Storage, Mobile Perspectives http://www.talkincloud.com/ctera-shares-secure-cloud-storage-perspectives/