Granular control tightens corporate file-sharing as Copy passes 3m users

Businesses are warming to data-management features that allow them to separate business-related data from individual users' personal data, Barracuda Networks has reported as it gears up to bring its Copy secure file-sharing service to its Australian data centre later this year.

Copy was launched last year on the back of the cloud architecture of Barracuda, whose range of Web-security appliances have long addressed areas like content filtering and caching. This heritage made a secure file-sharing platform a logical next step, product manager Alon Yaffe told CSO Australia after the recent launch of a number of improvements to the service.

While the platform has recorded more than 3 million users since its launch, Barracuda's latest additions have targeted the use of the application within businesses, which are serviced by Copy's ability to let users share and control workgroup-specific shared folders.

"Users don't want to have different cloud solutions for their personal and work lives," Yaffe said. "the whole notion of having different accounts, and always having to decide if you're in work or personal mode, is not sustainable."

Designed to bring the two together whilst retaining control over the business data, Copy is built around shared business folders: "it was designed from the get-go to bridge that gap," he explained, "allowing users to associate that account with different storage areas and entities. The storage is managed by the administrator of the company, who can share folders with you and see what you're doing with them."

The rapid proliferation of multiple accounts has begun to pose both management and data protection issues, but Barracuda's latest update to Copy addresses this by simplifying the process through which users can manage personal and business data.

Administrators of shared business folders can use low-level granular control features to control access to business data – including erasing it from the computers of employees who leave the company. New APIs augment management capabilities and pave the way for partner applications, while tighter and more-granular controls allow data administrators to tighten their grip on how, where, when and by whom the data is managed.

Such capabilities reflect the growing trend towards tightening controls on cloud-hosted data, which has become a significant security issue for CSOs and CIOs alike as cloud-based file-sharing applications continue to consolidate their market position. The trend has also helped increase the profile of at-rest encryption of data in the cloud, which is also gaining currency as a way of protecting data in motion to the cloud and mobile devices.

The tightening of integration with Copy doesn't stop with administrators' ability to rescind the delivery of certain files, however: by tying the Web-storage platform's capabilities with other members of the Barracuda family, the company is working on methods – for example, through the tokenisation of email attachments and their storage in the Web-based service – to further tighten control of enterprise information assets.

When the the company switches on the Copy service in Australia later this year – the service is currently available here, but all data is hosted in the United States – Yaffe expects it will become even more relevant to corporate information-management strategies, even to the point that many organisations will want to host some or all of their storage internally.

"Everyone is concerned about what happens to the data once it's in the cloud," he said. "In many cases, large institutions don't want the dat to leave their premises and they don't trust any cloud provider, so they'll want something that's totally on-premises. Depending on the kind of customer, you're going to see different concerns. But I think we're going to see the business side of the solution really taking off this year."

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

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