Egnyte has a new look and with it a new platform that allows customers to share the most sensitive documents that historically file-sharing and storage services have not had the security in place to manage.
The new Storage Connect virtual appliance maps internal files to a cloud access layer across one or multiple sites. The data plane is behind the firewall while the control plane is in the cloud. It sounds complex but essentially it means the data is secured without allowing a customer to access the file unless permissions are granted by an administrator. Instead of accessing by a virtual private network (VPN), the customer uses Storage Connect as a virtual hub.
Users can access the file from any mobile device, browser or desktop environment. A customer can edit if they have “write” permissions on those files. Encryption is down to the operating system. Administrators control if the users are allowed to have “off-line access” and even if they do, the files can be secured.
In comparison, file sharing service Box now has CipherCloud to secure data and applications for the cloud with AES 256-bit encryption. CipherCloud extended its technology to work with Box, offfering the capability to use encryption keys that are retained by the customer and accessed and decrypted by authorized users on personal computers or mobile devices. With CipherCloud, files still need to be in the Box cloud, which puts it in violation of some compliance requirements for different customers and industries where data needs to be under their control and not just with keys.
Box Founder and CEO Aaron Levie said in a phone interview last night that its capability to blend security and simplicity is its primary differentiator. The company has deployments with tens of thousands of users. It has customers such as Disney and Procter & Gamble. Levie said there are regulatory requirements in specific industries that the company is still trying meet. He noted the company was one of the first to allow for healthcare information to be used in the cloud. In terms of how files are treated, Most companies use the cloud as a brokerage layer, syncing Word files from their desktop with the Box service.
Egnyte is making a deep security play with the its new Storage Connect technology. But to really become a player in the game it will have to take a page from the Box playbook. Before Levie became a celebrated CEO, the company focused on building partnerships, which gave it access to a wide network of customers. Okta, Jive Software, Cipher Cloud and its dozens of other partners gives Box a reach that has helped Levie make his case for why his company has what it takes to win business from the likes of Microsoft.
To raise its profile, the company is starting its new push with an image overhaul. It has a new logo and has changed its user interface to make it more modern and approachable.
Egnyte has technology built from the ground-up for the enterprise. It has security that allows customers to use Google Drive inside their enterprise environments. That’s a good story but the next step is to broaden its scope, becoming a more recognized company with an ecosystem that can help it grow its base. Box has momentum, as does Dropbox. Egnyte has a different clientele than these two companies but regardless it will need a broader strategy to become a formidable market player.