For readers of this blog, or for any IT manager with their hair on fire because their employees are using consumer-grade apps to sync and share company data, this New York Times story will come as no surprise. But now it’s hit the mainstream.
Dropbox is such a GREAT technology that anyone – once they use it – wants to use it more. Who doesn’t want to have access to their digital life from any of their devices? Or to share aspects of that digital life with their friends and family?
And who hasn’t used Dropbox – or Google Drive, or another cloud service — to sync company documents? Share them with colleagues inside – or partners outside – of the company? But there’s where you run into trouble – using these apps often runs afoul of company data security guidelines.
Some companies (IBM is a great example) have tried to shut down these apps, but tech-savvy employees find easy ways around those restrictions – 3G or guest WLANs. Not maliciously, but in an effort to get their job done. Some have given employees other less-then-user-friendly options, but these fail too.
Many of these consumer-grade app vendors are working hard to add additional security. But, while no system will ever be completely secure, wouldn’t it make sense to at least use a technology that allows you to have the greatest control over your data? To store your data internally instead of third-party storage who knows where? To use technology you already have in place to track, report, secure and monitor data usage?
Enter – of course — ownCloud.
Only ownCloud combines flexibility, openness and extensibility with on premise servers and storage – putting file sync and share control back into the hands of IT. ownCloud integrates into existing user directories, governance, security, monitoring, storage and back-up tools — becoming part of existing infrastructure (not re-inventing the wheel or buying redundant technology). And because ownCloud is open source and open by nature, plug-in apps exist to extend ownCloud out of the box, enabling LDAP/AD integration, file versioning, file sharing, external file system mounts and many more. If an application or capability needed is not there, simply create a new application plug-in and add it to the ownCloud server.
And we have a desktop client and mobile apps too, providing the experience users demand.
What is new about this whole problem is that is has now caught the attention of mainstream media – it is only a matter of time before a breach hits the front page. For those out there reading this, it is time to jump in and fix the problem before it catches up with you!