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The vast array of unsecure enterprise file sync-and-share products may be daunting for IT, but there are tools to ease searching capabilities -- and add security.
One such service comes from SearchYourCloud, a San Francisco startup with a new application of the same name that allows users to do one search to find files in numerous locations, including Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Microsoft OneDrive, SharePoint, Office 365 and Exchange.
The application supports Apple iOS and Google Android mobile devices with additional versions for Mac OS X and Windows desktops.
SearchYourCloud has plug-ins that work directly in Office 365 and Outlook and can simultaneously search email and desktop services as well as cloud storage locations.
Tools like SearchYourCloud make the clutter of numerous file-sharing services easier for users to navigate by simply reducing the number of user interfaces (UIs) to deal with, said Alan Lepofsky, principal analyst with Constellation Research Inc. in Toronto.
"Social networks and file-sharing services are silos," Lepofsky said. "Aggregators make it easier for users by reducing the number of UIs."
SearchYourCloud also provides file-level AES 256-bit encryption for files before they are placed into different storage locations. SearchYourCloud doesn't hold the encryption keys for those secured files and can instead stay behind a user's firewall, said Simon Bain, SearchYourCloud's CEO.
That level of security makes SearchYourCloud an attractive option for enterprises concerned about how safe data is when it's stored, said Dave Schubmehl, research director of content analytics, discovery and cognitive systems at IDC, based in Framingham, Mass.
Dave Schubmehlresearch director, IDC
"The idea of search indexing is important, but it's got to be secure," Schubmehl said.
SearchYourCloud offers a level of encryption that isn't readily available with consumer-focused cloud storage products, he added.
Whenever a file is accessed, SearchYourCloud encrypts it and updates the in-memory search index for faster and more secure searching. In addition, IT administrators maintain control of file access, usage and deletion. IT has further controls including the ability to erase single files, wipe a device and disable user accounts.
Regardless of corporate IT policies, users find ways to use products like Dropbox or Box because those products are easy to use, Bain said. As such, IT can use a tool like SearchYourCloud to give users the ability to use the enterprise file sync-and-share product of their choice while still maintaining security controls.
There are numerous other options on the market around cloud storage search aggregation, including Jolicloud SAS, Otixo Inc., Quixey Inc., X1 Discovery Inc. and Intralinks Holdings, Inc. Salesforce Files and IBM Files also offer similar services.
Cloud-based indexing and aggregation tools are still relatively new to the market and it's possible some of the smaller companies could be acquired by a larger vendor for future integration into their own services, Schubmehl said.
"Connecting this technology to all these various services isn't easy to do," he said.
As a smaller company, SearchYourCloud needs to prove to customers it can maintain longevity and can grow its user base by working on partnerships with larger, more established cloud storage vendors, Schubmehl said.
SearchYourCloud can be downloaded at the iTunes Store, Google Play, Digital River and on SearchYourCloud's website for Windows users. Versions of the app range between $2.99 and $19.99, with a onetime fee depending on the app version and then ongoing monthly charges for searching capabilities.
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