Share This Article:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

While it’s tempting to feel like we’re under constant threat from hackers and external cyber attacks, the reality is most data breaches happen unknowingly within organizations. As Egnyte’s hybrid storage customers continually asked for help in content governance, we realized our approach positioned us to make it happen in a unique way.

Egnyte Protect is our new smart content governance solution designed to help companies find, protect and manage content easily across repositories, even solutions outside of Egnyte like SharePoint or Windows File Servers. While Egnyte Protect required great team work, for me it represents an inventive and responsive approach to a truly difficult problem: human error.

lockI’ve written before on the importance of seizing opportunity when it presents itself, and this was a major opportunity for us. In the decade we’ve been providing file services, a few clear patterns emerged that we could mark, more or less, as natural laws.

Here’s the first: the larger the company, the longer it takes them to adopt new systems. Let’s say a customer buys Egnyte Connect. It’s not as simple as “we’re on Egnyte starting Monday.” There is invariably some process.

Migration, user training, and exhaustive vetting must be done for every team. For our largest customers these processes have to be replicated for different teams, on different schedules. The process of changing and ramping a new system ultimately cannot be rushed. During that time, a lot of policies are being violated or just not enforced as they should be.

Some companies treat the cloud like a suitcase, tossing in content and sealing it up without thinking through the larger issues behind cloud migration. They’ll move some content to Egnyte Connect, for instance, but leave other content behind for security reasons. This is usually done haphazardly, leading to misaligned permissions and users with inconsistent access across repositories.

Let’s say a marketing department copied its folders to the cloud, but financial documents are supposed to stay on-premises. What if a marketing user copies over finance files before their data is migrated? Suddenly, due solely to human error, companies have vital data in places they do not want it to appear.

We saw that and realized we needed to help. It may take a company years from coming onboard to actually resolving their older data issues. The more complex the environment, the more nuanced these problems will be. That’s why it was important to us that Protect would eliminate the access portion of the on-boarding headache our clients were having.

A second pattern that became clear to me as I watched customers struggle to come on board: not everyone is working in a super-connected system. Here’s an example. Say an employee copies files to a USB drive to work on them while on vacation, and then loses the drive. The fact that a user can legally bind their company and  leave IT admins with no recourse didn’t sit well with us.

Technically, this isn’t our problem. But we didn’t earn Leader status in the 2016 Gartner EFSS MQ by only solving only technical problems. We earned it with the highest customer satisfaction rate of all vendors.

I’ve referred before to the fun parts of my job, and solving technical challenges as creatively and efficiently as possible. To mitigate the danger of user-created repositories being lost, for instance, we developed and implemented features on Egnyte Connect like remote wipe.

The last big piece in helping customers, besides consistency in access and encrypting information to the maximum possible degree, is thoughtful use of analytics. For the most part big data, analytics and machine-learning are becoming a Silicon Valley cliché, but used in specific contexts they can help drive informed decisions without being technical overkill.

Moving forward, we’re planning on becoming even more prescriptive in our solutions. That’s why we’re investing in uncovering user behavioral patterns. As more people migrate to the cloud, and cloud services diversify, the quality of information we can gather improves in leaps and bounds.

As my colleagues often say, we’re keeping an eye on emerging technologies that can help us refine the user experience. We’re very excited about the advances of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and prospective deployments of AI in everyday business to help our customers.

Egnyte Protect, to me, represents Egnyte shifting onto the front foot and taking charge of play in the maturing EFSS space. We’re excited to continue helping our customers unlock the best version of their employees, and I can’t wait to see where we go next.

protect logo