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October 08, 2013

Enterprise Version of SafeMonk Enhanced to Cure Dropbox Security Phobia

It is no secret that enterprise IT departments have concerns about their end users availing themselves of popular third-party, cloud-based content services such as Dropbox (News - Alert). In fact, this phobia has become so widespread that it has a name, “The Dropbox Effect.” Yet, despite these fears and IT warnings, as BYOD continues to proliferate in enterprises and lines of business (LOBs) insist on going around IT to get what they believe is content they need when they need it regardless of organization policies and rules, the use of such services continues to grow. 

In two words, it is “Simply Irresistible.”

This raises the question, “What is IT to do to allow use of these services while safeguarding the enterprise?” 

Back in July, I wrote about the security industry leader SafeNet and its establishment of SafeNet (News - Alert) Labs and the introduction of its SafeMonk solution to literally make it safe to use Dropbox. It involves downloading an app that employs encryption to enable secure file transfers. SafeNet, in fact, came out with an interesting survey a few weeks ago that found that C-levels may be the worst violators of rules regarding the use of third-party file sharing services, making the question that much more relevant as the headlines continue to show that unprotected data on the fly is one of the biggest vectors of vulnerability enterprises face today.       

The good news is that if your organization has users who are heavily reliant on Dropbox in particular, the answer to your search for something that can provide you peace of mind about its use is at hand. SafeNet, has announced the availability of SafeMonk for Enterprise, which is designed specifically for Dropbox users to complement the consumer version. It is, as advertised, the only tapproof Dropbox security solution on the market.

“SafeMonk for Enterprise enables CIOs, CTOs, CSOs, and other IT policy enforcers to say ‘yes’ to using Dropbox within their organizations,” said Chris Holland, Chief Monk, SafeMonk. “Organizations that use SafeMonk for Enterprise, can take advantage of the simplicity and functionality of Dropbox while also keeping their sensitive data secure and under control.”

According to 451 Research (News - Alert) Senior Analyst of Enterprise Security Javvad Malik, “More common than trying to replace supposedly consumer-based collaboration systems is an attempt to learn how to coexist with them. If an enterprise has 10,000 Box (News - Alert) or Dropbox instances that have grown without official approval, there is little real likelihood of them going away. So, as the maxim goes, if you can't beat them, join them.”

Like the consumer version, SafeMonk for Enterprise is also tapproof. This is a term of art that means neither SafeMonk nor Dropbox can see the keys used to encrypt or decrypt the files within SafeMonk. The keys stored on SafeMonk servers are encrypted with users’ private and local keys, so in the event of a system breach, SafeMonk user keys are protected and the files are not viewable.

Additional peace of mind for IT afforded by SafeMonk for Enterprise is that security professionals can now choose to revoke keys by user or file share. When access to the keys is removed, the data is rendered useless. This gives IT complete access control to the sensitive data everywhere Dropbox places it.  Plus, SafeMonk for Enterprise administration console and logging capabilities provide IT staff with records of activity that can be accessed for compliance reporting and monitored for red flags.

It is easy to get started with SafeMonk for Enterprise

SafeMonk for Enterprise is designed to allow IT administrators the ability to get going easily and fast.  All an IT administrator has to do is create an Enterprise SafeMonk account and provision the appropriate employee accounts. Once the application downloads to the employee’s PC or other device, an encrypted SafeMonk folder is seamlessly created in Dropbox.

The SafeMonk folder can be used like any other folder within Dropbox. The reason to use it, and encourage everyone to do so is that all the content inside is now tapproof.

SafeMonk for Enterprise allows IT administrators to monitor and track files shared with other Dropbox users; provision and de-provision access based on employee status; and revoke access to users, folders, and/or devices—allowing them to maintain internal and external policies around data governance.

As 451 analyst Malik stated, this really is a case where peaceful coexistence should be the order of the day. There is no way the third-party file-sharing capabilities are a genie that can be put back in the bottle. In fact, their utility is undeniable as the numbers show, and leveraging that utility safely is a win for everyone in the enterprise.

Edited by Ryan Sartor

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