Storage Soup

May 7 2014   7:53AM GMT

EMC adds security to Syncplicity file sharing

Sonia Lelii Sonia Lelii Profile: Sonia Lelii

Las Vegas — Like many online file sharing companies, EMC Syncplicity is trying to balance the user experience with security functions that IT departments demand.

At EMC World this week, Syncplictiy added two enhancements to its online file sharing product — a Storage Vault Authentication function to set security controls on storage repositories and a Syncplicity Connector for SharePoint so data from that application can be accessed and edited via mobile devices.

EMC first integrated a policy-based Storage Vault capability last year that let IT administrators select where data is stored according to user, group, folder file or content type. The storage can be on-premises or in a private or public cloud. The new The Storage Vault Authentication capability gives the IT department the ability to set a second layer for security controls for sync and share data.

“Security has been at odds with usability,” said Jeetu Patel, vice president and general manager of EMC’s Syncplicity business unit. “Your design points should not be at odds. It’s the way you implement that capability. When you add security, there is a way to enhance productivity. That may sound counter-intuitive.”

Patel said the second layer authentication function allows IT to set policy-based controls on the Storage Vault repositories holding certain sensitive data. Previously, user authorization controls to access sync and share data were on the Syncplicity application only.

“This was driven by enterprise customers,” Patel said. “It’s for companies that say, ‘I’m still nervous about the cloud.’ We give them a second layer of authentication. So not only does Syncplicity do authorization but the repository has to allow authorization. You might not need this for all content.”

Patel said the Syncplicity Connector for SharePoint works as a repository for content and helps bridge the gap between the SharePoint application and EMC’s sync and share application. Online file sharing applications often are used to replace SharePoint as a collaborations tool, but companies may not move all files out of SharePoint.

“A lot of repositories don’t die,” Patel said. “You may have found a more progressive way to do things but you still have to access data from those repositories. You shouldn’t have to take on a massive migration problem.”

Syncplicity file and share application is expected to play a role in EMC’s federation business model, in which product development, marketing and sales are balanced among the companies Pivotal, VMware and EMC Information Infrastructure businesses. EMC has identified mobile devices, social platforms, big data, cloud and security as the main growth areas.

“We will work with these assets when it makes sense,” said Patel. “For instance, you can expect to see integration with (VMware’s) AirWatch mobile device manager. There is a lot of collaboration we are doing with different units.

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