April 21, 2014 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
High Level Security and Data Privacy Enterprise Platform
Vaultize is a
leading provider of Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS), Secure Anywhere
Access and Mobile Content Management (MCM) together with continuous data
protection and data loss prevention.
Prior to Vaultize, Anand was head of R&D for Data Protection at McAfee. He came to McAfee in 2008 through the acquisition of Reconnex, where he founded R&D team that built Reconnex’s market-leading Data Loss Prevention (DLP) product.
Prior to Reconnex, Anand had a distinguished career spanning 10 years with VERITAS Software (now Symantec) in India where he joined as a founding engineer in 1995 and held various senior technology leadership positions including Worldwide Chief Architect and Technical Director of Storage and Server Management business unit and worked on initiatives and strategies involving research and rapid prototyping. He also headed CTO office of Storage and Server Management Business unit.
Anand holds 56 US
patents in data protection, data security, storage virtualization, disaster
recovery and clustering. Anand holds Master’s degree in computer science and
engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay (Mumbai) and
Bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from SGSITS Indore.
Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor,
CEOCFO Magazine, Published – April 21, 2014
CEOCFO: Mr. Kekre, what was the concept when you started Vaultize?
Mr. Kekre: Just to give you a little background, this company was started by me and a friend of mine, Ankur Panchbudhe, and we both come from enterprise security, data protection and storage backgrounds. When we started this, we realized there is significant proliferation of mobile devices (smartphone/tablets) in enterprises beyond just the laptops. And people starting to use consumer cloud services like Dropbox even for their office work. With this, corporate contents would move out of corporate network - posing data loss, security and compliance risks because the corporate data is going beyond the control of enterprise IT, even to third-party clouds. It is a huge risk to businesses in terms of compliance, security and data loss, and we saw an opportunity in this space. So we realized the pain points of organizations and decided to build Vaultize as a complete enterprise platform, with the highest level of security and data privacy. At the same time, it would give file sharing, mobile collaboration and secure anywhere-access to the end users i.e. the employees of the organization.
CEOCFO: What were the main challenges in technology to create this?
Mr. Kekre: If you realize that we built this product for enterprises, and particularly for those who are sensitive about the compliance and security of the data like financial, healthcare, legal and government. So we decided that we needed to build something that would be really appealing to these organizations. Our biggest challenge was to build something with end-to-end security and would also give complete privacy to the organization, even when the deployed in public cloud. That means the challenge was to ensure that the enterprise IT - our real customers, are happy about security and privacy. That is how we built the platform with that being the main focus.
CEOCFO: Who is using your services today?
Mr. Kekre: We have really large organizations across verticals including the defense organizations, the government and the financial organizations as well as healthcare, which are really security conscious.
CEOCFO: Are there many or any companies that try or are able to provide that same amount of security?
Mr. Kekre: No, there is no competitor in our space that is providing the kind of end-to-end security and data privacy. We encrypt the data while it is on the user devices, as well as the data is encrypted while it is on the wire – though our patent pending technology. And so, we claim that we are the most secure file sharing, mobile collaboration and secure anywhere-access solution. In fact, we are the only one to provide “VPN-free” file sharing and anywhere-access.
Nobody else has the kind of security, privacy and enterprise control that we provide. We are also the only one to let our customers control encryption keys through our Data Privacy Option (DPO) to help them comply with data privacy, data residency regulations.
CEOCFO: When you are speaking with a prospective customer, do they understand the difference? Why do believe you can really do it when others cannot?
Mr. Kekre: As I shared with you, we are focusing across verticals, but when we reach out to the IT managers or CIOs or senior people in IT, they really understand the security. These large organizations have already deployed many security products in terms of firewalls, security gateways and data loss prevention solutions. They appreciate the kind of security we provide because until this time, most of the confidential data was restricted to within the corporate network. Now with the mobility, it is going beyond the corporate firewalls, and it is the reason that the traditional security model, which was only focused on keeping things under control within the perimeter of the company, is no longer valid. Today, when the data goes beyond the corporate through mobility, it has to be very secure, not only in transit but also while it is on the endpoints. They really appreciate the kind of unmatched end-to-end security we provide.
CEOCFO: One of the features mentioned on your site in enterprise control. Tell us about the importance there?
Mr. Kekre: Every enterprise has different internal compliances or corporate governance, and enterprise IT wants to ensure that the product or solution they deploy complies with those internal compliances. That is the reason Vaultize is built with what we call the policy-driven administration, visibility and control. This means it provides the ability for enterprise IT to control the use of corporate data by pushing the policies and access controls on end user devices. As an example, one kind of access control we provide in Vaultize is through tracking a mobile device using IP address or Geo location. Through this IT can control the file sharing or access capabilities from mobile devices such that it can only restrict the access or sharing capabilities if the mobile device is within a specified IP range or specified geography. For example, IT can set access policy such that if a device goes to some place like Afghanistan, then accesses are blocked. Also through Mobile Content Management (MCM), IT can control the use of Microsoft Office and PDF documents on mobile devices. For example, a certain set of users can be given the permission to access the file on the mobile devices as well as the ability to modify those files using our built-in editor and send them back to the corporate repositories. Even copy/paste, printing and sending to other apps can be controlled by IT. These are the kinds of controls that ensure there is no data loss, and the entire file sharing and access complies with the Internet as well as regulatory guidelines.
CEOCFO: How do you reach prospective customers?
Mr. Kekre: Our go-to market is completely channel focused, so we follow the standard 2-tier channel model where we have a master reseller (or distributor) in different geographies and then we have the resellers. At the same time, we also have the global alliances with the very large organizations that are present across geographies, and we also have what we call the MSP (Managed Service Provider) partner model where we deploy Vaultize into their data center and do some kind of co-labeling. Our strategies are channel focused, so we do not sell directly but sell only through channel network.
CEOCFO: What has changed about your offering since you started? What have you learned since the product has been in use that has enabled tweaks and changes?
Mr. Kekre: This market is very rapidly evolving, so for last four years we have been in the market, we definitely have changed the product as well as our thinking – the way we bring the product to market and the new features we implement. For example, when we started we did not have the kind of access controls that I just talked about with Geo or IP location tracking. We realized that is something, which would give more control to IT in terms of how the data is being used. The good thing about startups is that you can keep on moving very rapidly, so we have quarterly release cycles, and every quarter have something new and innovative thing to offer. We adapt to the market and change very rapidly, being a startup. That is an advantage you have when you are a startup.
CEOCFO: How is business these days?
Mr. Kekre: Business is doing great. We now have offices in the US with a strong team that is building the channel network. We have recently signed a Value Added Distributor in for North America. We now also have presence in Singapore to cover the entire APAC. We started in Dubai last quarter to cover MENA (Middle East and North Africa). And, we are also starting very soon in Europe with the UK being the place we will probably be operating. Geographically, we have a presence across almost all major markets in the world. It has been a very good business with a very huge market opportunity, and we believe because of our value propositions, the way we provide end-to-end security and privacy, I think, it is going to be a big game changer.
CEOCFO: There is so much new technology and so many new threats all the time. How can you protect against what has not been developed yet?
Mr. Kekre: It is about “end-to-end” security. From the time a file is created on a device to the time it gets modified and gets accessed from different devices as well as while it is being shared – that is throughout the life cycle of a file, it is completely kept secured through encryption – on the wire as well as while it is on end user devices. You can say it is Cradle-to-grave security. That kind of security is what we provide. In simple terms only the owner of the file and authorized individuals (in file sharing) have the ability to access the file.
If you recall the recent issue with internet security – Heartbleed bug, which affected more than half of internet population and most of the internet solutions, our customers were unaffected because we provide end-to-end encryption – ensuring that our customer’s data is protected even if there is a flaw/bug in internet software (like Heartbleed).
CEOCFO: Put it all together for our readers. Why pay attention to Vaultize today?
I can think
for many reasons. But the most important is, if you are really security
conscious and your organization needs to be very careful about protection of
intellectual property and all the digital assets in terms of files, Vaultize
is something that ensures all your digital assets are protected on
endpoints. At the same time, it also ensures that files accessible from
anywhere very securely without requiring VPN and with a flexibility to share
those files. If you really care about the security aspect, then Vaultize is
something for you.
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