Cloud could make flash drive obsolete says Afresco

News Rene Millman Jun 21, 2012

Putting files in the cloud much safer than on a memory stick, says Alfresc

Companies would be more secure if they made employees ditch flash drive in favour of putting data securely in the cloud, according to enterprise content management provider Alfesco.

David Gildeh, director of Cloud Services at Alfresco said that the situation with USB devices would only get worse as more users embrace BYOD in the workplace and use unsanctioned free file sharing services, such as Dropbox or Box.net.

“Files are sprawled all over the place and like the missing USB stick, confidential and valuable content is going to get lost or shared with unintended consequences,” said Gildeh. “Until now, there hasn’t been a secure enterprise-ready solution that is uncomplicated for end-users while at the same time addresses the concerns spanning from IT departments to the CIO.”

He pointed to research carried out by the market research firm the Ponemon Institute, which calculated that the average expense of a lost USB flash drive could cost an organisation more than $2.5 million.

Gildeh said that enterprise content management systems, such as the one sold by his company, would make the need for flash drive obsolete with new cloud features allowing files to be accessed anywhere securely.

He said that Alfresco in the cloud is the online version of Alfresco that extends Alfresco Enterprise across the firewall to support users and allow them to securely collaborate with other organisations.

The service allows employees to use mobile devices without having to use a VPN to access content and integrates with other cloud services such as Google Docs. It can be used by itself as an online collaboration service or in a hybrid model that users can access on both sides of the firewall enabling business users to work securely while still allowing organisations to retain content control.

Other new features of the cloud version include content encryption in the cloud using 256-bit AES encryption, WebDAV features to allow DropBox-like synchronisation on the desktop using third party clients such as GoodSync with folders in Alfresco. It also allows users to open, edit and save content from popular productivity apps directly into Alfresco from their desktop, phone or tablet device. 

It also features public file sharing links so files stored in a user’s Alfresco Document Library that can be shared easily using a Public URL via any service such as email, FaceBook, Twitter, SlideShare, bit.ly, Dropbox and Google+. As well as this, it also sports folder rules and actions that allow the automation of repetitive tasks.

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