There's no doubt that the whole concept of bring-your-own-technology (BYOT) creates a lot of concerns over data security. And nothing engenders those fears more than the whole concept of being able to use a service such as DropBox.com to share information, much of which is likely to be either highly sensitive and in violation of one or more compliance regulations.
But for all the concerns about these services, it seems unlikely that IT organizations are going to able to completely ban the use of these services, largely because there are so many of them. In fact, the latest company to join the ranks of these services is Trend Micro, which at least is promising potential corporate customers that it has wrapped layers of security around its service in a way that allows the information stored in its service to be secure.
Announced this week, SafeSync from Trend Micro is based on technology that the company gained via the acquisition of Humyo in 2010, a provider of file synchronization technology. Beyond being a place to share files, Trend Micro also sees SafeSync providing backup and recovery services, says Brian Katzen, Trend Micro senior global product manager.
Katzen says that Trend Micro's approach to pricing is also more in line with the way corporate entities think about acquiring software. Instead of licensing each named user, the system is set up so companies can acquire, for example, 500 gigabytes of storage that can be allocated across any number of users they like. That means one user can consume 300GB, while the other four only consume 200GB between them, said Katzen. Pricing for the service starts at $90 per 50GB, per user, per year.
Katzen says that while many IT executives may still be uncomfortable with the whole consumerization of IT concept, Trend Micro is trying to provide a secure way to manage an inevitable trend that will allow customers to eliminate the need for many insecure consumer services for sharing documents or cumbersome FTP servers within their own organization.
Only time will tell if IT executives will bend to what seems inevitable, or whether security and compliance issues will nip this trend in the bud. But if history is any guide, productivity always trumps security so IT executives might best start thinking about how they are going to manage this trend because resistance appears to be increasingly futile.