San Jose, Calif.-based cloud computing vendor CipherCloud Inc. has announced the addition of AES 256-bit encryption to its data loss prevention (DLP) offering for Box, the popular cloud storage and collaboration provider. The announcement means that every existing CipherCloud product, including those aimed at Salesforce.com, Gmail and Office 365, can now support 256-bit encryption.
In comparison to rival vendor offerings, CEO Pravin Kothari highlighted CipherCloud's ability to integrate encryption directly into the Box experience. The product can scan content via Box's application programming interfaces in real-time and detect potentially sensitive information that requires 256-bit encryption. Compared with vendors that offer either server-side or file sync-and-share encryption, CipherCloud also offers enterprises the unique proposition of being able to manage their own encryption keys, which Kothari claims will reduce the risk posed by account hijacking, insider threats and the like when moving to the cloud.
Although properly implemented 256-bit encryption can provide a boost in data security, enterprises must also weigh the potential bandwidth issues that can be caused by encryption, which, if severe enough, can lead to problems with users opting out of slower services. When prompted about potential performance issues for existing customers, Kothari was quick to dismiss any possibility of performance degradation, noting that the company's encryption capabilities are completely transparent to end users and that they "will not see any difference when using their Box applications."
CipherCloud's announcement of additional encryption capabilities comes at a unique time for vendors and others charged with ensuring cloud computing security. A number of security concerns cloud storage providers such as Dropbox have surfaced in recent months, while simultaneously, leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden concerning the U.S. government agency's data-snooping practices have forced U.S.-based cloud providers to defend their security practices.
When asked how the company was performing in this tense environment, Senior Vice President Paige Leidig said that CipherCloud had just finished its best quarter ever and demand was actually outpacing the company's sales capabilities. He pointed to the August opening of CipherCloud's Sydney, Australia office, meant to service the growing customer base in both that country and New Zealand, as an indicator of that demand.
International growth is not limited to "down under," though, as the revelations concerning the NSA's PRISM program have actually stoked intense interest in CipherCloud's products from European countries. C-level executives of those European enterprises, in particular, are apprehensive about "their information sitting in the American cloud," said Kothari.
Data residency issues were already driving international growth before the Snowden leaks, with enterprises in a variety of countries around the globe concerned about compliance regulations surfacing as customer data is moved to countries with differing data privacy restrictions. Combined with U.S.-based regulations such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, both Kothari and Leidig predicted that CipherCloud's encryption offerings would remain in strong demand and could potentially lead to more expansion abroad.