nCrypted Cloud makes cloud storage more secure
When it comes to cloud storage, there are a host of options and not many of them offer enterprise-level security. Worse yet, all of these services aren’t interoperable — try sharing a Google Drive folder into Dropbox, for instance. Fortunately, one company saw fit to kill two birds with one stone, building an application that makes the sharing and syncing of files and folders secure and gets multiple cloud storage services work together in harmony. That application is nCrypted Cloud.
I got the chance to walk through the product with Nicholas Stamos, the founder and CEO of nCrypted Cloud. My first impression was that I’d be hearing a lot about a security product that encrypts files shared back and forth between colleagues, but what I found was that there is a lot more to it than that.
Stamos calls his product a “virtual layer” on top of cloud storage services. At the moment, only Dropbox is supported, but Stamos expects to add Google Drive and Microsoft’s SkyDrive by September. When that occurs, users will be able to share a file or folder with another user regardless of which cloud storage solution either is using. So a file shared to you by a SkyDrive user could wind up inside your Google Drive folder, and it’ll be encrypted and protected with permissions set by the sharing user.
And, wow, there are security features aplenty. A file encrypted and protected by nCrypted Cloud always checks to make sure a user has permission to open and view a file, and that permission can be revoked by the user sharing the file at any time — regardless of whether that file has been moved into another folder, onto another machine, or even burned onto a DVD.
Stamos also demoed a Snapchat-like feature for me that put a time limit on how long a file or folder would be shared. He sent an image, and after I viewed it for a few seconds, it vanished. That image was also heavily watermarked with my email address, so you can see the potential for such a service as it relates to sending classified info and keeping that info from leaking out.
The nCrypted Cloud software can be installed on both Windows and Mac, and there is also an app available for iOS. If you’re on the go and you need to view a file or folder, nCrypted Cloud also has a Web portal. Pricing is pretty basic at the moment — the company only offers a free “Consumer” level, but there are “Consumer Pro” and “Enterprise” levels coming soon.
I’m pretty impressed with what I got to see of nCrypted Cloud, which raised around $2.3 million in funding last July. The security features definitely fill a hole left by cloud storage services in their default states, but I think the software will really hit its full potential when support for Google Drive and SkyDrive comes later this year.
If you give nCrypted Cloud a try, be sure to let us know what you think.
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