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Enterprise Platforms & Productive Paranoia

I’ve always said that without a productive user experience, you can’t drive users to adopt enterprise IT services in today’s market where people are continually influenced by consumer apps and wicked-simple IT products. This is a challenge for companies dealing with legacy and clunky IT products – because without adoption, it really doesn’t matter how secure your storage or backup system is… employees. just. won’t. use. it.

On that note, I need to tip my hat to Dropbox for announcing that they’ve managed to sign up 500 million accounts. It’s exciting times in the cloud file services market, and companies like Dropbox are doing much of the hard work for CTERA by popularizing new and easier ways to store and share information. I would also like to credit them for singularly being responsible for the terms “private Dropbox” and “Dropbox problem” that we see in an increasing number of customer discussions. I’ll get back to this in a moment… <segue>

balloonsThis week, we introduced a dramatic refresh to our Endpoint experience by delivering over 50 new features to our customers. While I won’t delve into all of them, I wanted to highlight a few key aspects of the updated solution that we categorize into one of two buckets:

  • Military-grade controls for security-conscious enterprises
  • Features that enhance and simplify the enterprise user experience

If you haven’t yet seen who we can publicly disclose as customers, all I can say is that CTERA sells to really significant organizations. Some of the names we can share include the US Department of Defense, Santander Bank, The Carlyle Group, Texas Department of State Health Services, WPP and more. We’re proud that our customers, public and private, all had a hand in shaping these new capabilities of the CTERA Enterprise File Services Platform.

Here are the highlights:

Client Certificate Support, Mutual Authentication and Native Smart Card Support

lockWhile nearly every enterprise file sharing solution supports external multi-factor authentication, none have the ability to provide a complete private experience that provides internal user multi-factor authentication, until today. With our new release, CTERA now supports multi-factor client-side authentication using PKI certificates and smart cards. This feature was developed in conjunction with some of the world’s largest government agencies and systems integrators. With CTERA, EFSS users now have absolute assurance that files are not improperly accessed or collaborated on by rogue users internally with an organization.

Here’s an architecture diagram for all you PKI lovers:


CTERA has seen acute demand for this solution especially in the public sector –defense agencies, federal agencies, government contractors and even state-level interest. Beyond government, we’re also discussing the need for native mutual authentication with other productively paranoid markets including critical infrastructure (transportation & utilities), healthcare and media. The feature underscores CTERA’s exacting focus on military-grade security, and is consistent with our focus on becoming the platform of choice for the world’s most secure enterprises.

File Loss Prevention Tools: Preview-Only Sharing, Screen Watermarks

While the CTERA platform integrates with many trusted security tools, our customers are demanding that we push the controls closer and closer to the data. To that end, we’re now offering the following capabilities:

Preview-Only File Sharing

This capability prohibits collaborators from downloading or re-distributing files. Which, in and of itself is a cool feature, but it doesn’t mean much if a user takes a picture of their screen. Which is why we also announced…

File Watermarks (by IP Address or Email Address)

Organizations can establish a strong chain of information custody by holding collaborators responsible in the case of any leakage of sensitive information. With CTERA’s new watermark tools, collaborators can be sure that if a screen capture happens, the leaked document will at least be stamped with the name of the perpetrator.


Example of Preview-Only Share with Confidentiality and Email Address Watermarks

External Sharing Permissions: Restricted Domains by User and Group

Using CTERA new external file sharing policies, organizations can define external data sharing policies and reduce leakage of sensitive data through their corporate firewall by restricting external sharing to specific users or groups and defining the approved collaboration domains or even specific external email addresses.


Conversationally – we refer to this solution as something of a filewall within CTERA. Policies can be set domain-wide or organizations can make granular choices about what users can share what files with what external organizations or specific users.

OK – so I think that covers the highlights for what we’ve developed for the productively paranoid. Let’s switch to those who are paranoid about productivity 🙂 <segue #2>

A Whole New Mobile Experiencemobile

Introducing a 100%, all-new mobile app. Here are the highlights:

  • 400% Faster
  • Smart Caching for Rapid Navigation
  • In-Place Document Editing
  • Tighter integration with our EMM partners
  • And an all new snazzy design.

This isn’t one of those updates that makes the headlines, but it sure is nice when it comes time to easily access, edit and share your files.

Self-Service Desktop Migration, With Cross-OS Restore Support

Desktop administrators hate when users lose or break their laptops, etc. Moreover, IT organizations are looking to be more supportive of BYOD efforts and let users choose the devices that most make them productive. Up until now, these interests have been opposed… It’s difficult to normalize a data protection strategy for the masses when users can bring whatever they want to work. We’ve solved this problem.


With this new update, not only can a user restore themselves to a new desktop – it doesn’t even need to be the same OS. Using CTERA’s cross-OS restore support – a user can easily replace a Windows laptop, for example, with a Mac OS X laptop, while preserving contacts, calendars, email accounts, and similarly categorized files in their appropriate locations on the new machine.

CTERA Walkthrough

And finally, a friendly introduction to help onboard users and make it easy for them to store, sync and share their files.


So there you have it. These are the highlights of our new Endpoint update … everything designed to appropriately balance the needs of the most serious security organizations with the interests of every enterprise employee who just want to get their jobs done and be productive. To learn more, you can access a full listing of all the newly announced features here.

You can also trial a version of the solution online today, just click here… Remember, our enterprise implementations are all 100% private, and we never own any aspect of your service, your data, your authentication or encryption. Dropbox problem: solved.

We look forward to helping you address these topics as part of a broader file and data protection agenda we’re driving in the enterprise, so the next time someone asks you “are you productive or paranoid?”, you can answer “both!”.

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