People often query me “What’s next?” Often, I stare back at them speechless for 10 seconds while I collect my thoughts. Other times, a concept hits me like a ton of bricks. “Of course. That’s it!”
I don’t have it fully thought out, but one of the Next Big Things surely has to do with security-in-the-cloud: easier, faster, more seamless data security. For all.
I’m particularly aware of the need for secure communications and data encryption as a broker-dealer under the aegis of FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (think NASDAQ). All BLP’s FINRA work is conducted in my New Hampshire office (the Greater Boston Area), where BLP’s data and information is secure. As a FINRA member, I do not conduct any client business in a location that might be less than totally secure. Open doors, open offices, paper or communications lifted off of a communal printer or a desk in a co-working space all put data and information at risk. Or worse, a laptop lifted off your desk while you walk away momentarily to fetch a cup of coffee (the laptop has a different solution).
While the cloud may have set us free, it also has brought us data seepage. How do we protect the information between our company’s computers and our cloud vendor’s site?
Two companies have made enough progress in creating a solution to come to my attention: PerspecSys and CipherCloud. These are cloud companies that offer data encryption, ensuring secure communications of sensitive data. While they have different approaches, both Companies provide cloud security software for enterprises.
PerspecSys, assists in protecting sensitive business data on popular cloud applications such as Oracle CRM On Demand and Salesforce.com. It claims to integrate into an enterprise SaaS or PaaS (Platform as a Service). PerspecSys is installed inside an organization or its Managed Servicer Provider, such as Fujitsu or Amazon AWS. The PerspecSys gateway resides transparently between the application and its users. PerspecSys is located in Virginia, a prime location for security solution vendors.
CipherCloud was founded in 2010, and seems to be a bit ahead, providing solutions for a myriad of applications such as Microsoft Office 365, Gmail, box, force.com and chatter. CipherCloud’s protection controls include encryption, tokenization, activity monitoring, data loss prevention (DLP) and malware detection. CipherCloud is located in the Bay Area, with the obvious credentials of a highly regarded Silicon Valley firm.
We are watching this area with interest. We, as a business, are focused on solutions for smaller businesses that require heavy duty information security. As an M&A house, we are focused on enterprise solutions that can build major, influential businesses.
Large and powerful companies will emerge from this space. Large companies will acquire the market leaders. It’s too crucial an area not to.
As an aside, while not germane to this post, we couldn’t help but notice that all of CipherCloud’s executives are males, pictured on the Firm’s websitee in dark black suits and blue or red ties. How are they going to sell to companies with female IT Directors? We observe and take notes.