Ben Sullivan speaks to Pravin Kothari and Dev Ghoshal on CipherCloud’s success
In a comfortable London hotel, sheltered from the howling autumnal winds of Fleet Street, CBR met up with Pravin Kothar, CEO and Founder of cloud security company CipherCloud and Dev Ghoshal, CipherCloud’s strategy guru.
Having just released its encryption for Box service, which pushes the company into further securing the information of 180,000 Box customers, CipherCloud is reporting massive growth, seeing a 200% year-on-year rise.
For a company that only started three years ago, this is an impressive achievement.
Growing demand for cloud security solutions has seen early demand for CipherCloud’s encryption platform grow so fast that a UK office and an Australian office have opened, with planned expansion of offices into mainland Europe to come next year.
"Demand is very high right now. Everybody wants to go to the Cloud," comments Pravin. "The cloud is going through explosive growth, and we are piggy backing that growth."
Surpassing the 2m user mark, up from a still large 1.2m in December 2012, what is behind the success of CipherCloud’s domination?
CipherCloud’s key product is a proxy server that applies 256-bit AES encryption to data before it is sent to cloud services including Salesforce.com, Chatter, Box, Microsoft Office 365, Google’s Gmail, and Amazon Web Services. It also offers extensions to support other applications and databases, and offers data loss prevention features that allow for the trapping of credit card and other confidential information that’s being sent out of the network.
By automating the encryption of data as it leaves the corporate network, Kothari said the tool is designed to help companies approach the adoption of cloud with confidence that their data can’t be compromised when stored on other companies’ systems.
"You have control of the data security; you have to have the key," explains Pravin. "We are basically bringing the control of information back to enterprise customers. They always had control of data before the cloud, but with the cloud coming in so fast, they have lost that control. We are shifting that control back to the customer where it belongs."
This solution has become very rewarding for CipherCloud following the summer’s NSA/PRISM spying revelations. "In the quarter that ended at the end of July, we grew 200 percent year on year."
The revelations have driven new demand for secure cloud-storage solutions, and whilst experts predict a $35bn loss for security companies, CipherCloud is picking up the pieces by snapping up competition eager to fly forward into the cloud whilst still having their data protected.
On-house encryption of the data also addresses another concern, that of data-sovereignty. CipherCloud ensures protection of data even when stored offshore, so if foreign powers try to access the data, it won’t make sense anyway.
"You have full control of the information. It will be gibberish if any hackers or unwanted parties get to it."
With the revelations, we have seen the issue of cloud security elevated to a boardroom level.
"There are bosses coming down saying you cannot use Cloud to their companies. Or it has to be properly checked. Or it has to be secure. Cloud providers are losing out, so they’re coming to us for a bundled solution."
"With CipherCloud, we opened the flood gates. To have data, historically, on premise, to going to the cloud with us, it gives you a level of control of sensitive data. You’re saying ‘I have control of my security’."
It’s obvious enterprises and Cloud providers are also noting CipherCloud’s success.
"We are a subscription based company, and every customer has renewed, and every user has grown. That says it all," adds Dev.
In terms of reputation lost for companies that have been involved in data breaches, or handing over data to the NSA, it is difficult to really know how much it has or will affected them in numbers, but we do know that it has. Last week, Vodafone had a data-breach incident, with bad press all round for the company, ergo a negative impact on their reputation.
"If you use CipherCloud to encrypt your data, there is no need to alert your customers to a problem, as there won’t be one," says Pravin. "That’s the great thing about us, we’ll give you insurance, because you’ve taken the appropriate steps to secure the data," says Pravine.
Looking to the future for CipherCloud, the CEO tells us what we can expect.
"We are continually adding more and more. With the announcement of the latest Box extension we are very excited. Every market wants to go BYOD and capitalise on file-sharing. This is an important area for us."
"We’re also looking to expand the number of applications, we want a growth of 10x. Next year we’ll also see businesses and companies designing their own plug-ins for use with CipherCloud."