*This article has been published for Cloudwards here and credited to yours truly.
Here’s an interesting development at Cloud-based storage giant, Dropbox: Users can now store their files via Dropbox and be HIPAA compliant at the same time!
Dropbox recently teamed u with San Mateo-based startup firm, Sookasa, to introduce a new compliance layer for storing files on the cloud.
Sookasa, a compliance service for cloud products is comprised of security experts including a former Israeli Intelligence commander and former employees from companies the likes of IBM, Cisco and Google. Joining the Sookasa team is Accel’s Sameer Gandhi, who previously led early investment in security software provider, SourceFire and Dropbox.
Better Protection Against Confidential Files On The Cloud
Unlike average users, individuals working in regulated industries such as health care, education or financial services are required to use tools that are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA. HIPAA has control over who accesses certain files on the system; the act also requires auditing on individuals who opened the files at any given time.
Dropbox and most cloud storage service providers are not HIPAA compliant by default. Sookasa aims to change all that by offering a “transparent layer of security” for such clouds storage systems in a straightforward, user-friendly process.
So here’s how the new integration works: A Sookasa folder will show up on your Dropbox account. From this folder, you can store any file you want to encrypt and protect. No extra step needed. All files with be encrypted, audited and are access controlled automatically. Even if the file is shared on Dropbox, it won’t be accessible to anyone without an encryption key.
According to Sookasa cofounder and Chief Executive, Asaf Cidon, the move to offer better file security was prompted by the gradual shift from personal computing to mobile or multiple devices as well as the growing trend of using cloud-based storage systems.
In addition, persistent problems related to device loss and scattering of files by cloud storage services have cause of concern for highly regulated industries. With the instruction of Sookasa’s newest security innovation, the risk of a privacy breach is minimized because users can remotely wipe access to files, giving privacy sensitive companies more control over who gets to access their data.
The Future of Sookasa
It’s also interesting to note that Sookasa offers flexibility in terms of how users want to use the service. Companies who deal with sensitive data are encouraged to keep the storage provider and encryption providers separate to further bolster protection against unauthorized access and alleviate concern regarding privacy breach liability.
Apart from boosting privacy, the service also offers administrative capabilities such as setting polices and the ability to either grant or remove access to specific users. Sookasa’s service is priced at 10/month or $100/year per member, backed up with a 30-day free trial. The company is also set to offer a free version of the service which may include personal encryption though administrative dashboard or compliance feature will not be included in the package.
At the moment, Sookasa is the first software firm to introduce such service and holds the patents for the technology. Sookasa integrates the service with Dropbox as both companies share an investor. However, Sookasa promises to bring the technology to other platforms in the near future.