Covata CEO: New Safe Share Cloud Platform Is Key To Data Security

Covata, a publicly traded company in Australia, entered the U.S. market a couple of years ago with a cloud solution focused on enforcing policies that keep files under tight visibility and control.

Now the data security vendor has launched its next-generation cloud platform for integrating data security into workflows and sells an enterprise-grade file sharing and collaboration tool called Safe Share built on the underlying platform.

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"The key piece is that we do something a little different from most others. We combine a process of key management and we tie that to an identity, so you have to prove who you are to receive keys to encrypt or decrypt, add policy and access control, which gets checked against a list," said Trent Telford, founder and CEO of Covata.

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Telford, who founded Covata eight years ago, said the company does a lot of business with government and financial services clients for which sharing sensitive and confidential data is necessary -- and fraught with risks.

What's worse, employees often download apps, share files or introduce their own cloud solutions such as Box and Dropbox without management's approval, he said, "and I can tell you in this space doing financial services and government, you don't want to be out there."

To protect against those files becoming compromised, Covata's software issues keys for accessing data on a onetime basis after vetting users. The company's surveillance umbrella also includes the capability to rescind or retract data -- administrators can pull back a file that was improperly sent or shared with no trace left on the recipient's side. The software also facilitates data governance by providing visibility into interactions involving protected files, Telford said.

Since Covata moved into the U.S. market, it has been rolling out the security solution exclusively through a network of telecom and MSP partners.

In Europe, Covata just reached a deal with T-Systems, a global IT services and consulting subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, that will expand its reach into the enterprise market.

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Jean-Marc Jefferson, operations director at NSC Global, was familiar with Covata's security point solution from when he worked as global vice president for logistics at Accenture.

"Bottom line is we needed to share both raw data and the information outputs among four separate companies while protecting client data. Clearly, this needed a level of security in sharing data beyond the capabilities of most current software sharing packages," Jefferson told CRN.

"[Covata] gave me the final piece of the jigsaw that enabled safe, quick, efficient sharing of information at the document level. I felt that no company was better placed than Covata to provide this capability in software," Jefferson told CRN.

Now as a Covata partner, NSC Global helps MSPs and systems integrators implement the Covata platform. NSC Global brings the solution to those clients with a SaaS model and charges based on consumption.

"More and more corporations need to share information securely on a project basis, and with a number of outside organizations. All of this activity requires the secure sharing of client data at the document level. Maintaining security of information is critical for many reasons, such as security, industrial espionage, regulatory needs, compliance and data protection," Jefferson told CRN.

NSC Global sees a multibillion-dollar market for secure document sharing.

"We use it internally, we are currently in pilot phase with one of our service providers to upload it onto their electronic marketplace for them to sell to their clients as a service, and we have ongoing negotiations with a number of our systems integrator clients to provide various flavors of Covata-as-a-Service," Jefferson said.