Expert Interview Series: David Gillard of Pydio on Best Practices for Cloud-Based Storage
by Jaap van Duijvenbode on August 15, 2017
David Gillard, Chief Operating Officer at Pydio, is a French serial entrepreneur and expert in Cloud Computing.
We recently asked David about Pydio and his insight on Cloud Computing– especially how organizations can make sure to protect their assets while also taking advantage of Cloud-based storage options. Here's what he shared:
Tell us about the mission behind Pydio. How are you hoping to impact the world of Cloud Computing?
Pydio is one of the largest open source File Sharing project for the Enterprise. It provides a unified file sharing and synchronization solution that works cross platforms (Mac, Linux, Windows, iOS, Android…). It can be deployed on many storage backends, including Amazon S3, Samba and Dropbox. The user interface is based on Google's Material Design, making it a pleasure to work with. For administrators, the fine-grained access rights are a powerful tool for configuring access to assets. Pydio is the right tool to help the Enterprise move to a more hybrid file sharing and collaboration, by leveraging existing storage infrastructure with Cloud-based storage.
Can you tell us about the common risks organizations face when using the cloud to store company data?
Public cloud is obviously a very interesting option as far as costs are concerned. But with public cloud infrastructures, users do not really control or own their data. The main problem is that it is impossible for them to know where their data is physically stored– and therefore know how their data is protected– or track a potential hack. Besides, many providers have legal terms implying that users do not have full ownership over the data they store in public clouds. We give them public cloud ease of use with the security they need.
What best practices should organizations be implementing in order to ensure the data they're storing on the cloud is secure?
They should make a clear choice between public cloud, private cloud and on-premise storage.
Cost and scalability are important variables, but they must be considered according to the security risk that lies in each choice of infrastructure. The price of a data breach can be huge, especially now that there are strong regulations coming from the EU and applying to all actors (especially with the new GDPR, stating that organizations responsible for serious infringements to data security can be fined to up to 4 percent of their revenue)
Therefore, corporations should have a clear data policy, they can store non-risky data in public clouds, but they should choose a more secure infrastructure for sensitive data, depending on the confidentiality issues and/or regulatory constraints they face.
How should organizations instruct their employees/users on cloud security? Why should this be a priority for all parts of an organization?
This will be key in the coming years. Shadow IT, namely the use of public cloud file-sharing solutions by employees, is one IT Department’s nightmare.
Most of security issues occur because of human errors and a lack of vigilance, very often grounded in the non-respect of IT security rules.
Educating employees and enforcing data security policy, in addition to the choice of secure, reliable infrastructure, will be a huge challenge for many organizations, that will face financial risks in case they do not comply with new regulations.
What are the most common mistakes you see organizations making in this area?
Many IT Departments have been tolerant with the behavior of their employee– first because IT security was not a priority for many companies, and second because savings were made over the security of a company’s data. Therefore, many companies rather had their employees use free, non-secure file sharing solutions, rather than invest in a secure, easy to monitor solution.
But again, this is changing.
While companies want to ensure their data is secure, they also often want to make sure it's available for collaborative efforts within their organization. How do organizations strike a balance between security and access?
Storage is key. If you know where your data is stored, you can decide which level of security you want for it. Today there are many collaboration tools that have risen as alternatives to public cloud collaboration tools. The gap between security and flexibility of access is getting narrower.
How has cloud computing impacted the way organizations collaborate and share files? What have been the benefits?
Cloud Computing has accelerated the trend to dematerialize many processes within corporations, by bringing instant and flexible access to resources. It also favored the development of remote work and distant collaboration, by allowing employees to access their files anywhere, any time.
What cloud computing trends or innovations are you following especially as they relate to collaboration? Why do they interest you?
I follow serverless computing, it’s the future. Developers don’t want to take care of infrastructure.
I’m also quite interested by ways we could leverage the capacity of blockchain technology to enable distributed storage and smart contracts linked to cryptocurrencies (like Ethereum).
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