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SpiderOak Secures Enterprise Cloud Storage

SpiderOak is jumping from the consumer cloud storage market into the corporate space with two cloud offerings, for small to midsize businesses and for large enterprises. Security is based on what it calls "zero knowledge" privacy protection, in which the data is encrypted but the customer (not the vendor) controls the encryption keys.

The first offering, SpiderOak Blue, enables a company IT administrator to distribute accounts to employees so that they can back up work documents and other files. The service integrates with network directories such as LDAP and Microsoft Active Directory, as well as with RSA’s SecurID protection. The product supports Windows 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems, as well as Linux and Apple Mac systems. The service is intended for smal to midsize businesses and sells for $400 per terabyte of storage per month.

The second offering, SpiderOak Blue+, is for enterprises and adds features such as the ability to decouple passwords from encryption. It also gives company administrators "master keys" to access employee accounts because, in the enterprise, the data employees store in the cloud is the property of the business. The enterprise edition also adds support for RedHat Directory Server, in addition to LDAP and Active Directory.

To further secure a company’s data, with Blue+ a SpiderOak virtual machine is installed on the corporate network so data stays within the firewall and doesn’t traverse the public Internet.

Blue+ sells for $600 per terabyte per month.

With the company's zero knowledge security, the customer retains ownership of their data, says CEO Ethan Oberman. "Because we don’t see the data on the server we have no visibility into it and, thus, no ownership." Even if law enforcement came with a subpoena to SpiderOak to get access to a customer’s data, the company couldn’t provide it.

There is a growing threat that cloud storage could be poised to displace SAN and NAS technologies in the enterprise, but security is a major concern. According to a recent report from InformationWeek Research, State of Storage 2012, 79% of 313 survey respondents still have major concerns about security with cloud-based storage services, while 52% (down slightly from 55% for 2011) have reliability and availability concerns.

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