Sometimes it’s Easy to Keep an Open Mind

Wednesday was a long day — in the good sense. I spent the day at Dropbox Open, Dropbox’s first user conference, representing Centrify as both a newly announced Premier Partner, and as a sponsor of the event. The day started around 8am, and ended… let’s just say it was a new day when I eventually left the party. I’ve finally recouped, and my mind is buzzing!

Dropbox openAs a sponsor, we had some insight into what the event was about, but as the first user conference, you never know exactly what to expect. The speaker list looked great, and didn’t disappoint! From partner guests Marc, Meg & Eddy, to customer speakers from News Corp and National Geographic, and insightful breakout sessions the whole day, I learned a lot, and am excited at the future of collaboration.

I heard some things that weren’t necessarily new, but I heard them in a new way, and that certainly got me thinking. For example, Patrick Heim, head of trust and security, stated that “Shadow IT is the new IT.” He hypothesized that each organization must chose between three basic options: to Ignore shadow IT, to Fight against Shadow IT, or to Embrace and Manage Shadow IT. With the solid and expanding security options, the latter is certainly the obvious (and some would argue only) route to go.

With the expanding ecosystem of security partners, embracing Shadow IT is really an attractive choice. First off, Identity and device management solutions, such as Centrify Identity Service, ensure that accessing sensitive data is simple, seamless and secure — across all devices. Analytics and DLP solutions, such as our CASB partners Adallom, CloudLock, Elastica, Netskope, Skyhigh Networks (all are mutual partners) along with Imperva Skyfence, ensure that user behavior is monitored, and policies are enforced. DRM solutions like nCrypted Cloud and Vera can actually lock down each file stored in Dropbox to ensure only the right people have access, even if the file leaves Dropbox. Now with support for HIPAA compliance, Dropbox offers a platform that truly fosters collaboration, securely. And with such a large ecosystem of approved security partners, Dropbox’s new Partner Network should give customers piece of mind when deploying new joint solutions. While many have sought after “closed” solutions, it’s nice to see how great “open” can be.

Dropbox COO

There were some exciting new announcements to mention; Dropbox Enterprise, for example, builds upon Dropbox for Business’ great track record with some new and innovative features that, above all, help drive adoption. After all, if you’re going to pay for something, don’t you want people to use it? I think the answer is a resounding yes, and the beta customers for Dropbox Enterprise agree — 80% of their users adopted Dropbox for Enterprise right away.

Dropbox and Centrify party

With Centrify for Dropbox, we’re helping organizations deploy Dropbox Enterprise quickly and securely. We enable organizations to integrate their existing corporate directory, manage access to Dropbox from all devices, and enforce security policy with adaptive multi-factor authentication and integration with the leading Cloud Access & Security Brokers. To help customers get up and running quickly, we even offer the Centrify for Dropbox single-app edition for free! We will also support Dropbox’s new EMM initiative in 2016.

Organizations certainly have a lot of options when it comes to enabling their employees, partners and customers. Balancing collaboration with security, the future of work looks truly exciting; especially for the teams working for Dropbox’s 150,000 business customers.