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Dropbox declared a “stealth invasion”

by Mark Adams, on December 9, 2014

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Dropbox declared a “stealth invasion”

Dropbox represents a “stealth invasion” threat to businesses, according to an IT director who picked Egnyte over the popular cloud storage app because he feared it was too big a security risk.

Head of IT at construction company Bowmer and Kirkland, Kevin McDonald, picked file-sharing tools from Egnyte over both Dropbox and Huddle to help his company share tender documents more effectively with bidders when hiring contractors for a project.

He said Egnyte is a more secure service than its rivals, deriding Dropbox as a threat to enterprise security.

He told Cloud Pro: “We sat down and looked at Dropbox and one of the things I was very conscious about was BYOD.

“There’s so many holes and viruses you can get from that that you then willingly allow onto your corporate network by saying ‘yes, here you come, c’mon plug your laptop in, here’s the password for the WiFi’.

“It’s like you walking in with a virus on your hands and shaking a load of people’s hands saying ‘oh there you go, there’s the virus, enjoy’. It’s sort of a stealth invasion.”

In contrast, he said, Egnyte’s hybrid cloud allows Bowmer and Kirkland to keep files on-premise, sharing documents internally and providing links to external partners that grant access to the files on their servers.


When embarking on a new construction project, Bowmer and Kirkland staff used to draw up tenders by printing out large documents such as blueprints and other drawings, sending them to bidding contractors.

This was a time-consuming, manual process of printing and then posting or couriering those documents to the contractors, also making it hard to identify different versions of projects when a contractor made changes to designs.

The firm decided to scrap this paper-based process and turn to file-sharing solutions to help improve its way of working, and found Egnyte best met its needs.

Egnyte allows IT teams to grant and restrict access to project files with the click of a button, according to McDonald, and has now been standardised across the construction firm’s 26 subsidiaries for more than 1,300 staff across the world.

Project managers and contractors can also review and edit large files from any device, and maintain strict version control of all documents, tracking changes made by contractors.


Rather than being a cloud-only tool, Egnyte's hybrid approach gave Bowmer and Kirkland the flexibility to decide whether to install Egnyte as network-attached storage (NAS) or on virtual machines (VMs) for each of its subsidiaries.

“We use a NetGear NAS if it’s only a small company or if it’s a large company we make use of VMware VNC [virtual network computing],” said McDonald. “We can either use a VM infrastructure or the ReadyNAS system.”

People using the Egnyte tool can then log onto a secure network portal to share links with external contractors.

He said this was the tool’s biggest draw over its rivals.

“Hybrid was a massive factor,” he said, claiming cloud-only file-sharing tools took too long to upload large files.

“Because of the size of the files, having a hybrid solution where you can have a network driver, you can drag and drop a load of information, it then synchronises in the background, and you can share something out, that’s a huge bonus.”

Another factor was security, with McDonald reiterating his preference for the tool over the likes of Dropbox because they may not have been sanctioned by IT.

“I find it quite scary when people don’t focus on their security policies and focus on ‘well it’s a massive cost saving by having a BYOD policy because we don’t have to outlay the capital cost’,” he said. “Does the capital cost outweigh what the actual costs will be when people are getting infiltrated?”


While McDonald said it has not sped up the process of hiring contractors, it has given the company the ability to contact more of them to provide a wider range of offers to the client.

That’s down to them being able to send the information out much faster than it took to post information in the mail, giving contractors more time to make bids.

“That gives the client a better price,” he said. “Probably some people who wouldn’t have tendered before may do now because they’ve got the information quicker.”