Accellion Upgrades File Sharing Platform with Shadow IT Controls

The new features add to a platform of capabilities that allow end users to access and share content stored in a wide range of on-premises and cloud-based content repositories and critical business systems.

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Mobile enterprise file sharing and collaboration provider Accellion has added no-code-needed improvements that it claims enable better secured sharing capabilities in its Kiteworks content platform.

By the way, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company wants to brand the platform as kiteworks (lower case), but that may be difficult for some customers and media outlets to remember and/or understand.

The new features released Nov. 1 add to a platform of capabilities that allow end users to access and share content stored in a wide range of on-premises and cloud-based content repositories and critical business systems. Accellion prides itself upon its security expertise in data-sharing use cases and its ability to alert administrators to the use of shadow IT.

Key features introduced include:

  • Automation suite: This is an automation agent that allows organizations to integrate Kiteworks into existing business processes and build workflows around file transfer without writing code. Enterprises can now automate workflows that would otherwise be time consuming, “high-touch” processes.

For example, a remote healthcare clinic can send patient test results to an external specialist for review, secure the transfer, notify on-call doctors and move the files to a folder accessible by only authorized users–all automatically with no customized code. A complete audit trail also is generated to meet HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) compliance.

The new automation agent augments the APIs (application programming interfaces) and SFTP (secure file transfer protocol) interfaces available in prior Kiteworks versions.

  • Shadow IT controls for governance over cloud storage: IT departments can now control employee access to public cloud storage providers so that users are able to utilize these services in accordance with internal policies. Solutions supported include Dropbox, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online, Google Drive and Box. By channeling connections to these services through Kiteworks, organizations can apply role-based policies, generate a full audit trail to demonstrate compliance, use their existing DLP solutions to prevent sensitive content from being uploaded to unauthorized solutions (shadow IT) and scan incoming files from customers or partners with advanced threat prevention (ATP) technologies as they are downloaded.
  • Navigate between collaboration modes, from email to file transfer to folder sharing: Users can now share and collaborate with external partners using a unified solution that covers a variety of file-sharing models. After sending a file securely to external partners through email, recipients can now reply securely within the context of the email chain. If the interaction would benefit from collaborative editing, the users can easily move to a shared folder. Regardless of how files are shared, all actions are captured in auditable logs.
  • Access files directly from Microsoft Office applications: Users now have the ability to open, edit and save files through Kiteworks directly from within the desktop and mobile versions of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint–using connected content stores across the enterprise for access and storage. A new Office plugin allows secure file sharing without leaving the authoring application, adding to the earlier integration with Microsoft Outlook for sending attachments securely.

Accellion’s platforms have been used by more than 25 million users and more than 3,000 corporations and government agencies, including NYC Health + Hospitals, KPMG, Kaiser Permanente, Latham & Watkins, National Park Service, Cargill and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).

The Kiteworks 3 update is available now for existing customers or new deployments. For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...