OwnCloud Raises New Funds, Improves Cloud File Security

Open-source cloud file sharing gets an enterprise boost with a new release from OwnCloud.

cloud security

Cloud file storage, sharing and synchronization vendor OwnCloud is aiming to accelerate its market adoption and growth, with a new enterprise release and a new round of funding.

OwnCloud is set to formally announce on March 13 that it has closed a $6.3 million Series A round of funding led by Devonshire Investors and General Catalyst Partners. Total funding for OwnCloud to date now stands at $10.1 million.

"The money will be used to manage growth," Frank Karlitschek, CTO and co-founder of OwnCloud, told eWEEK. "We’ll be adding developers as well as sales and marketing."

The OwnCloud technology is rooted in the OwnCloud open-source project on which the commercial OwnCloud Enterprise release is built. As a commercial entity, OwnCloud was formed in 2011 to offer enterprise service and technology.

The new OwnCloud Enterprise 6 release officially debuted March 11 providing users with new security and integration options.

Integration with enterprise directory systems that use Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is also improved in the new OwnCloud Enterprise 6 release.

"LDAP integration existed before, but OwnCloud 6 has a significantly improved configuration interface to make it more flexible but also very easy to configure," Karlitschek said. "The enterprise edition also ships with an LDAP home directory integration feature, which makes integration into other storage system easier."

Going a step further, OwnCloud Enterprise 6 now includes full Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) integration, which provides for easier single sign-on (SSO) access. SSO systems enable enterprise users to sign into enterprise services with a single authentication system.


Security is also being improved in OwnCloud Enterprise 6, thanks to a new file firewall capability that provides access controls to files. Karlitschek explained that the file firewall is an application-layer firewall and as such is more robust than just a typical iptables Linux firewall.

"Firewall rules can be defined based on user groups, file type, file path, access type, device, time, IP and more," Karlitschek said. "For example, employees in the marketing department can sync xls (Excel spreadsheet) files from the VIP folder only if they are using a company notebook and are on the VPN."

Though the OwnCloud Enterprise 6 has an application layer file firewall, it's not a full data loss prevention (DLP) technology yet. Karlitschek noted that OwnCloud developers are currently working on further capabilities including a remote-wipe functionality. Another future feature that OwnCloud is working on is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance.

Karlitschek is also planning on further integrations with commonly deployed enterprise systems like Microsoft Sharepoint.

"OwnCloud will provide a complete data access layer for all storage back-ends," Karlitschek said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.