Cross-platform data security startup Vera, which shortened its name from Veradocs—freeing it from a documents-only public image—has exited stealth mode to launch both itself and its home-developed, cloud-based security software for enterprises.
The year-old startup, which had been in beta trials for about a dozen customers until it went GA (general availability) on April 8, literally breaks down IT security to its common denominator: the protection of each file individually by putting it into a secure wrapper. No matter where the file goes, it cannot be viewed by a hacker inside any IT system without the key for the file.
Yet Vera is not exclusively about protecting individual files; the software provides a way for users to protect all their digital content wherever it is moved.
Name Means ‘Truth’ in Latin
Vera, which means “truth” in Latin and is the core of the term “verify,” ostensibly is providing a promising new data- and file-centric security that may be able to succeed where conventional IT network security leaves off. Venture capitalists certainly are believers; the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company secured $14 million in Series A funding last November.
“No matter that companies seem to be spending millions of dollars to prevent data breaches, they [breaches] seem to be accelerating,” CEO and founder Ajay Arora told eWEEK. “We live in a world where the perimeter [of enterprise IT defense] is completely collapsing.
“The kind of solutions that exist—they still do the same things they’ve been doing for the last 20 or 30 years. The knee-jerk reaction is to be able to plug the hole, because the notion is to keep the data inside the boundaries.”
Right now, securing the perimeter is like playing “whack-a-mole,” Arora said. As soon as one problem is fixed, another one pops up. So Vera has abandoned the entire conventional structure and come up with its own approach, which revolved around the idea of a “borderless enterprise,” Arora said.
It starts with military-grade encryption on data wherever it is—on any device or in transit. The often-problematic encryption is not an issue; Vera makes it automatic, so users don’t notice it. One of Vera’s selling points is that it does its job without users having to change their usual course of work, Arora said.
Vera then enables several controls for users—including setting a “time-bomb” expiration date, limiting the file to read-only, or even disallowing the file to be copied and pasted. Services such as Box, Huddle, Dropbox and EMC Syncplicity also offer some of this control, but they only work within their own environments. Vera attaches its controls to the documents as they move from place to place.
IT managers who have been tearing their hair out trying to deal with employees dropping enterprise documents into “shadow IT” cloud storage such as Box, Dropbox, Carbonite and many others wouldn’t have to worry with Vera, because an enterprise instance of Vera for each employee protects the files separately from the cloud storage service.
All of an enterprise’s files can be managed and accounted for by the enterprise using this software, no matter what device is being used.
Current Approaches Not Working
“It’s clear that current [data security] strategies aren’t working. The conflict between ensuring strong levels of security while preserving usability remains largely unsolved for organizations. The problem only gets worse as the number of data loss vectors in the enterprise accelerates and cloud and mobile adoption go mainstream,” said IDC analyst Carla Arend.
“Vera aims to take a different approach to tackling data protection across the enterprise by balancing data security; usability and user choice; and providing remote policy enforcement and control to the IT department.”
Vera was co-founded by Arora and CTO Prakash Linga in early 2014. Arora and Linga had previously co-founded RAPsphere, a mobile security company acquired by AppSense in 2012.