The bring-your-own-device trend in the work world is now very well understood. But that’s not to say that businesses have fully come to terms with it. Indeed, as more employees carry work data with them on their mobile devices, and high-profile security breaches continue to remind us of the vulnerability of our networks and devices, companies are paying more attention to the need to secure important documents on the go, regardless of the user's location and device. But just how to do that remains a question mark for many organizations. TMCnet recently spoke with WatchDox CEO Moti Rafalin about the challenges and solutions on this front.
Who is WatchDox and how and when did it get its start?
Rafalin: WatchDox was founded in 2007. The company’s founders had been working in business development and product management positions in various companies and had incidents of potential clients or partners forwarding specs and restricted design materials of coming products to competitors. We simply had a need for a light solution to these problems that could be implemented immediately and was easy to use – but we couldn’t find any.
All the available solutions were cumbersome digital rights management products that were too costly and had too many limitations that didn’t fit external sharing (installations, passwords, heavy infrastructure). Additionally, as is becoming even more clear now, DRM products did not address mobile device needs. We started asking ourselves how big is this need, and we found that many people in organizations similar to ours would use a product providing document protection, tracking and control if and only if it were easy to use.
What’s your background and the experience of the other key WatchDox execs?
Rafalin: WatchDox is led by a strong team with many years of experience in enterprise software and security. [I have] an extensive background in enterprise software from [my] time at EMC, where [I] was a general manager of a software business unit. Noam Livant, co-founder and vice president of product, is a veteran of RSA’s Cyota and has deep knowledge of authentication and SaaS. Adi Ruppin, chief technology officer, was founder and CEO of SofaWare, an Internet security company acquired by Check Point. He was also a founding member of BeInSync, an online backup and synchronization company acquired by Phoenix Technologies.
Ryan Kalember, chief marketing officer, brings years of experience in a variety of roles in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Ryan has an extensive background in information security including stints at HP, ArcSight and VeriSign. He also co-founded two security start-ups, one that was acquired and another that was contributed to the open source community.
Tom Aitchison, executive vice president of sales, served as the executive vice president of worldwide sales at InQuira. Prior to that he was senior vice president of sales at Comergent Technologies, where strong growth and results lead to acquisition by Sterling Commerce/ATT and where Tom subsequently lead a team of 400 employees for North American field operations at Sterling Commerce ATT. Tom served as the general manager and vice president, sales for webMethods and held vice president-level sales roles at Kinzan, Live Picture and McAfee.
WatchDox investors and board of directors include prominent industry figures. Chairman Shlomo Kramer co-founded Check Point (the inventor of the firewall) and is founder and CEO of Imperva, a leading data security company. The board also includes Daniel Cohen, partner at Gemini Israel Funds, a leading venture capital firm, and Dave Berman, often referred to as the third founder of WebEx.
What specifically does WatchDox sell?
Rafalin: WatchDox technology establishes a new paradigm in securing organizations’ most important assets – their documents. The proliferation of tablets and smartphones, along with increased sharing and collaboration, means that sensitive documents may be anywhere and on any device, putting highly sensitive and regulated information at serious risk.
WatchDox has developed new document-centric security technology that allows organizations to control their documents, wherever they go, on any tablet, smartphone or PC (managed or not). Deployed as a cloud service or as an on-premises appliance, WatchDox gives enterprises the power to restrict users from downloading, copying, printing or forwarding documents. It also provides granular tracking and audit trails with the ability to destroy documents remotely – even after they have been downloaded.
What makes it unique?
Rafalin: WatchDox is designed with ease of use as a primary consideration. To further ensure successful deployment and adoption, WatchDox seamlessly integrates into enterprise systems and applications like SharePoint and salesforce.com, making WatchDox the rare security measure that enables users to be more productive. By contrast, legacy security solutions have failed to adapt to today’s collaborative and mobile world; they are unable to secure documents once they have been downloaded onto a mobile device or once they have gone beyond the firewall. Mobile device management solutions are device-centric and do not address the security of specific documents stored on these mobile devices. Additionally, these solutions are not effective when it comes to the growing bring-your-own-device trend and are incapable of securing collaboration with any third-party non-managed devices.
In addition to simply securing documents, WatchDox provides a platform for securely accessing, viewing and collaborating on documents across tablets, smartphones and PCs. The platform enables a wide variety of solutions, from secure board and executive communications and virtual data rooms to secure investor communications. WatchDox also integrates with enterprise systems to add seamless protection and control to documents residing on those systems.
Who is your target customer?
Rafalin: WatchDox currently services more than 15,000 companies. Key markets include financial services (banks, private equity, alternative asset management), pharmaceuticals and health care, and government.
How many customers or seats does WatchDox serve today?
Rafalin:WatchDox is used by hundreds of thousands of end users.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO, click here.
Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.