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If you watched this season of Silicon Valley or work at any tech company you know that data, patents and other intellectual property become the center of lawsuits on an almost daily basis. The most recent being this whole Uber / Google / Waymo fiasco. These data breaches are usually tied to employees and a severe lack of system controls. There is a really industry standard but perceptively boring term for that so I’ll skip to a company working to prevent these data breaches — Egnyte.

“Egnyte Protect is built around identifying content exposures before they become a problem, using content analytics that we have built from observing people’s collaboration habits over the last 10 years,” Egnyte Chief Strategy Officer Isabelle Guis tells me via email. She goes on to state the types of things Egnyte protects, saving me another paragraph. “We are able to find the most sensitive pieces of data — credit card information, social security numbers, confidential project files, etc. — and make sure they are being kept in the right place and handled by the right people, at all times. With more content being generated by humans each day and technology maturing alongside, our future is filled with endless possibilities.”

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The future is of course a myriad of possible pasts, dimensional shifts and a neverending debate as to whether we’re in the Matrix or Total Recall or a wicked Terry Gilliam fantasy.

Egnyte Protect Helps Prevent Your Company From Getting Pwned By Data Breaches

In its current form, when it senses a data breach or possible f-up by Ed down in the bowels of the accounting department, Egnyte Protect tells the admin immediately and lets them make an immediate fix to protect the data. These could even be simple breaches, from idiot marketers who somehow put a credit card in an Excel spreadsheet or someone posting a public link to an unreleased dataset. As for the Uber vs. Waymo reference, Egnyte made an adorable little video:

While that video isn’t exactly Schoolhouse Rocks level of informative, it did make a point. Companies tend to run a bit fast and loose with proprietary data and intellectual property — especially when it comes to employee trust. Not to mention that it takes time to identify these breaches — time and money. Money better spent preventing breaches so lawyers don’t have to be called. So you don’t end up having to hear about dirt-bags like Jack Devlin chasing down systems analysts because some employee couldn’t manage not to steal a floppy disk.

The next iteration of Egnyte Protect is where it gets interesting. Using machine learning, Egnyte will be able to discern which employees are of the greatest risk of data mishaps (Ed in accounting, we’re looking at you) and keep the information technology team appraised. For instance, based on the actions of employees, Egnyte will assign as score to be able to pinpoint individuals instead of entire departments when someone screws up (intentionally or otherwise).

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Human error can be excused, but a risk score assigned to this human error so that IT can tell that Ed, who just got married and is a bit distracted at work, is unwittingly a data security risk. Perhaps Ed could then be moved off sensitive projects and onto some stapling or collating. Behaviors that could contribute to a higher risk score could be sharing data at odd times, downloading large amounts of files, or opening stuff randomly from different IPs. So Egnyte would be able to sniff out governance problems before they exist. Become someone accidentally shares an entire folder of SSNs, credit card numbers or HIPAA data.

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Egnyte Protect Helps Prevent Your Company From Getting Pwned By Data Breaches

“It is a fact that every organization, small or large, has sensitive content in their possession,” says Egnyte CEO and Co-Founder Vineet Jain. The other side of that quote is very sales-pitchy, the gist being that Egnyte Protect, as a governance tool, can assist in protecting sensitive content. That much is pretty clear and most likely a huge selling point. Who doesn’t want to protect their data? What company is operating with such hubris that data protection isn’t of the utmost importance? There are companies that can help, you don’t have to keep everything on a tape backup hidden in the basement, far away from Ed in accounting