August 17, 2016   |   by Doug Benson

Collaborate in Microsoft Office with the Syncplicity App Tab

The pace of today’s collaborative work often requires editing files that are shared among multiple people. But collaborating with others in real-time can create problems. Does someone else have the document open right now? Will my changes get overwritten? Am I looking at the latest version?

There have been several approaches to this problem, including real-time editing within a browser. But the vast majority of Enterprise documents are created and edited in desktop versions of Microsoft Office applications. These applications are the gold standard, and present in nearly every office environment worldwide. So Syncplicity set out to address the real-time viewing and editing problem directly at the source.

The Syncplicity App Tab is a collaboration feature that works with desktop versions of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, from Office 2007 through Office 2016 (included with Office 365). The App Tab was introduced in the Syncplicity desktop client version 4.1.0 for Windows. In future releases we will bring the feature to Mac and mobile clients as well.

When you use Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint to open a file inside a shared folder, the Syncplicity App Tab displays. The App Tab helps you avoid accidental file conflicts when collaborating on shared files, with visible notifications when a file’s status changes. Popup notifications display directly inside Microsoft Office when other people view a file that you are also viewing, when someone else starts editing that file, or when a newer version of that file becomes available.

Learn More

Get an entertaining and in-depth tour of the new App Tab in just over 7 minutes by watching our Syncplicity App Tab Video Guide. Amaze your friends! We also created a written guide to Using the Syncplicity App Tab, if reading is more your thing.

Enjoy collaborating with the Syncplicity App Tab, and send us feedback!

August 1, 2016   |   by Brian W Levine

Ransomware Prevention & Recovery with Syncplicity

To say ransomware is a growing threat is an understatement.  With multiple public warnings from US and European law enforcement, a growing tally of high-profile incidents, and new guidance on HIPAA breach notifications, business leaders across industries are justifiably nervous.  While there is no foolproof way to prevent an attack, there are measures you can put in place today to better defend against this new and very destructive type of malware. Additionally, when an attack does slip through the defenses, a quick recovery is possible if you have a solid remediation plan in place.

As the saying goes, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. With that adage in mind, here are a few practical guidelines you and your organization should implement today, to get the maximum ransomware prevention and recovery mileage from Syncplicity. Be sure to check out the links below for detailed instructions to implement these tips.

Back-Up Files in Real-Time

While there is no single solution for preventing ransomware attacks, a consistent recommendation from experts across the industry is ‘Backup, Backup, Backup’. For most enterprise users (and consumers), that’s easier said than done.  It’s a behavior that often requires extra manual steps and backup jobs that usually never complete.  However, with Syncplicity, continuous backup is easy and seamless. Files and folders are backed up automatically in real-time, meaning you start syncing all your folders just once and move on, eliminating worries about data loss.

Utilize Multi-Folder Sync

Our unique EFSS feature, Multi-Folder Sync, allows users to back up every folder on their desktop automatically.  The design of this features allows users and admins to sync all files and folders in place without moving them to a “magic folder.”  In the unfortunate event your company or a user is breached by ransomware, they have back-ups of every file in every folder on Syncplicity, not just the few files they remembered to copy to the single “magic” sync folder of other EFSS solutions. 

We recommend that you educate your users to sync all their critical files and folders, including Desktop and My Documents. As an administrator, you also have the ability to proactively specify the sync of any desktop folders to ensure that your corporate users are safe. 

Establish an Enterprise Retention Policy

The most common ransomware variants attack by deleting files and replacing them with renamed encrypted versions, or by retaining filenames and encrypting the contents in place. In both cases, Syncplicity retention policies will enable you to ensure the files can be recovered.

The Syncplicity deleted files retention policy allows you to retain deleted files forever or for a specified time period, so that your original files can be retrieved after they are deleted by ransomware. Administrators should also review your file versions retention policy which controls how long prior versions of a file are saved after they have been edited or overwritten.

Exclude Risky File Types

To contain and stop the spread of an attack, administrators can block problem file types from syncing.  Syncplicity File Type Exclusion Policy gives you the ability to preemptively block known crypto document types, for example those with the .locky and .crypt filename extension, and also block potentially malicious executables such as .vbs, .scr, and .exe.

Eliminate or Reduce Email Attachments

Ransomware often enters a system via email when a user unknowingly sets it loose within the organization by opening an infected attachment. One way to reduce your organization’s risk is to train employees to use Syncplicity to share links to files rather than opening documents directly from their email clients. The Syncplicity Outlook Add-In automatically transforms email attachments to links or users can copy a Syncplicity shared link into the body of an email message.

Establish a Recovery Plan

The restoration process after a ransomware attack can be time consuming and costly resulting in significant business impact.  The attackers are betting that you’ll pay the ransom to get business moving again. However, with Syncplicity, the most critical component of your remediation strategy, recovery of the locked files, is covered.

With your retention policies and multi-folder sync now in place, users can restore files to prior unlocked versions and restore deleted files using the Syncplicity interface.

Enterprises that have been hit with system-wide breaches impacting multiple users and thousands of files should contact Syncplicity for assistance.

As the ROI continues to be attractive for attackers, it will likely be some-time before the current wave of ransomware attacks subsides. By following industry guidance and the strategies outlined above you can avoid being the next victim in the headlines.

Knowledge Articles

April 28, 2016   |   by Brian W Levine

Syncplicity Releases European Cloud Storage

April 2016 has been an exciting month for the privacy community! Legislators in Europe up-voted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), down-voted EU-US Privacy Shield and wait for it… Syncplicity quietly launched European Cloud Storage!

Syncplicity is excited to announce the general availability of European (EU) Cloud Storage. This enables Syncplicity users to choose the physical location of their cloud file storage to meet regional privacy and data sovereignty concerns. With a single-click, customers define their preferred cloud storage region and enterprise admins can configure multiple storage locations for their global user-base.

Data Sovereignty has become increasingly important amidst the wake of Safe Harbor, and companies need cloud solutions that enable them to maintain the highest levels of visibility and control over their data. While data regulators have rejected the EU-US Privacy Shield agreement, global enterprises must ensure they remain in compliance with regional privacy laws, protect employee personal information, and preserve the confidentiality of valuable corporate intellectual property.

Syncplicity enterprise customers have always had a choice for their storage region with hybrid cloud StorageVaults, and our new EU Cloud Storage option provides additional capability to scale quickly and meet global information governance requirements.

A First for the EFSS Market

Syncplicity’s model is unique in providing a ‘single pane of glass’ end-user experience, while providing maximum visibility and control for IT to choose the right storage location, based on national sovereignty, data sensitivity, and other business logic.

Within a single enterprise account, admins can define multiple storage policies for their global deployments, leveraging on-premises storage, private cloud, and Syncplicity’s cloud storage within a single seamless user experience. Folders and files can be securely shared globally, while maintaining control of where the data is stored and who owns the content.

End-users are able to access data in multiple storage locations and access shares from multiple companies, with a single log-in. Similar offerings in the market require end-users to create multiple unique accounts for each storage location, which results in account sprawl, a broken user-experience, and a nightmare for IT governance. 

In contrast to Syncplicity, cloud-only EFSS providers do not offer the flexibility to use private cloud, public cloud, and on-premises storage within a single account - with popular cloud-only solutions, enterprises are forced to move all of their data to a multi-tenant public cloud for storage and processing, which opens potential for data leakage and breach of confidentiality. 

Enabling Global and Mid-size enterprises to adopt the cloud

Syncplicity’s data governance model is especially appealing to large enterprises with business operations and employees located around the globe. Mid-sized enterprises that do not have the resources to manage a hybrid cloud are excited to have a regional cloud storage layer that allows them to rapidly deploy and scale.

While model clauses and binding corporate rules provide the legal framework for meeting European Data Privacy Regulations, Syncplicity’s Hybrid Cloud and EU Cloud Storage provides customers the highest level of control over the physical and logical security of their data.

More information

The feature is generally available and included with Personal, Business, and Enterprise Edition. Additional details on how to configure EU Cloud Storage for your account are available here.

Looking forward

While we have consistently led the EFSS market in offering true security and privacy controls, we are excited to add EU Cloud Storage as the latest component in our architecture. Combined with our policy driven hybrid cloud, group-based security policies, integrated rights management, and zero-content-knowledge StorageVault Authentication, EU Cloud Storage is an integral part of a multi-layered approach to data governance, privacy, and security. 

In the coming months we have many more exciting enhancements on our security roadmap and I look forward to keeping you updated!

April 22, 2016

EMC World Las Vegas 2016

Visit Syncplicity in Booth #159, Hall C

  • Gain anytime, anywhere access to all of your data from any device
  • Replace file shares to modernize infrastructure and reduce costs
  • Maximize your EMC investment with Syncplicity + ECS and Syncplicity + Isilon 

We invite you to attend our EMC World speaking sessions:

ECS - What’s New & Strategic Roadmap
Breakout Session, with featured customer Siemens
When: Monday, May 2nd, 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Location: Murano 3201a
Add to my calendar

The Future of Enterprise File Sync and Share
Jon Huberman, Syncplicity CEO, and Virtustream
When: Tuesday, May 3rd, 2:00pm – 2:20pm
Location: Virtustream Booth #656
Add to my calendar

Improve data access and stakeholder engagement while dramatically lowering storage costs
Jon Huberman, Syncplicity CEO
When: Wednesday, May 4th, 12:00pm – 12:20pm
Location: Fireside Chat Booth #1128
Add to my calendar

ECS — What’s New & Strategic Roadmap
Breakout Session, with featured customer Siemens
When: Wednesday, May 4th, 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Location: Palazzo L
Add to my calendar

March 30, 2016

Synpclicity’s Got Your Back #WorldBackupDay

Let’s celebrate – because today is a reminder that you have one less thing to worry about! 

With Syncplicity your sync’d folders are backed up in real-time no matter where they are located and that means your files are available on any device – so if your computer or mobile device crashes, or is lost or stolen – you can still access your files from any device and you can sync them onto a new computer.

If you want to learn more about how to ensure your teams are backed-up contact your Customer Success Manager.

February 25, 2016

How is Syncplicity transforming the digital workplace?  Together, with partners like Microsoft.

Walking around Syncplicity’s office, you hear two words popping up all over the place: transformation and enterprise. They are passed back and forth between gulps of espresso and Red Bull; come alive during heated debates; and stand proudly as pillars of our product roadmap.

We have always developed solutions that integrate at some level with Microsoft solutions. But when we joined Microsoft’s Cloud Storage Partner Program (CSPP) last year, we were presented an opportunity to add a whole new dimension. Fueled by our mission to digitally transform the enterprise, we immediately began work on native integrations that address our enterprise customers’ greatest needs.

We recently announced the first of these new products: A Universal Outlook Add-in for Office 365. There is much more to come this year, beginning with in-use file notifications, which will enhance collaboration on Office files and add capabilities to document creation and workflow editing.

“Our customer base is the enterprise, and our product roadmap is focused on their needs,” said Syncplicity CEO Jon Huberman. “Developing enterprise-grade solutions with a deep level of native integration takes a lot of work and investment. In 2015, we kicked off development efforts to eliminate pain points for Office 365 users and help IT prepare for the adddition of cloud-based Office solutions. Our future development efforts will continue to leverage our Microsoft partnership to make the digital transformation of the enterprise a reality.”

We are passionate about meeting the requirements of our enterprise customers, who have complex infrastructures, yet want to offer cloud and mobile-first experiences to their end-users. By coordinating closely with our enterprise customers, we ensure that our development efforts maintain strict focus on their needs. Partnering directly with Microsoft presents a world of opportunity for new enterprise-grade features and capabilities that will help create the digital workplace of the future, and we intend to take it as far as it can go!

For more information on Syncplicity and Microsoft click here.

Read 'Syncplicity Microsoft Outlook Add-in for Office 365 to Transform the Digital Workplace' press release here.

February 25, 2016

Syncplicity covers every aspect of digital transformation.

Building on our existing Windows Office integration, we recently announced the release of Syncplicity’s universal add-in for Office 365. Why Office 365? Because we’re planning for your future. In fact, we’re helping define it.

Imagine your users with the ability to share any size file by linking to it directly from Outlook¾no email attachments involved. Imagine the cost savings achieved by centrally storing one copy of a file instead of 50 email attachments. Imagine robust enterprise-grade security controls such as a link expiry, document-specific passwords, information rights management, group-based permission policies, and true cross-platform, cross-device functionality.

You can stop imagining, because Syncplicity already has it all.

As the technology landscape continues to evolve, Syncplicity is thinking ahead – providing solutions that meet the needs of the digital enterprise.  How we do this?  We offer IT flexibility and choice around local and cloud-based solutions. When the day comes for you to put one foot in the cloud, our Office 365 Outlook add-in means Syncplicity is one less thing you’ll have to worry about.

“Syncplicity’s goal is to help transform the digital workplace by empowering users to be more productive. With Office 365 becoming a platform of choice for large enterprises, the new Syncplicity Outlook add-in does just that,” said Syncplicity CEO Jon Huberman. “This new feature removes a pain point for Office 365 users, reduces infrastructure costs associated with large email attachments, and gives organizations more control over the security of their content.”

As a member of the Microsoft Cloud Storage Partner Program (CSPP), we’ll continue to develop solutions to enhance Microsoft Office collaboration and work closely with our enterprise customers to ensure you’re prepared for the digital workplace of the future.

Read more about our partnership with Microsoft and the CSPP here.

Read 'Syncplicity Microsoft Outlook Add-in for Office 365 to Transform the Digital Workplace' press release here.

February 22, 2016   |   by Mike Nikzad

Backup is a Feature, not a Solution!

Significant Business Impact of Lost Documents

In a fast-paced business environment, losing documents that knowledge workers invested time and energy into has a significant impact on your business—missed internal and external deadlines, lost sales analysis numbers, customer meetings without the latest presentation, etc.

When a laptop crashes or is stolen, the resulting productivity loss can turn into days of downtime unless you have a robust real-time document backup and continuous availability solution in place—one that provides instant access to documents from anywhere, on any device.

Backup is a Feature not a Solution

Workers today expect that all their work files are available everywhere and anytime thanks to how they deal with their personal files outside of work. The difference at work is the complexity of the work environment combined with the sensitivity of work information that requires an enterprise rather than consumer-grade solution to anywhere, anytime file access and sharing. Syncplicity Enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) is the answer to their demands by giving them the functionality they are used to and the security that the company requires.

Real-time Document Backup and Continuous Availability

EFSS solutions enable secure backup of desktop files and folders, while providing many complimentary benefits. They allow users to access, view, and edit content from any device, whether they are in the office or on the road. Knowledge workers continue to work as normal, but with the peace of mind that their documents are automatically backed up in real-time whenever they click “Save.” Users can also easily share folders and files with internal and external collaborators. Powerful enterprise-grade administration capabilities that enable IT to implement group-based policies can be used to restrict individuals from sharing designated content outside the company.

To ensure widespread user adoption, your IT team can silently push and install sync clients onto PCs and mobile devices using standard software distribution tools. You can designate specific folders to automatically sync, such as My Documents, Desktop, and as many custom folder paths as required. Users don’t have to remember to copy files to a “magic folder.” Instead, IT ensures that content is reliably managed, simply by selecting folders to auto-sync on user’s computers.

Continuous Access to Files from Anywhere on Any Device

With the evolution of the mobile workforce, your users often have several devices that they use interchangeably while in the office, traveling, meeting on-site with customers, or working at home. Their expectation is that if one device is not available, they can continue to access all of their files from another computer or device and keep working without missing a beat.

Secure, ubiquitous access to backed-up documents through mobile, desktop, and web apps is important to ensure users don’t experience any document access downtime. VPN is not required to access files, so users are free to work from wherever they are, using whatever device is in their hands.

Prevention of Sensitive Data Leakage

The risk associated with data leakage from lost or stolen devices is mitigated by the ability of IT administrators to remote-wipe a device as soon as it is reported missing. Even if an individual outside the company gains access to a device, group-based policies are essential to allow administrators to require app-level passcode entry, preventing malicious access to files.

Group-based policies can also be leveraged to lock down mobile device open-in capabilities to prevent document leakage on unmanaged devices. Integrations with leading mobile device management (MDM) solutions allow IT to configure fine-grained security policies, including white listing trusted apps so data leakage prevention controls do not get in the way of productivity.

Auto-versioning of Backed-up Files with Self-service Version Restore

Real-time document backup is a great way to ensure that valuable time and effort in document authoring is never lost. Network backup solutions often require a user to file an IT helpdesk ticket in order to have a particular version of a file restored, which delays productivity and adds to IT overhead. End-users must be able to directly restore previous file versions on-demand. Of course, rich global-and folderlevel retention settings ensure that old versions are not kept forever.

The Importance of Storage Location Choice for Backing Up Files

Not all files are created equal. External marketing collateral is not the same as board meeting minutes, sales projections, or pending M&A due diligence evaluations. Data sovereignty, corporate compliance, and company intellectual property requirements place a heavy burden on IT to ensure files are stored in a secure location that meets strict regulations—secure enough to ensure your CIO can sleep at night. It is important that IT can choose where backed-up files reside—public cloud storage, private cloud storage, private on-premises storage in your own datacenter, or a hybrid combination. StorageVaults provide unparalleled control and flexibility by enabling IT to assign different groups of users (or folders) to regional or country-based on-premises locations, or to cloud storage.

A Solution to the Shadow IT “Dropbox Problem”

When IT does not provide a backup solution that allows easy access to documents from any device, anywhere, anytime, users quickly find ways to share files with the same consumer systems they use in their personal lives. This introduces many risks associated with data privacy and protection, corporate compliance, and leakage of sensitive company intellectual property. Most CIO’s aren’t aware of how extensive the problem is, and they are often surprised when their team performs a network traffic analysis that reveals how prevalent the “Dropbox problem” has become. It is crucial that you deploy a secure real-time backup and EFSS solution that IT trusts. Equally important, though, is that users love its exciting user interface, which they easily adopt across all of their connected tablets, smartphones, and computers.

IT Cost Take Out

Deploying a single solution for backup and EFSS reduces the number of vendor solutions you have to manage and provides cost savings for already tight IT budgets. EFSS can also replace antiquated and expensive file share and home directory infrastructures in an extremely cost-effective way. For some organizations, cost savings are in millions of dollars.

A Worthy Digital Transformation Initiative for Any Business

As an IT organization, replacing your existing single-purpose desktop backup software with a feature rich hybrid EFSS solution saves money and helps you avoid costly downtime associated with loss of access to critical business documents. Before renewing your costly back-up application maintenance contract or adding more and more expensive hardware to store back-up files or email attachments, choose a digital transformation for your organization by deploying an EFSS solution.

IT organizations in large, security-conscious, multi-national enterprises across all industries trust Syncplicity to provide realtime document backup and anytime, anywhere access that end-users demand, without compromising on security, control, or choice of file-storage location.

Article Featered in CIOReview: http://storage.cioreview.com/cxoinsight/backup-is-a-feature-not-a-solution-nid-12250-cid-12.html 

February 5, 2016

In Indiana, State Employees Choose Syncplicity

In 2005, the state of Indiana created the Indiana Office of Technology (IOT) to revamp its IT strategies and streamline the flow of information among 30,000 end-users and 100 partner agencies.

It was a massive undertaking a decade ago and IOT’s job has only gotten harder over time, as state employees have come to share documents across a wide variety of cloud-based applications.

To create order out of this confusion, and to ensure that state documents are always well-protected,  IOT has now turned to Syncplicity for its centralized data storage and real-time data syncing needs.

Taking advantage of Syncplicity’s hybrid capabilities, the Hoosier State has adopted Syncplicity in two steps.  Last year, IOT deployed Syncplicity’s customized, on-premises, firewall-protected storage for sensitive state data.  This year, it is offering cloud storage for non-sensitive data, allowing state employees from Gary to Evansville to access, edit, and securely share files and links form their desktop and mobile devices.

Syncplicity has helped steer state employees away from “shadow IT” applications, including unsanctioned and insecure apps like Dropbox.  At the same time, workers in nearly every state agency continue to enjoy the freedom of the cloud.

Offering enterprise-grade security and internal management capabilities, Synplicity allows IOT to control the spread of data across the state even as employees find new ways to collaborate, untethered to VPN or office shared drives.

And since IOT unveiled its Syncplicity program, thousands of state workers have opted in. 

“The surprising thing is the way the users have embraced Syncplicity. Based on our experience with rolling out new products, users don’t necessarily like change. That has not been the case with Syncplicity – adoption has been viral.”[1] 

For more on how Syncplicity is helping Indiana become “a state that works,” download our case study here.

February 4, 2016

Syncplicity Could Be Your MVP

On Sunday, February 7, all eyes will be on Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. for Super Bowl 50.  In addition to the pre-game pageantry, the commercials, and the off-chance that Coldplay and Beyoncé will make magic together, we’ll watch because the Super Bowl is the ultimate display of three basic values:

  • The significance of teamwork
  • The importance of protecting your assets (or quarterback)
  • The impact of a strong game plan

The team that masters these three aspects of the game will take home the Lombardi Trophy.  There will be no parade for the losers.

For your business, the timeline may not be as tight, but the stakes are just as high.  And Syncplicity may be the strategy you need to turn your business into a champion.

Teamwork

Winning teams function as a unit, whether they’re in the office or in the field. Syncplicity’s hybrid cloud storage solution allows your team to collaborate anytime, anywhere. Access, edit, and share files securely from desktop and mobile devices, so that there’s never a break in the action. 

Protection

There’s nothing more frustrating than a fumble at the goal line. Protect your gains by securing your data. Whether you’re looking for on-premises, firewall-protected storage or a cloud-based system with enterprise-grade security, Syncplicity won’t drop the ball.

Game Plan

Every player is important, but someone needs to call the plays. Syncplicity gives IT control of information security including access, compliance, and storage architecture. By eliminating “shadow IT,” unauthorized apps, and data leaks, Syncplicity reduces on-field confusion.

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