Zimbra vs. Dropbox and Evernote; Security and Privacy Policies
Challenges: Ease of Use vs. Security
Dropbox and Evernote are very easy to use and have enjoyed fairly broad market adoption.
For corporations in regulated industries (e.g. healthcare, financial services), employees who use such services for data covered by, say, HIPAA, may have created a defacto violation – Neither Dropbox nor Evernote to our knowledge execute Business Associate Agreements.
In unregulated industries, much corporate data is highly sensitive, so why would you want to allow a service provider to share it with third parties?
Solution: Zimbra Briefcase and CyberDuck
Zimbra already has a robust file-sharing, Google Docs-like offering in the form of the Briefcase. Until Zimbra releases Project Octupus in version 8, what is lacking in Zimbra now is the ability to synchronize easily the files in your Zimbra Briefcase with the files on your computer.
That functionality however is easily provided by a handy utility called Cyberduck, available for download at http://cyberduck.ch/. Historically, Cyberduck (and Filezilla, another favorite tool of ours) have been used for FTP transfers. As insecure plain-text FTP gave way to FTPS and SFTP, both Filezilla and Cyberduck expanded the number of transfer protocols supported.
But Cyberduck didn’t stop there. They saw that the future was in Cloud Storage, so they added even more secure transfer protocols to enable users to transfer files to Amazon S3 and indeed any storage repository which supports WebDAV over http — like Zimbra’s Briefcase.
So what we do ourselves and have configured for clients needing this functionality but are concerned about Dropbox’s past data breach history and Evernote’s content licensing, is to configure Cyberduck to talk directly to Zimbra’s Briefcase. Cyberduck you see, does Remote-Local Syncing of whole folders trees, so it’s a snap to keep your Zimbra Briefcase and your computer repositories in sync.
In the screenshot below, you can see in the upper right the Cyberduck window, looking at my Zimbra Briefcase. In the upper left is the normal Zimbra web interface. In the lower left is a local folder on my Mac, and in the lower right is the Cyberduck sync windoready to sync all of my Briefcase folders.
The sync process to be fair takes two mouse clicks; you have to remember to actually do it. But if you need to keep all your corporate documents on your corporate Zimbra system and your corporate laptops, the combination of Zimbra and Cyberduck is a win-win until Zimbra’s Project Octopus comes along later this year.
Hope that helps,