A new security company Tresorit is offering $25,000 for anyone who can break into their cloud service.
A cloud service is any resource that is provided over the Internet.The most common cloud service resources are Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Cloud services are the same thing as Web services. However, the term cloud services has been more commonly used as cloud computing has become more pervasive.
Tresorit is believed to be doing the ‘hacking’ contest to get attention; as a form of publicity for their business.
Read Forbes‘ story;
Already around 700 hackers, including people from MIT, Stanford and Princeton (that’d be students looking for Sorority/Frat party beer money I guess) have signed up – as yet no one has been successful, despite the offer having been in place since April.
Maybe some extra attention will find someone who can crack their service! Tresorit is a vendor offering encrypted collaboration and storage services. It’s an important area – the Snowden leaks, the move to having more “stuff” stored in the cloud and a general heightened awareness of security has raised the attention of consumers and businesses about the broader encryption issues. In Tresorit’s case, their product is based on patented cryptographic research from a team of European security experts that got started in 2009.
The company received a Series A funding of 1.7M USD in 2012 and grew to 30 people by the end of 2013. Tresorit is aiming for individuals and small and medium sized businesses who need compliance, security and confidentiality as well as collaboration and backup. Tresorit uses shareable client-side encryption which protects data during storage and acces and across all devices. It offers paid storage plans starting at $12.99 for 100GB. Update – Tresorit advises that until the end of December this price has been dropped to $5.95.
Tresorit founder Szabolcs Nagy told me that the company is enjoying 20% monthly user growth, though one assumes that is from a very low base level. Interestingly the data stored in Tresorit is located in European data centers and, as a European vendor, arguably there is more protection from US agencies use of the PATRIOT Act (although it has to be said that a lack of legal options for US eavesdropping haven’t seemed to stop the NSA from doing what it wants to). For many customers, especially those within the European Union, having a competitor to Box or Dropbox that is stored and domiciled locally is a compelling proposition.
I wonder though how difficult it will be for Tresorit to really gain traction – Dropbox is killing it in the consumer space, Microsoft MSFT -0.88% Skydrive and Google Drive are logical offerings for customers wedded to the Microsoft or Google GOOG +0.16% Apps worlds respectively and in the enterprise space there are a plethora of vendors competing for customer dollars – Box, Egnyte, OxygenCloud and many other all competing for attention and dollars.
Perhaps in order to build value for customers and hence increase their chances for commercial success, Tresorit has a long roadmap of product improvements, they talk about timestamping, e-signatures, delivery reports and a host of audit-level features as coming in the imminent future. I predict some serious consolidation in this space as the mainstream vendors build out all of the security-related features they’re currently lacking.
When that happens it’s anyone’s guess what the future will look like or vendors like Tresorit – perhaps the European thing is enough of a differentiator for them to remain viable.