Enterprise File Fabric Case Study – Service Provider: Storing Sensitive Data in The Cloud

S&M Cloud, part of the multinational S&M Services and Systems Group, provides cloud services to the world’s leading companies. Their challenge was to support their customers, medical organizations in particular, moving large amounts of personal and sensitive data to cloud storage. An earlier system was not reliable, and difficult to manage.

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How to Enable Remote Employees to Securely Access On-premises Company Data in Under 1 Hour

Interest in letting employees to work from home has never been higher and will remain high even after the Covid-19 virus has run its course.  For Companies large and small  the key challenge is how to make Company data available remotely in a way that is easy for employees to use without compromising on information security.  The Enterprise File Fabric™ offers an unmatched set of features to support secure remote working.  In this post we’ll see how to set up the File Fabric in less than an hour to provide secure remote access to on-premises data, be that SMB, NAS / SAN or Microsoft DFS shares.  The best part is that data is not copied or removed anywhere, it remains in the same secure place and the File Fabric provides web scale secure access  to it .

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Getting started using the Enterprise File Fabric with BlockChain for Secure Governance and Compliance of Company Files

The purpose of this post is to outline how the Enterprise File Fabric can be used with a BlockChain HyperLedger solution to provide guaranteed non tamper audit reports for the corporate file estate.

Blockchain is a distributed databased for maintaining records (called blocks) in which the data in the block cannot be altered retrospectively.  HyperLedger is one of a number of projects that use blockchain at its core and is a specification for how a trusted network should work. In this example we use Fabric but there are others such as Sawtooth Lake, Corda R3 and Iroha.

The Enterprise File Fabric provides a unified multi-cloud content repository for all company data, whether stored on-cloud or on-premises. The solution supports over 60s storage endpoints including object storage such Amazon S3, IBM COS, Google Storage, Microsoft Azure, as well as traditional on-premises storage such as Windows Filers, NAS / SAN, and other more common storage solutions such as Box, DropBox, Office 365 etc.

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How to Cloud enable on-premises (onsite) Windows CIFS File Shares

One of the predominant use cases that companies have is to enable file sync and mobile access to file share data that lives behind the corporate firewall without the need for a VPN and without reconfiguring permissions whilst using Active Directory or LDAP for authentication.

In many cases this is done for compliance or security reasons or perhaps because there has been a  large investment in internal storage that has yet to be realised.

Cloud File Server Architecture

Accessing files over CIFS/SMB network over VPN using a mobile network is possible but access can be patchy, clients apps limited and it is often extremely slow.

The Storage Made Easy enables this using its built in CIFS connector. This blog post will step through how to cloud enable Windows file shares.

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Cloud Computing Use Case: Working with Amazon S3 data from a terminal over SFTP

We quite often assume that when working with Cloud data it will be from the web or from mobile “on the go” devices. To be fair this can often be the majority of cases, but the Enterprise throws up all sorts of different use cases and I thought it would be useful to go over one of the more esoteric ones.

One of the customers that use the Storage Made Easy on-premise Enterprise File Share and Sync Cloud Control product is a medical company. They use the SME product as a hybrid on-premise cloud product that is able to offer storage locally and on Amazon S3. Both sets of storage use the Amazon S3 API. The SME Appliance is able to make local storage accessible over an S3 compatible API and then off-board this storage to Amazon S3 as required. This meant that the companies scripts and applications could easily work locally and with Amazon S3 with very minimal configuration changes.

Hybrid Cloud S3 API

Their field staff quite often find themselves in a situation where, when working remotely, their only means of access is using a terminal ie. there is no direct web access and mobile devices are blocked and cannot be turned on.  In the past this meant that the consultant used to carry around CD’s / DVD’s in which information that may be required is burned off.

The consultants did however have direct  access to terminals which were internet enabled.   As the SME EFSS product also include a protocol gateway this mean it was possible to get direct terminal access to remote files using SFTP.

Cloud Storage SFTP

 

As the SME EFSS Gateway product integrated with the companies Active Directory services then terminal access was still using Single Sign On and the Active Directory credentials for each user access

User access can be obtained directly from the command line as per the example below..

Mac sftp google drive

Once authenticated the user can do a simple “ls” to get a file listing.

Mac SFTP

Once connected the view of the folder/files is available and can be worked with via the command line.

Mac SFTP S3

All access to the files are also logged and audited, including the username, the IP address and the types of interactions occurring, all part of a the HIPPA compliant process the customer implements. These reports can be exported and made available in excel to any compliance officer.

Summary:

Secure access to files and data can take many forms and in the Enterprise the edge cases also need to be catered for as well as the more common access use cases.

 

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