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6/7/2010
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Jake Widman
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Confidela Upgrades Secure Document Solution

Watchdox, a cloud-based platform for businesses that need to share sensitive or secure documents, now has enhanced compliance features and the ability to support larger files.

Watchdox, a cloud-based platform for businesses that need to share sensitive or secure documents, now has enhanced compliance features and the ability to support larger files.According to Confidela's vice president of marketing Adi Ruppin, the problem Watchdox is intended to address is the way "you lose control of documents once you send them." Watchdox provides what Ruppin calls an "end-to-end solution" for businesses to specify and enforce permissions on what a document's recipients can do with it. As a cloud service, Watchdox doesn't require any new infrastructure on the part of the sending business nor any special plug-ins for the recipient.

The way the service works is, a business logs into Watchdox, specifies the e-mail addresses of a document's recipients, and specifies the permissions they will have. Recipients can be allowed to view, print, and/or forward documents, or any combination of the above. The document is then uploaded to Confidela's servers, where they are converted to a secure Flash-based format. Recipients receives an e-mail that there's a document ready for them, and after authentication they can log onto the WatchDox server to view it.

If the recipient tries to get around a printing restriction by printing the entire browser page, all they get is a blank sheet of paper. The screen display shows a watermark of the recipient's e-mail address, so if they take a screen shot, it can later be identified. (There's also a Spotlight feature that obscures all of the page except for the part right around the cursor, to make it even harder to take a screen shot.) The permissions travel with the document, so if the recipient forwards it (if they're allowed to), the same restrictions apply.

The sender can give "edit" permissions, which enable the recipient to open the file in Microsoft Office. For that, though, the recipient does need a downloadable plug-in, which enforces the printing and other restrictions if they apply.

The new version, released today, adds compliance features, such as the ability to export audit trails and logs. The new version also adds local encryption for those businesses whose compliance requirements don't allow them to upload documents to a third-party server. Watchdox now also works with files of "virtually any size," says Ruppin, up form a 30MB limit. And the plug-in has been extended to support Adobe Reader, enabling recipients to work with PDF files.

Watchdox also supports Virtual Data Rooms, for those businesses who need a central area to post documents for review. The Watchdox service starts at $50/month for a single user, allowing up to 200 MB of storage and up to five recipients per document. A standard business plan costs about $300/month and offers 2 GB of storage and up to 100 recipients per document, but the plan can be customized, says Ruppin, to meet an SMB's needs. A sample document showing some of the security features can be viewed here, though you'll need to supply an e-mail address for authentication first.

Don't Miss: Compliance Tools Filter Down to Small and Medium Sized Businesses

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