Sometimes, even if you really want to, it seems impossible to brake old habits. You want to do things differently, but there appears to be no alternative. My old habit – relying on Cloud based collaboration tools as a team communication tool.
You are probably thinking “But there are so many cool collaboration tools out there! Why is it difficult for you to brake with the Cloud based collaboration tool habit?”
You are right, there are a lot of tools out there, but here’s the problem: the majority of them are from non EU providers and hosted on the Cloud. There’s only one thing you need to know to understand my problem: Some of my clients are based in Germany. What exactly does that mean? Basically, my German corporate clients, given the contempt the US has shown for EU data protection and privacy laws, would tear my head off if they found out that I was using an US provider to work on a highly confidential global marketing campaign.
My client’s response: “The tool you are suggesting are really cool and we can totally see how deploying this sort of collaboration platform would absolutely increase team efficiency, but we just don’t see how the provider you want to use will meet our stringent data protection requirements. The only way we would allow our information to be shared amongst team members is if the collaboration platform was hosted on our internal company servers.”
Now you know why I’ve had such hard time beating the Cloud habit and getting into the 21st century when it comes to deploying on-premise collaboration tools. After a deep analysis of all relevant (Cloud vs. On-Premise) collaboration tools and providers I found Taskulu – and I had the pleasure to interview the Farhad Hedayatifard, Founder & CEO at Taskulu, to understand better what makes the on-premise solution so special and super-encrypted:
- What is it exactly that makes Taskulu superior when it comes to encryption?
Encryption is the modern-day ways of keeping electronic information secure, just like safes and combination locks protected information on paper in the past. Encryption is a technological form of cryptography and transforms information to an unintelligible form (sometimes called encoded or encrypted), such that can only be converted back to the original understandable form (decoded or decrypted) using a specific key. Generally speaking, there are different types of encryption:– Encryption in Transit protects the flow of information from the end user to a server. For example, when you are on most of existing online collaboration software’s, and create a new task or upload a file, a secure connection protects your information from interception by a third-party along the way. Only you and the server that receives the information can decrypt the information. This of course means that while data is secure while being transferred between you and the server, the people who have access to the servers – be it the owners of the service or hackers who have gained access to the server – have full access to the decrypted information.- Encryption at Rest protects information when it’s not in transit. For example, when create a backup version of your information, you may use encryption so that no one can access your information in case the backup version falls into the wrong hands. Again – even if you use a service that offers encryption at rest (e.g. for backups), people with access to the servers will have full access to your decrypted information.- End-to-End Encryption means that all the information you share with a server is encrypted using keys that are only available to you and only you can decrypt the information on your own devices. The service provider who control the system through which users save, communicate and collaborate on their information (or people who have access to the servers) has no way of accessing the decrypted version of the information.
Taskulu – in contrast to other online collaboration services – uses Encryption in Transit, Encryption at Rest and End-to-End encryption to make sure that no one, even our own staff, can access decrypted version of your information. This means that, even if we receive a court order to release user-owned information, we won’t be able to release the information because we have no way of accessing the information in decrypted format. The good news is that with our algorithms, the whole process of End-to-End Encryption on Taskulu is completely transparent to you as the end user works across all your devices, meaning you won’t face a tradeoff between security and ease of use.
- Why is encryption such a big deal when it comes to team collaboration tools?
Collaboration tools are used to work on a wide variety of sensitive projects and information and without encryption, all that information is easily available to people who provide the collaboration tool. Even if you trust the providers, if the service is compromised and attackers gain access to the collaboration servers, there’s no way for you to protect your information – the attackers will have full access to the information and can sell or release the information, or ask you for a ransom not to do so.
- Taskulu is now based in Lisbon, Portugal and what is the significance of being a Made in EU service?
We moved our entire operations from Iran to Portugal because of the incredible talent available locally. Also, Portugal is the next big thing in terms of the global startup scene, something that’s made very clear by the fact that Web Summit moved its event from Dublin to Lisbon. Besides the human resource factor, there’s also another very important reason why we established ourselves in Portugal – we want to be totally EU-centric in terms of designing our solutions to be fully compliant with EU data protection directives and regulations. The EU, and not the US, is the trend-setter when it comes to superior privacy standards. More and more countries around the world are looking to the EU when modeling their own data protection regulations. The US, to be frank, has become the ugly duckling in the area of data protection and privacy. The EU is the white swan – we believe that ultimately corporations will rather follow the white swan than the ugly duckling.
- You announced today that you are planning to open an additional office in Hamburg, Germany. What is it specifically about corporations that makes your collaboration software such a perfect fit for their needs?
There’s no question – Germany epitomizes the general EU sensitivity toward data protection and privacy. For example, Omnicom Germany, amongst the biggest marketing agencies in the world, selected Taskulu for collaborating on very sensitive work with Volkswagen. The reason is simple, and I alluded to this earlier: yes, everyone is talking about the Cloud, and we too have a Cloud based version of Taskulu, but there are also a lot of companies who still prefer to have mission-critical applications run their own servers. We give our clients that option. Hamburg is at the heart of German commerce and we’re confident that we’ll make significant progress from there very fast.
– Thank you Farhad! –
Now ALL my German clients are thrilled to work with us on this totally awesome collaboration platform. I’ll give you the three key reasons:
1. On-premise collaboration software solution,
2. Super-encrypted and
3. Costs less than any Cloud based solution.
Outcome: Better security, superior collaboration, lower cost. I’ve changed my Cloud habit – hope this will help you to brake yours!