VSM: Tell us about Biscom.
BH: Biscom, Inc. is a leader in secure document delivery and an industry pioneer in our market space. We are helping organizations securely communicate mission-critical information through our unparalleled secure file transfer and enterprise fax solutions. Biscom is an engineering-focused company that leads the industry with reliable, creative and cost-effective file-transfer and fax messaging solutions. Biscom is known for its innovation and is actually launching a new product line within the next six months. While Biscom has grown in size and product, our founding engineers are still with the company and continue to be awarded patents for their engineering efforts.
VSM: What considerations should a company use when selecting a secure file transfer solution?
BH: File transfers should be simple, fast and secure. Companies should look for an ad-hoc document delivery system that enables users to send large or confidential files as easily as sending email from any Web browser. With unmatched ease-of-use, users can quickly send files of unlimited size to anyone in the world without IT assistance. Concerns that should be addressed when selecting a secure file transfer solution are:
- What kind of data is being sent (type, size, content, etc.)? Companies often go through a data classification exercise to help determine this.
- What compliance or regulatory requirements need to be met?
- What are the consequences of not being compliant, or even losing data?
- How frequently are files sent that require either security or need large file support?
- Are there any tracking/auditing needs?
- Who are the end users – if they are non-technical, look for something that is very easy to use or integrate into their existing email environment.
VSM: Why choose Biscom?
BH: Every day millions of users and thousands of enterprises rely on Biscom for secure and reliable document delivery solutions. In fact, Biscom is trusted by millions of users at over 3,000 companies worldwide. According to Peter Davidson, a leading industry analyst: “Biscom is the only vendor in the world offering a true enterprise-wide fax server and hosted fax service, making it the market’s most flexible offering.”
We are experienced in developing, selling and supporting enterprise software for our customers, who are among the world’s largest companies. Not only are our fax and secure file transfer products the most reliable and scalable available today, (millions of documents per week flow through the Biscom system), but we consistently meet customer expectations, resolve issues quickly and regularly update our products with feature requests from our customers. In addition, our team’s strong expertise in security has enabled us to provide the most secure fax and file transfer applications available today.
VSM: What steps should a company take to deploy a secure file transfer solution?
BH: With Biscom, deployment is straightforward. Our products run on both Windows and Linux platforms, and we support a multi-tier architecture that fits the security requirements of almost any company. We have made the process of deployment very easy – a company can go from an evaluation to full product with a simple license file update. Once our products are installed, letting users know they now have access to a new and powerful tool, and when to use it, is important.
VSM: What challenge does Biscom address for its customers?
BH: Sending confidential files and large files that are too big for email is our primary business. We are able to satisfy the security requirements for regulated industries (HIPAA, SOX, GLBA, etc.), by offering an easy-to-use application to users without IT involvement. With Biscom products, users are more productive and IT is free to address other projects.
VSM: Solutions like Dropbox that let you bring photos, documents and videos anywhere and share them are growing in popularity — what do you think is missing for enterprise deployments?
BH: Consumer services often lack security features and IT management capabilities that enterprises need. Today, most enterprises are still using email to transfer files. And email, when used as a file transport system, is fraught with problems – including a lack of encryption, audit trail issues, problems with storage and network performance issues.
VSM: What are the advantages of Enterprise File Synchronization Sharing?
BH: There are many advantages to utilizing enterprise file synchronization sharing. Some of the main points of the Biscom solution are:
- Provide the ease of Dropbox for synchronization and sharing, but also provide security, control, and manageability for IT.
- Save a document to a synchronized folder while at work. The file will be automatically synchronized so when you get home, you can continue working on the document. When you return to work, the file will be synchronized and up to date. Enable access to corporate files and data wherever you are – at home, using your tablet or phone, etc.
- Granular audit logs so you know exactly what information is flowing into and out of your network.
VSM: Today, many corporations are letting employees use their own mobile devices in the corporate setting. How is Biscom enabling the trend of sending and receiving files securely with mobile phones and tablets?
BH: The “bring your own device” or BYOD trend is probably here to stay – people’s work habits are changing, and the tools they have at their disposal such as smart phones and tablets enable them to be productive wherever they are. The problem with this is managing who can access what information and with what device. And if you do allow a device to be used, what happens if it’s lost or stolen? The ways Biscom helps the BYOD problem are through additional security through the use of encryption both in transit and at rest on the device, and integration with mobile device management systems like Mobile Iron that provide more control over devices and can even remotely wipe a device if it is lost. Biscom also tracks and logs every file that is transferred to a mobile device, making forensic investigations much easier.
VSM: What is secure fax and how does it differ from regular fax transmission?
BH: Secure fax combines Biscom’s enterprise fax solution FAXCOM with SFT to add an additional layer of security around sensitive faxes, without requiring any changes on the sender (who would be sending a fax into the company). Most fax solutions simply deliver faxes to an email address, which is not secure. With SFT, faxes received are stored in the Biscom secure server, and an email notification is sent to the recipient – no attachments are at risk. Recipients must authenticate to access the fax which also adds an audit trail. To send faxes out securely, users can use Biscom’s existing fax client and choose to send as an SFT delivery – recipients then receive an email with a link that they authenticate through and access the fax. The sender also receives an email notification when the delivery is opened and when the fax is viewed.
VSM: What makes Biscom unique in the market?
BH: Biscom leads the industry with reliable, creative and cost-effective file and fax messaging solutions. Biscom wants to make sure people who need to share information, files, and documents with others either internal or external to their organization, can do so quickly and easily, and remain confident that the exchange is happening securely. To that end, we offer:
- Security – Biscom enables companies to shore up their electronic communications, and be confident about maintaining privacy and remaining compliant. The FIPS 140-2 certification, a U.S. government security standard that accredits cryptographic modules, is part of the Biscom Secure File Transfer solution that enterprises use to share confidential and sensitive files and documents.
- Scalability – Any secure, managed fax and file transfer solution should be as scalable as organizations need it to be. A solution must handle not only today’s volume of content, but also spikes in content delivery and future content delivery loads. A secure managed file transfer solution that does not scale properly will simply trade the problem of today’s email delivery of large files for a different – but equally inadequate solution.
- Ease of Use – Because people may simply refuse to use systems that are difficult or complex, managed fax and file transfer solutions must fit well within the context of users’ practices and experience level. Consequently, any secure, managed file transfer system should be intuitive and require only minimal training (or, ideally, no training at all).
- Reliability – Biscom products are secure, easy to use and will run for years with minimal maintenance required.
VSM: Why are Biscom’s solutions compelling for use in a virtualized environment?
BH: Virtualization helps with efficiency, but it also makes SFT a more robust solution – by being able to have a second instance ready to spin up if the production instance goes down, or even using VMware VMotion to automatically bring up a new instance with no IT intervention, can save significant time and work. We have designed our not app to store any data on the web and application tiers – so these can be easily restored without any data loss.
VSM: What are some examples of how customers are using secure file transfer successfully?
BH: Here are a few examples:
Healthcare – Medical practices and hospitals are able to easily and securely send medical records out; researchers are able to collaborate with scientists around the world; and medical device companies are able to collect pacemaker data from clinical trials around the country.
Finance – Institutions can transfer confidential bank data instead of mailing tapes across the country. In the insurance industry companies are receiving and processing insurance applications that contain personally identifiable information in a secure manner.
Other industries – Sending multimedia files (commercials, radio broadcasts) to thousands of stations around the country is achieved via Biscom, and a private aerospace company is sharing confidential plans, blueprints, designs, etc. for satellite and cargo launches to the international space station.
VSM: Is there anything else that you’d like to share with our readers?
BH: Email is the backbone of most organizations’ communication infrastructure and an incredibly useful tool in its own right. However, email has also become the de facto file transport system for most organizations, a role it was never intended to play. As a result, large file transfers sent through email impede efficient email server performance, resulting in slow message delivery times, higher storage costs, slower backups and slower restores.
In addition, security of the content sent through email servers can be compromised. If file size limitations prevent users from sending particularly large files through email, users will find alternative methods to send their content, driving up costs and sacrificing security. What organizations need is an alternative to the status quo: an attachment management capability that will allow efficient and secure delivery of content that keeps costs low and improves email server performance. Biscom document delivery services allows an organization to significantly improve file transfer processes, reduce network bandwidth, improve email server performance, mitigate the risks inherent in other delivery models and significantly reduce its IT costs.