I talked to Koen Willems, CEO of sendin.nl, to learn more about why they chose Nextcloud over other products. Here is an edited version of that interview.
Swapnil Bhartiya: Can you tell us about your company and why you chose Nextcloud over products like Dropbox or OneDrive?
Willems: Sendin is a Dutch company specializing in the storage and shipping of files. Our clients use our solutions not only to make their files and documents accessible in the cloud but also, for example, paperless meetings. We try to make our apps so simple that our end users don’t even need a manual to understand them.
Most of our customers are local municipalities and other government organizations. They set high standards for security and reliability. That’s, in fact, the main reason we recommend Nextcloud over consumer-like cloud storages as Dropbox or OneDrive. Although they have the same comfort and usability as Nextcloud, it is Nextcloud that delivers the security, privacy, and control that professional organizations need.
Furthermore I’ve to mention the big community that is unlike other projects, maintaining and supporting Nextcloud. Not only does that guarantee solid and transparent further development, it ensures the highest quality customers need.
Talking about security, Nextcloud is the best solution that the market offers nowadays.
Bhartiya: Can you tell us what kind of security and privacy concerns you have when you consider the file sync and storage service/solution?
Willems: Talking about security I’ve two major concerns. First I would like to mention cases like the 2012 Dropbox data breach. It’s been told about 68 million email addresses and passwords have been stolen. Well, I’m not sure but I can imagine they had some sleepless nights at Dropbox headquarters. It emphasizes that we have to maintain unconditional focus on the security of the software we deliver. Just remember … our customer’s privacy can just be given away one time and one time only. After privacy is given away there’s nothing left of it. One can’t give it back!
At Sendin we have listened to our customers. Finally, they don’t want features; it is ‘trust’ they want. They want to be sure their data are safe with us.
As we all know, ‘security’ is an ensemble of hardware, software, and wetware. Where we might control the hardware and the software it is the wetware representing the weakest part of the trinity.
That’s why we offer our customers workshops and training on the actions end users can take themselves. We want to make our customers constantly aware of the risks to avoid when managing their data.
Bhartiya: Can you tell us about the security features of Nextcloud that you value the most?
Willems: One of the interesting security features that recently came up in Nextcloud is the possibility to limit access to files and folders to a specific IP address. So it’s possible to restrict access to for instance your company’s network.
We at Sendin consider this only the start of an interesting development. We think in the future it might be possible to restrict access to files based on geolocation, time or specific hardware. Furthermore, we think such access rights should not only be implemented in the server software. They should be embedded in the file itself, regardless where it’s stored and regardless of where it’s shipped.
Bhartiya: What role does 3rd party verification of security or certification play in your procurement decision?
Willems: If I want to buy a new car or a vacuum cleaner I can find various tests and testimonials online, both certificated and uncertificated. This information is helpful to make the right choice. So when it concerns the security of its software I surely recommend Nextcloud to provide thorough verification of the security. To my belief, it should be done by a well-known institute with a blameless reputation.
Not only will this help customers to make their decisions, it is something the whole Nextcloud crew can be proud of too. Let Nextcloud be the first to do so.
Bhartiya: The political landscape is changing in the US, UK, and Europe, which will have a deeper impact on surveillance, security and privacy. Does it worry you? If it does, how does Nextcloud offer some assurance that we still have tools to protect privacy and security.
Willems: At Sendin we consider Nextcloud the perfect answer to such developments. Nextcloud empowers you to control your own data whether your store your data on your own computers or at a hosting company.
In addition to Nextcloud, we’ll start selling the Spreedbox in a few weeks. Since the Spreedbox works together with Nextcloud seamlessly, it provides an extra layer of security. The Spreedbox delivers military grade encryption for an affordable price. So if you ask us if we are worried now the political landscape in the US, UK and Europe is changing and will have an impact on digital surveillance, security and privacy, our answer is: ‘Not at all’.