Can Enterprise Search Improve Governance? Security?

December 10, 2020

I thought about this question after I read “BA Insight Delivers Internet-Like Search for Egnyte Customers.” The write up is a content marketing item with some jazzy jargon; for example:

AI-driven enterprise search
Connector-driven software portfolio
Intelligent recommendations
Machine learning
Natural Language
User behavior
User productivity.

What is, I ask myself, AI driven enterprise search? I don’t know what AI means, and I still have not figured out what “enterprise search” means after writing The New Landscape of Search and a number of other books and monographs on this subject.

a search revolution

My recollection is that Attivio has been wrapping layers of functionality around Lucene, but maybe my recollection is faulty. I do recall the interesting business intelligence application which pivoted on baseball data.

But that was in 2007 when former Fast Search & Transfer professionals pivoted from ESP (enterprise search platform) to Attivio. Attivio’s founder told me “attivio” was an Italian-like word which implies forward movement. Today a jaunty MBA would call this “kinetic branding.” Whatever.

The focus of the marketing collateral is a deal with an outfit involved in resolving content chaos and delivering information cohesion. I am not exactly sure what this means, but here is the description offered by Attivio’s partner / licensee Egnyte:

Your files contain your most critical data, but, more than ever, they’re sprawled across disconnected systems, devices, locations, and apps. Egnyte enables you to gain visibility and control across a hybrid content stack while also improving employee experience and driving business advantage.

Egnyte is in the compliance business, the data governance business, the risk reduction business, and the cyber security business. But the key value proposition seems to be:

Unified multi cloud content search


Egnyte is the only all-in-one platform that combines data-centric security and governance, AI for real-time and predictive insights, and the flexibility to connect with the content sources and applications your business users know and love – on any device, anywhere, without friction.

The words “only” and “all” are blinking yellow lights to me. Categorical affirmatives are tough for me to accept. These types of “make a case” statements are, however, popular with the millennials and thumbtypers in marketing departments.

I took a look at one of the buzzwords used to describe the Egnyte system powered in part by Attivio and learned that these are the functions the platform delivers:

  • Breach reporting
  • Classification policies (for GDPR compliance, CCPA, HIPAA, etc.)
  • Content lifecycle management
  • Content safeguards
  • Custom keyword classification
  • Data subject access requests
  • Issue detection and alerting
  • Insider threat and ransomware detection
  • Multi-repository governance .

The combination of cyber security and search is interesting. However, the cyber security sector seems to have some explaining to do. Cyber crime particularly insider threats and phishing are experiencing a bad actor gold rush. Adding to the woe are reports of a cyber security firm’s inability to prevent a crippling cyber attack; specifically, “U.S. Cybersecurity Firm FireEye Discloses Breach, Theft of Hacking Tools.” What this means is that cyber security super stars are not secure. Thus, questions about a firm which is a relative newcomer to cyber security equipped with “only” and “all” assertions may face some interesting questions about the security of Egnyte and Attivio systems. I know I would ask some questions and carefully consider the responses. Insider threats and phishing are topics of interest to me.

Several observations:

  • Search vendors are indeed working overtime to find markets for what is a downloadable utility function
  • Partnerships are one way to generate sales leads and revenue from technical services and training
  • Organizations, regardless of type, face significant findability, security, and regulatory challenges.

Interesting play, but “only” and “all” are big concepts, particularly when Amazon AWS, to cite one example, offers technology to deliver a similar solution directly or via its extensive partner network.

Stephen E Arnold, December 10, 2020


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta