Founded in 2001, Lehi, Utah-based AtTask, Inc. provides Enterprise Work Management cloud services to organizations looking to increase the productivity and efficiency of their workers. Its Enterprise Work Management solution intelligently combines social media techniques with traditional project management capabilities to fully engage team members in high priority productive activities while providing management teams with the information and visibility they need to optimize their resources.
Originally operating as an ‘on-premise’ software company, five years ago, AtTask made the decision to transition to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, which was received very positively by the market. However, although AtTask had strong security measures already in place, there wasn’t quite the protection required by clients impacted by many of the industry-specific regulatory mandates, such as HIPAA HITECH, PCI DSS, GLBA and Sarbanes-Oxley, as well as multiple federal and state data protection and breach notification laws.
Q. Wade Billings, AtTask’s director of Global IT Operations and Security, recalled, “The primary component missing from our security story was that we didn’t encrypt data-at-rest. For many prospective clients this was an absolute deal-breaker.”
The company performed an analysis of its own market sector. “To a company, none of our competitors were offering encryption of data-at-rest either,” recalled Billings. “So we knew that if we got it right, what originally was a client-driven requirement also had the potential to be a major market differentiator for us.”
In order to identify the optimal solution to address the numerous regulatory requirements for stored data, a cross-department team created a very stringent requirements definition that included evaluation criteria for performance, functionality, management overhead and ease of deployment.
After a detailed evaluation of multiple encryption and key management technologies – including hardware, software and appliance-based solutions – AtTask made a corporate-wide decision to offer Vormetric Data Security protection to its clients but with a twist. “Because the power of the Vormetric solution was of such great value to specific clients, and because it wasn’t applicable to every single customer, we realized that we could offer the enhanced capabilities for an additional fee just to people that had the need,” commented Billings.
He continued, “The value-added capabilities provided by bundling Vormetric key management and encryption capabilities actually led to a change in our licensing scheme. I was able to show the executive team exactly when we would fully recoup all of our initial investment. In IT operations it is rare to ever get the opportunity to generate a tangible revenue stream like this.”
AtTask’s commitment to security and the integrity of client data is demonstrated by the creation of a dedicated Enterprise Security Office. Chris Henderson, senior security engineer, elaborated, “This focus really sets us apart from our competitors. Having Vormetric key management and data-at-rest encryption definitely enabled us to present a very complete picture to Gartner during their magic quadrant evaluation of our sector.” Both the 2012 and 2013 Gartner Magic Quadrants for Cloud-Based Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) Services have positioned AtTask in the Leaders Quadrant based on the ability to execute and completeness of vision.
Reflecting on the implementation of Vormetric Data Security, Henderson stated, “We’re able to quickly implement exactly the coverage that’s needed, with nominal operational impact. The solution requires no re-architecting or recoding, and is completely transparent to users, applications and storage.”
Billings noted, “Vormetric Data Security solutions definitely give me peace of mind. The way that Vormetric manages keys is really critical; the fact that this is a completely blind system and no human has access to the keys is really significant for both AtTask and our clients.
“It’s great to know that even in the very unlikely event of something malicious making it past all of our other security measures, having Vormetric encryption ensures that the data is not going to be of any use to anyone, anyway.”
Offering encryption of data-at-rest has become an integral component of the AtTask sales story. Billings concluded, “None of our competitors can offer this capability and it has opened the door to talk with companies that previously wouldn’t even consider an SaaS solution. We put a lot of rigor into indentifying the optimal solution and I feel that these efforts have really paid off.”
Vormetric (@Vormetric) is the industry leader in data security solutions that span physical, virtual and cloud environments. Data is the new currency and Vormetric helps over 1100 customers, including 17 of the Fortune 25 and many of the world’s most security conscious government organizations, to meet compliance requirements and protect what matters — their sensitive data — from both internal and external threats. The company’s scalable solution suite protects any file, any database and any application — anywhere it resides — with a high performance, market-leading Data Security Platform that incorporates application transparent encryption, privileged user access controls, automation and security intelligence.