Simon Bain is a recognized expert in both search and security technologies. He has been called upon by leading companies and governments to solve challenging problems with solutions that are both highly secure and user-friendly – including the first online voting application to be granted security clearance for use on interactive digital TV in the UK. With the development of the core technology for SearchYourCloud, Simon has brought together Search and Security in such a way that each enhances the other to deliver the most powerful solution available for securing and searching for documents.

1. A leader in the IT industry for more than two decades, you identity and develop search and security applications. How do these two areas — search and security — related to each other?

Search —the finding of information held in multiple applications and on multiple devices is a necessity today.. It is a given that we need to find and access this content; however, access should only be granted to those with the correct privileges. Having a search application open to all is not clever. Conversely locking down your content so that it cannot be accessed is also not very clever and leads users to the Shadow IT department where control can be lost. So these two items must be brought together into one simple package.

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2. Your company can help businesses to search all data regardless of the cloud location, while at the same time safeguarding sensitive data stored in the cloud. At a time when cloud security is sometimes called into question, how does SearchYourCloud accomplish secure searching?

Our algorithms enable us to search on a range of encrypted data. This means that any index we create can be completely ciphered and have the content inaccessible to a would-be hacker. In addition we are also able to pattern match content—meaning that we do not really need to search content directly just the patterns that it renders. Again, making for a secure storage of information.

3. As you are experienced in dealing with companies and government, how are their needs on the searching and security fronts similar and how are they different?

They are the same. Users are required to carry out their daily tasks. To do this, they require the information that is relevant to that task. Private companies as well as government organizations have the same security lookouts as each other. It is their duty to keep their staff/public and corporate data safe and secure.

4. Your LinkedIn profile notes that you hold two patents for search technologies with an additional half dozen pending for search and security databases. What’s at the heart of your focus on and passion for search and security?

The patent is for accessible information while not allowing those who wish to use your information without permission, to do so. I believe that search is something that we all need to do. Whether we like it or not. As such it is the job of technologists to make this task as easy and as accurate as possible. My passion comes from my attempts to prove that this is not rocket science and that search cannot just be easy and accurate for the user, but also should not open up their information to others.

5. Again, your LinkedIn profile describes you as a thought leader in search and security as well as an advocate for simplified approaches to technology implementation. In your opinion, are the public and private sectors getting the message?

They are starting to. Search has not moved on in over 7 years. The same ‘Enterprise Search Model’ Big index, not updated regularly enough and the same massive bills to keep maintenance on the database. While not actually having any improvement for the user experience. This message is starting to gain momentum.

6. Do you find that you have to sell prospective clients on the benefits of your company’s solutions or do they come to you having already thought through search and security?

In some cases yes. In some cases, people come to use from a pure search perspective and see the security as a good benefit. When people come to us from a security aspect, then they are a little hesitant about the search. After all you cannot have a secure search can you?

7. What do you like most about your job and what causes your the most frustration? I love making peoples working lives easier, and making applications simpler.

My job is a hobby to me so I am very lucky. When you show people how a search can be done then their reactions are incredible. On the down side, when you start talking security/privacy then people closed up. It is an area that people are not willing to be open about. This is my biggest frustration. Until we are open about attacks and what has been lost, we cannot fully handle the issues. Without the threat of legal action, sackings and other punishments then I do not see how we are able to really tackle data theft fully.

8. What are the most important trends in the search and security spaces that you have observed over the last 20+ years?

Enterprise Search None. Obviously we have Google, and it has been incredible for the web. But Google is not search. It is an advertising medium. It is a stagnant industry! Security—again little, I am afraid. Yes, people talk about it. But we still rely on the same tried and ‘trusted’ tech that we have done for years. Firewalls – Very good, SSL – Well a little broken in places, Cover ups – Seems to work well?

9. Are there emerging trends in search and security that you believe will be on the radar in a major way in the future? If so, please explain.

Yes I believe in search there are. These are based more on the application front i.e. bringing lots of the same info together in one place for a user to access. Machine learning so that when you turn on your computer, it has already searched your day out in advance. Security. It would seem to me that people have really at last started talking about document level security. This is where you have all of the same security that was previously there, but you have also added an extra layer on the specific information piece.

10. Why is SearchYourCloud a better option for would-be customers than are its rivals?

Ease of use and better results! We find stuff