Comparing Watchdox and Vaultize – Leading Enterprise File Sync & Share (Part 4)

Posted by Anand Kekre on January 22 2015

In part 4 of the “Comparing Top 5 Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS)” series of posts, we compare Vaultize with Watchdox. Vaultize scores over Watchdox with its holistic approach towards information security, including built-in data loss prevention (endpoint encryption, automatic and remote wiping), data protection (endpoint backup and restore), information rights management (IRM/DRM), mobility management and multi-dimensional access control.

Looking at the multi-billion dollar revenue opportunity, many vendors claiming to be Enterprise File Sync & Share (EFSS) providers have emerged. Most of them focus only on the end-user features but lack the enterprise security, controls and visibility required by businesses to ensure protection from data loss, security and compliance risks.

This is part 4 of the “Comparing Top 5 Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) and Mobile Collaboration Solutions” series of posts, where we are comparing Vaultize with Watchdox, Citrix ShareFile, EMC Syncplicity and Accellion – which we believe have enterprise-grade controls and have also found place in Gartner’s EFSS Magic Quadrant. In this series, we will do the comparisons mainly from an enterprise IT perspective; from the end-user perspective, all the solutions are almost at par.

In part 2 of this series, we compared Accellion, and in part 3 we compared EMC Syncplicity, giving a perspective on why Vaultize is superior over them. In this part, we compare Vaultize with Watchdox.

Holistic Approach

The first and biggest advantage of Vaultize over any of the competition is the information-centric holistic platform approach towards security, control and visibility through built-in digital rights management (DRM), data loss prevention (DLP), data protection (backup/restore) and enterprise mobility management (EMM) capabilities. This means, irrespective of how the corporate content is being accessed, used (for example, edit and annotate) or shared by the end-users and irrespective of the device being used, everything complies with the IT defined policies, ensuring corporate compliance – even when the content goes beyond the corporate boundaries and to the devices beyond IT control. This is the first and foremost reason why large enterprises – even in highly regulated and security-conscious verticals – trust Vaultize.

In this context, Watchdox follows similar information-centric approach but significantly lacks the kind of end-to-end security that Vaultize provides (like encryption at source, control over encryption keys, VPN-fee nature), data loss prevention (endpoint encryption and remote wiping) and mobility management capabilities.


Vaultize performs military-grade AES 256-bit encryption together with content-aware smart de-duplication at source (that is, on the end-user device itself) before transmitting the data - without solely relying on SSL (because SSL is prone to attacks). This effectively builds a secure (VPN-like) tunnel and provides source-to-destination and cradle-to-grave security. As a result, VPN, which leads to poor and frustrating end-user experience, is not required for access, sharing and mobility. Vaultize further adds a level of security by DRM-encrypting the files to manage the rights even after the data is shared and downloaded by third-party.

Watchdox relies on SSL and DRM encryption to secure data from source to server to destination.

Access Controls and Tracking

Vaultize provides corporate IT complete control on the access to corporate content at the level of a user, data source and the type of data. Vaultize provides Digital Rights Management (DRM) in the same way as Watchdox such that the access rights travel along with the data ensuring that corporate IT has full control and tracking on access and use (like edit, copy/paste, print etc.) of data even when it goes to third-parties.

Additionally with Vaultize, IT can create security fence around corporate data such that it is accessible or usable only from certain IPs and/or geographical locations. This capability is not available with Watchdox.

Sharing Controls

Both Watchdox and Vaultize provide IT with good controls over sharing and also provides ability to enforce information rights even after the files are downloaded by third-party (DRM aka IRM).

Vaultize gives additional controls in terms of with whom the documents can be shared (like IP ranges, domains, geographical locations) that are missing in Watchdox.

Outlook Plugin

Both Vaultize and Watchdox provide Microsoft Outlook plugin for policy-based control on DRM encryption of attachments and also allow individual users to apply additional restrictive rights.

While Watchdox plugin replaces files in native format with their DRM-encrypted versions, Vaultize plugin replaces attachment(s) with secure links (irrespective of whether DRM is to be applied or not) pointing to DRM-encrypted container. Vaultize does it for all the attachments, whether files are shared with third-party or shared inside the organization. This frees up email storage (both in PST/mailbox and email server) and network bandwidth. All shared files are securely stored only once on Vaultize server/cloud and a link is automatically inserted in the email. Corporate IT can also set policies for auto-conversion of attachments to secure links.

Hence, Vaultize can significantly reduce the cost of storage – particularly the high-end storage used for Exchange Server.

Mobility Management Controls

Both Watchdox and Vaultize provide some form of Mobility Management controls. But some capabilities of Vaultize like data containerization, remote wiping and automatic wiping (based on IP/Geo location) are not available in Watchdox.

Data Loss Prevention and Data Protection

Vaultize provides policy-based endpoint DLP capabilities (endpoint encryption and remote wiping) for both mobile devices and PCs (laptops and desktops), while Watchdox does so only for shared DRM-encrypted files. Vaultize selectively encrypts files and folders at-rest based on corporate IT policy (using file/folder patterns, age, size) on Windows laptops/desktops to protect data from unauthorized access and, ability to remotely wipe in case the device is compromised, lost or stolen. The remote wiping also works automatically based on IP and geographical location.

Vaultize provides IT to define data protection (endpoint backup/restore) policies to regularly backup not only simple files but also open and large-size files like Outlook PST. That means wherever the corporate contents are, they are fully protected, irrespective of whether they are being accessed and shared. Watchdox provides versioning only for shared files and does not support open files.


Vaultize performs content-aware smart de-duplication across all the users and devices in the organization. This significantly reduces the network traffic as well as the storage requirement at the server. Global de-duplication plays an important role in making data transfer efficient when the end-user is roaming beyond corporate perimeter on a low bandwidth network. This, along with no-VPN, enormously improves end-user experience and hence the productivity. Watchdox has very limited de-duplication capabilities.

End-user Features

Both Watchdox and Vaultize have good consumer-like end-user UI/UX, while providing security and administrative controls to IT without negatively impacting the end-user experience.

But Vaultize provides many end-user features increasing usability and productivity - like flexible group collaboration with selective folders, automatic conversion of attachments to links through Outlook plugin and upload permissions to third-party. Hence Watchdox falls weak in handling of the key use-cases like FTP replacement, control over email attachments (which have quite significant use in regulated and security conscious verticals like BFSI and Pharma).

Deployment Options

Vaultize also provides purpose-built appliance series and scalable private cloud option, in addition to on-premise and public-cloud that are available with Watchdox. As per Gartner’s reports, Watchdox’s ability to support large and scalable on-premise/private-cloud deployment and support for enterprise infrastructure is questionable.

Overall, Vaultize is built on a holistic information-centric approach with advanced administrative controls not available with any competition. Corporate content is completely under IT control and visibility irrespective of where it is, who uses it and from which device. Rather than binding an end-user to a specific device, it provides anywhere, anytime and any-device access, use, sharing and control of data – enhancing user experience and productivity.

Download our free whitepaper – Don’t Get Fired For Critical Data Leaks: 6 Essentials For 100% Secure Enterprise File Sharing. You can also try our virtual appliance (for free) at our Free Download page.

Topics: Solutions, Competition, Product, watchdox competitor, watchdox alternative

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