CloudLock aims to bring PCI compliance to Google Drive

CloudLock CEO Gil Zimmermann

CloudLock, the Waltham, Mass.-based startup specializing in cloud security, says it’s bringing PCI compliance to Google Drive storage with a service that scans data as it flows into and out of the data repository.

The growing popularity of cloud-based storage services such as Google Drive(s goog)  worries IT professionals. Their concern is not only about the security of the storage repository itself but about the sort of information employees put in it. Obviously, credit card numbers and personally identifiable information (PII) top the list of the types of sensitive data they don’t want flowing into and out of the public cloud. PCI is the standard for handling credit card transactions securely.

CloudLock CEO Gil Zimmermann says the company’s new scan, available as a service, uses its own pattern recognition engine to help put these fears to rest.

“We address the customer access piece of the puzzle. What is being shared, how it’s being shared both outbound and inbound. And we provide a single-pane view of all the organizational data that lets administrators set policies,” Zimmermann said in a recent interview.

Using its pattern recognition expertise,  CloudLock scans the information flowing into and out of Google Drive, flagging instances where it includes credit card or social security numbers.  Business customers can set policies to prevent that from happening.

CloudLock reaches into the customer’s Google Drive account using Google APIs. “The data streams to us, we analyze and flag it, and the data never leaves the App Engine. Since our application is built on Google App Engine, think of our app as running on top of the customer’s environment. That way, we use Google’s APIs to analyze data without it ever leaving App Engine,” according to a spokesman.

Competitors include BetterCloud’s Domainwatch and offerings from the big legacy security vendors like Symantec(s symc) and McAfee(s intc).

The company targets larger enterprises and  claims 1 million end-users under license and an average deployment size of 2,200 seats per customer. CloudLock closed $8.7 million Series B funding in March to build out its cloud security solutions, which already covered the Google Apps productivity applications.

Given what’s going on in public cloud storage — with Microsoft(s msft) Azure, Amazon(s amzn) and Google duking it out for consumer and business users alike — the need to bolster security across the entire process will only grow.