Box Touts New Security, Administration Features

Cloud file-sharing service integrates with data-loss prevention, external reporting tools, adds native 2-step authentication.
6 Ways iPhone 5, iOS 6 Amp Up Social Opportunities
6 Ways iPhone 5, iOS 6 Amp Up Social Opportunities
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Enterprises venturing warily into cloud file-sharing and storage will be able to take a "trust, but verify" approach using new features of the Box service introduced Tuesday.

Through upgrades to its own service and integration with Proofpoint for data-loss prevention and GoodData for reporting, Box is providing more ways for its customers to secure and monitor employee accounts on the service.

"We've always focused on security as a baseline for all our business customers," said Whitney Bouck, general manager of enterprise at Box. "But there are still a lot of unknowns in the market about cloud and what it means to put data in the cloud. We're on a constant mission to educate the market on the safety of the Box cloud and prove that we'll treat their information at least as securely as they could in their own data center."

[ Read about Box's new global file transfer acceleration feature. See Box Launches Accelerator Service To Boost Upload Speeds. ]

Box made a similar announcement in May, which included the beta release of a cross-account search tool for administrators who need to track access to specific files or produce reports for e-discovery in the case of litigation. That tool has been further refined and released to production. In addition, Box is introducing a reporting API for integration with external tools that can be used to monitor activity and spot suspicious patterns. GoodData is the first partner Box has announced that is taking advantage of the API.

The GoodData integration will also allow enterprises to do reporting and monitoring across systems, where Box activity might be only one input to the report, Bouck said.

Organizations with concerns about theft of intellectual property or rules against storing personal information about customers in the cloud will also be able to take advantage of the integration with ProofPoint, which can automatically scan the repository for documents that violate compliance policy. The ProofPoint integration will be available in early 2013.

In addition, Box is adding a native 2-step authentication mechanism. Users who register a mobile phone number receive a sign-on code, which they must enter in addition to their password. Box previously supported multi-factor authentication through leading single sign-on partners like Ping, Okta, Intel, OneLogin, and VMWare, but Bouck said Box decided it also needed to offer it independently. "We're making sure security is just something you know is there and will be honored," she said.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and

Social media make the customer more powerful than ever. Here's how to listen and react. Also in the new, all-digital The Customer Really Comes First issue of The BrainYard: The right tools can help smooth over the rough edges in your social business architecture. (Free registration required.)

Editor's Choice
Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing