Seeking to help CIOs feel more secure about storing their data in the cloud, cloud storage and collaboration company Box on Friday announced new enterprise-grade security and management features across its platform. It also sealed a partnership with Intel.
“We are committed to providing the best tools and access controls for end-users and IT admins that deliver uncompromised security across the enterprise,” said Aaron Levie, co-founder and chief executive officer of Box. “We’re introducing new, sophisticated security features at every stage of the Box experience to protect the most important asset of your business—information. Today’s new smart security functionality and active directory updates, as well as our relationship with Intel, make Box one of the most secure platforms for collaboration in the cloud.”
Box, which launched in 2005 as a consumer-focused online storage solution billed as Box.net, has evolved over the years into a content sharing platform that seeks to take on Google Docs and Microsoft SharePoint in the enterprise. Box said it has seen excellent traction in the enterprise in 2011, boasting adoption by 100,000 businesses, including 82 percent of the Fortune 500.
And the market is expected to continue growing dramatically. In its report “Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users, 2012 and Beyond,” research firm Gartner predicted that by the end of 2016, more than 50 percent of global 1000 companies will have stored customer-sensitive data in the public cloud.
But many CIOs are concerned about the security of their data if taken to the cloud. Box’s new security features — which center on smart shared links, trusted access and groups Active Directory synchronization — are intended to help address those concerns.
Box said it has enhanced security permissions on its popular grab and share link feature, enabling users to limit who can view a file or folder to only users within a company domain or to collaborators within a specific folder. Box said the option could be set a several levels, including on individual files, at the folder level, by the folder owner or by the administrator for an entire enterprise.
The company has also updated its Trusted Access Management feature, which tracks each Box login from a new browser, to include tracking of logins from mobile devices, desktops via Box Sync and custom apps via Box APIs. It also gives IT admins the ability to limit the number of devices an employee can access from the same user ID.
Box has also given IT administrators the ability to have Active Directory groups automatically populate within Box. With the new feature, when users log into Box, they will be added or removed from Box groups based on their AD groups. Admins can also create new groups in Box from AD and add or remove users from within a Box group.
“We make no exceptions when choosing our cloud service partners, especially when it comes to security,” said Dan Petlon, CIO of Enterasys Networks, a Siemens Enterprise Communications Company. “Box completely meets our needs and adheres to the highest industry standards for security. Box is a powerful, easy-to-use platform that provides us with the visibility, control and protection we need to confidently share business critical data in the cloud.”
The company also announced a new partnership with Intel to integrate its service with Intel Expressway Cloud Access 360, a software solution intended to help organizations control the lifecycle of cloud access security. Box said it is working with Intel to streamline secure access to Box using credentials managed by ECA 360. Admins using the software will be able to automatically provision Box accounts using existing identity repositories and enable federated single sign-on (SSO) to Box. ECA 360 users can also choose to go with 2-factor authentication for Box.
Box also announced that it would increase storage capacity for Box Business Account customers with an additional 500GB, for a total of 1 TB of cloud storage, at no additional cost. Box Enterprise Account customers receive an unlimited amount of data storage.