Box Brings In Former Symantec, Yahoo Execs To Ramp Up Security, Trust


Cloud storage firm Box has hired two executives with significant information security experience in a bid to bolster trust with its customers and kindle growth in enterprise clients.

Los Altos, Calif.-based Box last week hired Justin Somaini, formerly chief information security officer at Yahoo, as its chief trust officer, and Niall Wall, formerly vice president and general manager at Symantec, was named as Box's senior vice president of business development. Box said both executives will help shape its new security activities with Wall focusing on building a partnerships strategy.

Somaini, a security industry veteran, told CRN his plan is to engage customers and promote the ongoing security initiatives at Box. For the first 90 days stepping into an organization, Somaini said he typically conducts a reality check to better understand what the organization's security model looks like.

 

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"For Box, a major component of all this is the customers," he said. "It's going to be getting out and having conversations with the customers and then figuring out how to incorporate their concerns into our overall strategy."

Box, which specializes in cloud-based file sharing and storage, announced some new security initiatives in February at the 2013 RSA Security Conference. The updates included support for data loss prevention vendors CipherCloud and Code Green Networks and Samsung's KNOX mobile device management suite. The firm competes with Accellion, Egnyte and OwnCloud, among others, but is trying to appeal to enterprises by strengthening support for its customers' data security initiatives.

Somaini, also a former Symantec executive, is credited with reworking the security firm's security program and starting Yahoo's security program virtually from scratch. The challenges at Yahoo were wrapped around the scale of big data at a level not very many companies can speak to very well, he said. Symantec had a lot of complexity around the product lines forcing him to work with product developers and managers to drive products to solve deeply complex and valuable security problems.

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