Box Enhances IT Control, Management Of Mobile Devices In Cloud Storage


Cloud storage provider Box on Thursday introduced new enhancements to its technology that make it easier for businesses to manage and control employees' use of the cloud for file sharing and collaboration.

Those enhancements, including improved security and the ability to specify who can access data from which devices, are aimed in large part at businesses wrestling with the problems caused by employees bringing their own mobile devices to work, said Robin Daniels, head of enterprise product marketing at Palo Alto, Calif.-based Box.

"Businesses need solutions to meet the needs of mobile users," Daniels said. "But most companies don't like to deal with those users' devices. IT doesn't have insight into or control over what employees are sharing. Box wants to work with those businesses to give IT that control."

Cloud storage providers like Box usually already offer encryption of data that is made available for file sharing and collaboration, Daniels said. Links to online files can also be set to expire, he said. "But those links can be passed to other users," he said.

Therefore, Box is introducing Smart Shared Links, which allow a user or an IT administrator to specify whether a link sent outside the company can be shared with others, and if allowed specify who can use the links. Restrictions can be set at the file level or the folder level.

"This is an end-user feature who doesn't need IT to set it up or control it," Daniels said. "Users can set up who can share the link outside the company. The default setting allows anyone to use a link."

The second enhancement is an update to Box's Trusted Access Management feature to allow administrators track what devices can gain access to what content, Daniels said.

"IT can specify access points to the content, and, or, which devices can access the content," he said. "We're giving IT insight into the devices. We want to give companies piece of mind so they will put all their content in Box."

Box is also entering a new relationship with Intel under which Box's file sharing and collaboration technology can be accessed via Intel's Expressway Cloud Access 360 single sign-in, Daniels said.

Finally, Box doubled the amount of cloud-based storage capacity available to business users of its Business Edition to 1 TB. The Business Edition now allows an SMB to share a pool of 1 TB of capacity across multiple users for a price of $15 per user per month.

The company's consumer offering, which provides 5 GBs to the company also offers its technology via 50 GBs of capacity for no charge, and its Enterprise Edition, which provides unlimited capacity for $25 per user per month, are unchanged, he said.

Box offers its cloud-based file sharing and collaboration technology primarily directly to consumers and businesses, but the company in June formalized a channel program upon which it plans to expand in 2012, Daniels said.

The company also offers its technology via a partnership with Hewlett Packard.