Box.net Adds Enterprise-Class Security-Access Controls to Cloud Storage

 
 
By Fahmida Y. Rashid  |  Posted 2011-12-15 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Box.net has added new security measures, such as smart links, to control who can click on a Box.net link to make the cloud storage platform more acceptable to enterprises.

Cloud storage company Box.net unveiled a new set of tools and access controls to secure the data being stored on its servers.

The tools include the ability to limit who can view a file or folder, and tracks log-ins from multiple devices and various authentication options, Box.net said Dec. 15. These security options are intended to make it more secure for enterprises leery about employees storing corporate data on cloud servers without reliable data protections.

When users share any links on the service, they can decide to limit access to the file or folder to other people within a company domain or to collaborators within a specific folder, according to Box.net. If the authorized recipient decides to extend the Smart Shared Link to someone else, such a link would be blocked unless the new recipient is on a list of authorized users or in the combined domain.

The new tools give "IT departments unprecedented visibility into how content is moving within and beyond their organizations," Robin Daniels, head of enterprise product marketing at Box.net, wrote on the company blog.

Box.net also has provided the ability to track log-ins from new browsers, from mobile devices as well as from desktops using the Box Sync tools and applications using the Box APIs. Using the function, called Trusted Access, IT administrators can restrict the number of devices an employee can use to access Box.net with the same user ID, which is another safeguard to prevent employees from sharing accounts. Administrators can also restrict which devices can access Box, such as allowing access from a company-issued computer, but not from a home computer or a mobile phone.

Employees have often used these cloud file storage providers to be able to share documents and to collaborate with others, often without IT approval, Geoff Webb, senior product marketing manager of Credant Technologies, told eWEEK in an earlier interview. Cloud services "are being used more and more within corporate networks to move files, typically driven by the employees who also use it at home," Webb said. He added that organizations are worried about managing data security "with the accelerating rate of consumerization, more and more smartphones" being used by the employees.

"Legacy solutions have traditionally pursued security through information lock-down, making sharing and collaboration virtually impossible and forcing workers to find (often unsanctioned) tools elsewhere," said Daniels.

Box.net and other cloud service providers have been adding ways that enterprises can implement access controls to the files stored on these cloud servers in order to bolster the data protections.

Under Groups Active Directory Synchronization, Box will synchronize with Active Directory so that groups and users can be automatically linked into Box accounts, making it easier for administrators to manage user accounts. Once an employee leaves the company, administrators just have to make a change in Active Directory to automatically disable access to Box.

A new partnership with Intel gives Box.net users ways to manage user permissions and group access through single sign-on and authentication, according to Box.net. Intel's Expressway Cloud Access 360, a single-sign-on platform specifically designed for cloud computing, manages credentials to streamline access to the storage platform.  In addition, administrators would be able to use ECA 360 to automatically provision accounts and use existing identity repositories as part of policy management.

Administrators interested in stronger identity-verification measures can take advantage of ECA 360's two-factor authentication technology to configure the system to use a one-time password delivered separately to the user's smartphone or cell phone.

Trusted Access, Groups Active Directory and Intel ECA 360 features are already available, but Smart Shared Links will be rolled out eventually to users, according to Box.net.

Box.net also expanded storage for its enterprise customers. Box Business accounts have been boosted to a 1TB storage limit and Box Enterprise accounts have unlimited storage for unlimited users.

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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