Enterprise sync and share services

Ashton Mills


Box is one of the more well-known cloud storage services with a strong focus on the enterprise. The interface is clean and refined, as you might expect, but it's what's below the surface that make Box worth checking out.

For administrators there are extensive features to manage the permissions of files and folders, as well as track who accesses files and when. A central console provides for adding and deleting users, allocating storage, setting up single sign-on via Active Directory/LDAP, and an excellent at-a-glance view called the Content Manager of all company documents to see what is being shared and by whom.

Security comes in the form of encrypted transmissions and 256-bit AES for data at rest, with encryption keys stored at a separate location to the data. Password strength policies can also be enforced, as well optional two-factor authentication. For remote access, such as from mobile devices, session length can also be set as policy as can remote logout and pass-code locks, helping to ensure lost/stolen devices don't give access to Box files through employee accounts.

Detailed reporting and auditing allows monitoring employee use of Box, tracking user activity, and stats for accesses to shared files and folders. Alerts can also be set, for example to flag possible suspicious activity like mass-downloading of documents.

On the user side there are a range of collaborative features, too. Files can be automatically flagged for review when uploaded, and then automatically moved to another folder when approved, to help streamline office processes. Alternatively, folders can be set to upload only so documents can be written to Box without read-access to the folder (useful, perhaps, for accounts).

Multiple access to the same file is handled, and backed up with version control, so a document can be rolled back to an earlier version if necessary. Users can also set scheduled file deletion and expiry times for shared links, helping to ensure shared documents are temporary.

Box naturally works directly through a browser as well as having clients for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry. Box Sync provides for integrating Box directly on the desktop, making moving files to and from Box a drag-and-drop affair. From here files can be shared privately within a group in a shared folder, or outside the group with links. Direct access is also added through integration with Outlook, Office and Google Docs to share files easily within these applications.

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Finally, Box integrates with popular MDM services like MobileIron and Good Technology giving administrators the ability to enforce secure policy with the Box app on mobile devices, along with remote logout and off-line access controls. Other features include an extensible API to write apps to interface with Box, and Box View to convert Office and PDF documents to display cleanly on web and mobile apps, and without the need to download the file.

In addition to the Personal service, Box provides number of tiers. The Starter package supports collaboration for up to 10 users with 100GB of storage for $6 per user a month. The Business package ups this to unlimited storage and no user cap as well as basic mobile security controls for $17 per user a month, while the Enterprise level expands this to include auditing, fine-grained security controls, custom branding, and the all-encompassing Content Manager console.

2. Accellion kiteworks

3. Citrix Sharefile

4. Spideroak

5. ownCloud

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Tags Enex TestLabdropboxWindowsOpentextBoxsecurity riskCitrix ShareFilebusiness dataSpiderOakdocumentumCSO AustraliaMacOS XAccellion kiteworksEnterprise syncownCloudStorageZonesActive Directory/LDAP

More about 24/7AccellionDocumentumDropboxGood TechnologyGoogleLinuxMicrosoftMobileIronNASOpenTextTechnology

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