Technology

Box Shield adds ‘Ethical Walls’ feature to prevent conflicts of interest


Cloud storage company Box Inc. said today it’s enhancing its Box Shield security tools with new capabilities that include an “Ethical Walls” feature that creates an information barrier to prevent conflicts of interest and the improper use of confidential data.

In addition, the security suite is getting an advanced malware scanning capability to reduce the risk of malicious attacks, plus new authentication and verification controls to prevent unauthorized access.

The most interesting new feature is Ethical Walls, which Box said is targeted at companies in highly regulated industries such as the financial services and life sciences industries. Companies in those industries must comply with various legal standards and regulations that are designed to prevent the improper exchange of information, and that’s exactly what Ethical Walls is intended to do.

With Ethical Walls, Box users can create information barriers that group users based on business segments, the company explained. Then, they can add mon- or bi-directional restrictions on collaborations. In this way, administrators can restrict information sharing that could lead to questionable or conflicted business activities and legal challenges, Box said.

Another feature with Ethical Walls is the ability to generate collaboration reports to help admins understand if any existing collaborations are violating these information barrier policies. The reports help them see the potential impact of information barriers before they’re deployed, allowing them to adjust the rules as necessary to avoid any necessary collaborations being blocked. Finally, the feature provides admins with an easier way to communicate restrictions on content to company employees by clearly stating which users can and cannot be invited to access specific files, and why.

As for the new malware scanning capabilities, they’re designed to enhance a service that was introduced in 2020 and has since scanned more than 7.5 billion files, identifying more than 450,000 instances of malicious activity, Box said.

Today, Box is introducing an improved scanning algorithm that relies on machine learning to detect more sophisticated threats than before, the company said, with increased accuracy. Box promises admins will be able to detect suspicious activity automatically, with fewer false positives, much faster than previously. The malware scanning tool also gains support for new file types, including Microsoft 365 files, the company said.

There are also richer insights on malware detections, plus more granular controls to prevent malicious content being downloaded by employees. Additionally, Box promised more detailed alert messages to help admins investigate any positive detections.

Box Chief Information Security Officer Julien Soriano said the enhanced malware detection is in line with the company’s mission to provide a single, trusted platform for securely managing content from anywhere.

“We are delivering on this commitment by offering customers new and enhanced security tools that help minimize the risk of malware before it causes costly, widespread disruption,” he said. “By leveraging the power of machine learning, we are continuing to build a Content Cloud that lowers response times to attacks and reduces the likelihood that content falls into the wrong hands.”

To help prevent accidental information leaks, Box is introducing new classification reports for Box Shield admins that provide greater insights into how content is being classified across an organization. The company says security teams will be better able to ensure that content is being handled appropriately by all employees.

New icons, meanwhile, are designed to help users clearly identify classified files within Box. There are also new exemptions for admins to suppress or disable “suspicious location” alerts for individual users who’re known to travel often.

Finally, Box introduced new authentication and verification controls in Shield that are designed to facilitate the zero-trust security model. They include additional multifactor authentication options via email, extra verification steps for Box admin accounts, and customizable, group-based device trust policies. Admins can choose to implement whatever features they deem necessary to secure confidential data.

Image: Box

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