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Jun 06 2015

Dropbox Brings Security Enhancements to Its Business Edition

San Francisco's most popular cloud storage service has added some new features that are supposed to strengthen security and simplify business integration.

Just about a year ago, U.S.-based cloud service providers started to complain that their business model had come under close scrutiny in larger parts of the world as a byproduct of the Snowden revelations. Among the many voices you heard, one was curiously absent: market leader and role model Dropbox not only found nothing to complain about, but boasted of even more customers signing up each day than in previous years. Moreover, they decided to vie for enterprise customers and appointed former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to its board of directors – without negative impact: the number of companies subscribed to Dropbox for Business jumped up 25% over the past 11 months and now amounts to 100,000. One reason for this continued success is that the company managed to win over customers in difficult markets like Germany, where data protection laws and privacy standards are much stricter than in the U.S.

To keep up this kind of expansion, Dropbox for Business now puts a stronger emphasis on data security. Starting immediately, the service adds two-step verification to the login/authentication process. Admins may define this as a standard policy and use the service's API to implement further security measures, says a Friday blog post from product chief Rob Baesman. The move appears to be part of a wider – and successful – effort to obtain an ISO 27018 certificate, a proof that Dropbox for Business applies by default the "code of practice for protection of personally identifiable information (PII) in public clouds acting as PII processors" set up by ISO/IEC in 2014. More information about the standard and the firm's related policies can be found here. Another new feature is tiered admins, which basically enables workgroups that use the same Dropbox account to distribute distinct admin roles with different capabilities across the entire team. The idea here was to disburden team admins from day-to-day tasks such as adding or removing team members, in order to allow them to focus on higher-level duties. Finally, a new shared folder API enables companies to define exactly how they wish to mete out information and sync files among users in hybrid clouds, while an enterprise installer allows for the remote installation of Dropbox for Business desktop clients. According to Baesman, the developer team is also working on tighter integration with Microsoft's Active Directory service; however, the required connector is still in beta state and currently undergoing tests by select customers.

Existing and potential subscribers can gain more insights into the new features at a Dropbox webinar scheduled for June 18.


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