Box debuts new security controls, other enhancements to workflow automation tools

Cloud storage company Box Inc. is using its annual BoxWorks conference as a launchpad for its new Box Shield as well as enhancements in Box Relay, helping users secure their most important data and collaborate more easily on various projects.

First up today is Box Shield, which is an add-on service built into Box’s content management suite that was announced earlier this year. It helps detect anomalies and risky behavior and prevent data from being stolen or misused.

With Box Shield, administrators can set up policies governing access to documents stored in Box, limiting the ability to share links to or download certain files. The service also uses machine learning to alert administrators to abnormal behavior that could indicate an account has been hacked. For example, if a user suddenly displays changes to download behavior, or logs in from an unusual location, the account would automatically be flagged and, depending on the pre-set policies, could be prevented from accessing or downloading files.

Box Relay, meanwhile, is the company’s workflow automation tool that customers can use to automate various business processes centered around the content they work with. Launched in 2016, Box Relay gives customers an easier way to manage and track repetitive work processes, such as submitting expense reports and getting approval for agreements. It also enables workers to create workflows that can be shared with their colleagues to boost collaboration and make those processes more efficient.

There’s nothing groundbreaking in today’s enhancements, but experienced users should still appreciate some of the more advanced features for managing workflows. For example, Box Relay now offers a “Rejection routing” function, which enables workers to revert back to a previous step in a specific process should a workflow be rejected for any reason. Also new is the ability to explore activity history for each workflow, so users can see more details about what happened around a particular file.

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Box Relay further gains the ability to manually start workflows from owned or co-owned files. Another new feature enables users to assign specific tasks to Box Groups. Finally, Box is adding the ability to approve, reject or mark tasks as complete from a mobile device.

Alongside these updates, Box said it’s updating its integration previews with Microsoft Teams and Slack, which are collaboration and messaging platforms used by many large enterprises. The idea with the integrations is to ensure more seamless and secure collaboration, Box said.

“Most workers these days expect documents to be ‘at their fingertips’ when doing business, accessible in business processes, in their workflows and communications tools,” said Holger Mueller, principal analyst and vice president of Constellation Research Inc. “And that’s what Box is enabling by supporting and integrating with Microsoft Teams and Slack to meet employees where they work. Box Relay and Box Shield support workflows and provide protection for sensitive documents. With that, Box enables a key trend that matters to enterprises, namely enterprise acceleration, becoming more agile and faster.”

Box said Box Shield will be made generally available on Oct. 29. Box Relay’s latest enhancements are available now.

Image: Box

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