Box has launched a beta Enterprise Key Management (EKM) encryption service for security conscious customers.
The "patent-pending" technology is the result of collaboration between Box, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Gemalto, and is designed to let businesses maintain exclusive control over the encryption keys used to protect their data.
The service uses a dedicated AWS CloudHSM appliance in the cloud combined with Gemalto's SafeNet Hardware Security Module (HSM) for key encryption and protection.
This combination of technologies gives customers direct control of the encryption keys and cryptographic operations on the HSM. Box and Amazon do not have access to the keys.
This, in theory, means that Box and Amazon cannot hand over data to intelligence agencies, even if they received formal court orders such as the Fisa requests used by the National Security Agency (NSA) during PRISM.
Encryption has traditionally been viewed as a key way for businesses and individuals to protect data. Whistleblower Edward Snowden highlighted encryption as one of the best strategies following the PRISM scandal in March 2014.
More recently, questions have been raised about common encryption standards, some reports suggesting that the NSA has backdoors for some protocols.
Michael Wertheimer, former director of research at the NSA, apologised for pushing "dodgy" encryption standards in January.
Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box, expects the service to prove a key differentiator for Box in the enterprise market and persuade firms to start migrating systems to the cloud.
"Industries like finance, government, legal and healthcare are facing a new set of challenges when it comes to establishing control over their content - and who can access it - without hindering collaboration and productivity," he said.
"With Box EKM, we've removed the final barrier to cloud adoption for industries that require the highest levels of protection over their information."
Adam Selipsky, vice president of AWS, mirrored Levie's sentiment. "Security is a top priority for us and AWS Cloud infrastructure has been architected to be the most flexible and secure cloud computing environment available today," he said.
"We're excited to work with Box to use AWS CloudHSM to drive a new generation of business productivity and collaboration for organisations that require the highest levels of security and regulatory compliance."
Box EKM is available in beta now and will launch fully at an unspecified date in the spring. Price will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
For a full look at Box storage services, check out V3's review.
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