Box woos financial services firms with a tailored cloud offering

It was just about two weeks ago that Box set out to remove a major barrier to the cloud for security-minded organizations with its Encryption Key Management capability. Now, it's taken that focus a step further with a full-fledged cloud storage service aimed squarely at financial services firms.

The aim behind Box's EKM, now in beta, is to give businesses in highly regulated industries such as finance the ability to maintain exclusive control over the digital keys used to encrypt their data.

Historically, the lack of that kind of control is a big part of what has kept many companies in such industries off of the cloud.

Box for Financial Services, announced on Thursday, adds to that level of control with industry-specific features developed with partners including Bloomberg Vault, Capgemini and Silanis.

A new retention management feature, for instance, lets organizations comply with record-retention requirements set by financial regulators by securing the creation and modification of documents.

Now in beta, the feature provides full visibility via metadata tags along with adjustable periods and file-level retention, ensuring that if a file leaves a folder with a data-retention schedule, the schedule will follow it, according to Box.

"This is big for getting FINRA compliance, so it was really important for us to put this into place," said Whitney Bouck, Box's general manager of enterprise and senior vice president of global marketing.

Box plans to offer compliance with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) standards starting in the second quarter.

Watermarking, meanwhile, is a new feature that's designed to help discourage data leaks. Using it, prospective investors can view financial documents as collaborators in a folder, for example, with each page of the document marked with an identifier for the individual user.

Anonymous users will see their IP address on every page of the document they are viewing and receive notification that the file is confidential. If a leak occurs in the form of a screen shot, the enterprise will be able to determine who was viewing the document when the images were taken.

Though it's not going through a formal beta process, watermarking will also be available in the second quarter. Pricing on the new products has not yet been set.

Financial services is the fourth industry Box has targeted through its Box for Industries effort, which was announced in September. The first three were healthcare, retail, and media and entertainment.

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