Improvements for Sharing Securely on Box

At Box, we're always striving to improve the protection of our customers' data, and to ensure that users are sharing content exactly as they intend. Today, we are announcing several improvements to the secure sharing experience on Box.

Improving the Secure Sharing Experience on Box

Box provides two primary methods for sharing files and folders via (1) invite-based collaboration for granting permission to view or edit content on a per-user or group basis; or (2) creating secure shared links that can be shared with a range of permissions (including internal and external sharing), and are unguessable URLs. We're making the user experience and security of sharing on Box even better by bringing these two features together in one simple user flow, that is rolling out this week. The new features include:

  • A single location for adding collaborators or creating a shared link: Previously, sharing content required separate user flows for creating a secure shared link or inviting collaborators, and now users can do this from one place
  • Seeing which collaborators have access to a folder in real-time: Box will now show which users have been invited to have access to a folder right from the point of sharing 
  • Improved usability on permission settings: We're enhancing the usability of the permission setting experience to ensure users select the right permissions for the files and folders they're sharing either internally or externally 
Improvements for Sharing Securely on Box

Updates to Custom URL Security and Controls

As an optional feature, enterprises can enable or disable the generation of "Custom URLs" for a shared link.  This is a means of changing the default Box-generated, 32-alphanumerical character URL to an easily discoverable, user-defined web address, like “company.box.com/v/press-releases”

This feature is intended to be used only for content that users are looking to make easily accessible using a customized web address, and not for sharing sensitive information. For instance: if you're a car company distributing public press releases for a product launch or a media agency sharing a portfolio of content. Please Note: If your organization has no reason to share content publicly, we recommend admins turn off this feature (see how below). Here are the improvements we're making.

  • Increasing the minimum number of characters for a Custom URL: For improved security, we've increased the number of required characters for creating a link to 12 characters or more
  • Better user education around Custom URLs: We’ve added a dialog in the link settings tool that advises users that no sensitive content should ever be shared with the Custom URL level of permission 
  • Making it easier for admins to turn off the open Custom URL feature capability: We've made it simple to disable custom URLs in your Box instance. Just visit the “Content & Sharing” tab “Enterprise Settings” section of the Box Admin Console to turn off this feature if you don't want users creating open Custom URLs for content. After this change, users will only have the ability to use Box-generated secure links, or invite users or groups to folders directly. After this change, users will no longer have the ability to create open Custom URLs.
Improvements for Sharing Securely on Box

Longer term, as we announced at BoxWorks last Fall, Box is working on a series of innovations to improve security around content classification and external collaboration. These include Box Shield, which aims to reduce risk from user behavior by preventing accidental data sharing and detecting anomalous content access patterns, and two-factor authentication for external collaborators. Further, we continue to partner with leading security platforms to help augment Box's security capabilities and protect customer content. 

We're always striving to improve the protection of our customers' data, and to ensure that users are sharing content exactly as they intend. We will continue to make improvements to Box's core security features, usability, and admin controls to ensure your content is always protected and controlled.

Please reach out to your Customer Success Manager if you have any questions, and more information about shared links on Box and Admin tools available to you see these posts on the Box Community:

About Open Shared Links and Custom URLs

About Admin settings for shared links

About Secure Shared Links