Box introduces new anti-ransomware capabilities and other new features at BoxWorks 2021

A refreshed mobile app, e-signature software, cloud-based note taking and new integrations for Microsoft 365, Slack and Zoom were also announced.

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Image: Box

Cloud hosting company Box recently announced several new features and improvements to its platform at its BoxWorks 2021 event, chief among them new deep-learning technology added to Box Shield that makes it easier to detect and eliminate ransomware threats. 

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In addition to the new ransomware features, Box also announced several new collaborative features that will make Box more convenient for business and basic users alike, including a refreshed mobile app that adds some modern features that were lacking in previous Box apps.

New anti-ransomware security features

Before diving into the new collaboration features, let's talk security. Box Shield is the company's security product that's tighty integrated with its platform, and this latest feature expands its ability to detect and identify more sophisticated malware than previously possible — including hard-to-detect ransomware. 

"Deep learning technology complements traditional hash-based or file-fingerprint scanning approaches that leverage known malware datasets," Box said. The deep learning side of security "looks inside of individual files to identify malware and then automatically clears the file or blocks the spread of malware in near real-time," the company said.  

What that boils down to, Box said, is higher detection rates and fewer false positives. For those worried about overwhelming amounts of alerts, don't be: Box also announced machine learning-powered alerts that notify users of anomalous behavior, while also notifying IT its reason for deciding to do so. Once properly trained, the system should be able to discern true alerts from background noise. 

The machine learning capabilities coming to Box Shield are also being put to use preventing data leaks using a new auto-classification system. The system will look inside files to find data like personally identifying information or other sensitive content and automatically sort it into a proper permissions niche based on who should have access to the type of data it contains. 

Box Shield users can enable auto-classification features now, and can expect deep scanning and improved alerts later this year.

New Box collaboration features

There's a lot of new Box features to cover, including two new (or new-ish) user-facing products: Box Notes and a refreshed mobile app.

Box Notes is a cloud-based collaboration tool that allows users to add notes to documents, create tables of content, add code blocks — think Evernote, Microsoft One note, etc. — and easily collaborate with other Box users. It's not going to be generally available until January 2022, but once that happens it'll be part of the core Box offering at no additional cost. 

Second are the new Box iOS and Android apps, which got a refresh that includes several features bringing it on par with other cloud hosting apps. An improved capture mode with optical character recognition for scanning documents, and drag and drop features for iPad were added, too.

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Box Sign, a new e-signature tool integrated with Box, was also announced. Like other cloud-based e-signature products, Box Sign is compliant with standards like HIPAA, SOC, ISO and any other compliance standards met by Box itself. Box Sign also integrates with Salesforce, allowing documents to be signed without needing to ever leave the Salesforce interface.

Lastly, Box announced new integrations with Microsoft 365 (coming in early 2022), a new Zoom app and new Slack integrations (available later this year) that will enable Box to be a content layer inside of the Slack environment.  

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