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IBM and Box partnership bears first fruit, aims to safeguard BYO cloud apps

By on 21/09/2015

IBM has announced Cloud Security Enforcer, which enables companies to gain visibility into third party cloud apps and control them securely.

The inspiration for the latest product release from Big Blue emanates from the continued rise of shadow IT, according to a recent study by IBM. One in three employees – a number which increases to one in two for the millennial workforce – uploads and shares company data to third party apps, usually without the knowledge or consent of their employer.


According to the study, of employees at Fortune 1000 companies, one in four millennials surveyed is linking the cloud apps they use to their corporate login and password, leaving hackers with all sorts of opportunities to get inside the system. Other less-than-salubrious practices survey participants engage in include signing in with personal email addresses, using weak passwords, and re-using corporate login credentials.

Where Box comes in makes sense. The two firms, which announced a partnership back in June, are coming together for this release by virtue of IBM building connectors to the Box file sharing app for Cloud Security Enforcer. IBM has also built connectors for Office 365, Google Apps, and Salesforce among others.

Built by IBM Security and hosted on IBM’s cloud, the technology aims to exhume any lingering threat of shadow IT in organisations. Opinion, as regular readers of this publication will remember, is divided on the issue of shadow IT. While companies such as IBM, with this release, are positioning it as an evil that needs to be stopped, other security providers are more pragmatic.

Back in July, Paul Cash, managing director of Fruition Partners UK, said shadow IT was both a risk and an opportunity for the CIO. He told this publication: “Shadow IT is a threat to businesses in a number of dimensions. However, the constructive channelling of the energy and enthusiasm of the business to obtain the right IT tools for the job can indeed have a very positive effect for the CIO.”