Box Bets on Key Management

As anyone who’s provisioned, or sold, storage knows, the appetite to keep data is effectively bottomless.

That’s good news for those who resell SANs and NAS systems, right? Well, maybe. Box, which essentially gives away storage space, recently had an IPO and raised a cool $175 million. It, and others in the same business, no doubt have some enterprise CIOs deciding they don’t need that new storage array after all. Now, Box has to figure out how to gin up revenue because, as the 2112 Group’s Larry Walsh points out, free is never a value statement. To that end, Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie this week revealed the Box Enterprise Key Management offering. EKM is meant to allay fears of storing data on the cloud by letting IT keep control of encryption keys, and it’s signed on AWS and Safenet as partners. Key management has long been a sore point for IT. Storing keys in house demands hardware redundancy, bulletproof backup and recovery, a strong authentication system to regulate access, physical controls — it’s the ultimate “all your eggs in one basket” situation. Sore points equal sales ops, so the EKM program should be of interest to Box’s channel partners. Take a look.

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