Dropbox announces new business-focused storage service

Leading cloud storage tool will allow users to connect personal and work files

Global cloud storage company Dropbox has announced an extension to its ‘Dropbox For Business’ service, targeted at business owners and administrators.

Announced in a company blog post, the new service is designed to separate work and personal files on users’ Dropbox accounts, making it easier for administrators to manage business data and employees to keep their work and personal information separate.

Users will soon be able to switch between work and personal file folders in a single tabbed interface, in a system that the company says will be “like having your house keys and your work keycard on the same chain”.

Currently, Dropbox users must log out and back in to switch between personal and work accounts, meaning business and personal data is often mixed and security can be compromised.

Other new features to be released in the Dropbox for Business update will include backups, file versioning and auditing tools.

The update marks a further play into the business market for the originally consumer-focused service, which already serves four million businesses globally.

Jon French, security analyst at small business-focused IT security firm AppRiver, welcomed the announcement, commenting: “If an employee saves corporate files to a personal Dropbox, for example, that data could be at a higher risk for being lost or stolen if the employee’s account information is compromised or if the employee leaves the company. Company-controlled storage allows business owners to keep a better eye on data.

“Dropbox also has two-step authentication – password and phone that is accompanied by AES encryption to keep data secure. Two-step authentication is a great idea for business owners who wish to mitigate the threat of user-account hacks or prevent users from becoming the next victim of phishing scams.”

Dropbox for Business will be released as part of an update across all devices early next year. Pricing is expected to remain at $795 per year for five users and $125 per additional user.

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