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Box buys Airpost, a startup that keeps tabs on cloud app use

Box buys Airpost, a startup that keeps tabs on cloud app use

Airpost says it can turn rogue apps in enterprises into productivity assets

Box has acquired Airpost, a startup that helps enterprises detect and manage the use of cloud applications by their employees.

Airpost, a two-year-old startup based in Toronto, announced the acquisition in a blog post on Friday. Box confirmed it has bought the company. Terms were not disclosed.

Airpost will close operations on March 1. After that, customers won't be able to use its product, founder and CEO Navid Nathoo said in an email message.

But the concept seems sound: Airpost tells IT departments when employees start using cloud-based apps on their own and provides access controls and protections against potential vulnerabilities in those apps. The idea is to let employees keep using the apps they found and get the productivity they want, while keeping the enterprise secure.

The acquisition could be a good fit for Box, which has a cloud-based file-sharing platform that individuals can use but aims its business at large enterprise accounts. Box still offers a personal service with 10GB of free capacity, while boasting marquee clients like GE, DreamWorks Animation and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The company raised about US$175 million in its initial public offering last month.

The 10-year-old Box is up against larger rivals that offer inexpensive storage and collaboration services such as Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive for Business while making most of their money elsewhere. But Box also integrates its platform with other tools, including Microsoft Office 365.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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