With thanks to Andrea Pfundmeier, CEO and Co-Founder of Boxcryptor, Aviva Zacks of Safety Detectives asked all about her company’s commitment to securing data in the cloud.
Safety Detectives: What motivated you to create Boxcryptor?
Andrea Pfundmeier: For our initial startup idea, we wanted to use Dropbox to store our data, and we were looking for an encryption solution to protect our Dropbox files. Ten years ago, there was no such solution available, so my cofounder Robert Freudenreich, who is a computer scientist, wrote our first internal prototype to encrypt files before uploading them to Dropbox. This then became our product and the company that we have today.
SD: What’s the name of your company?
AP: The company is called Secomba. Back then, when we started, we assumed that we would have many more different products over the years so we chose a neutral company name for the many products we would have. Ten years later we still only have Boxcryptor and are totally focused on it. So probably, Boxcryptor will also remain the only product within the next couple of years.
SD: What does Boxcryptor do to help secure your data on the cloud?
AP: Boxcryptor is an end-to-end encryption solution that allows you to encrypt your files on your local device, on your computer, your smartphone, or your tablet before the data is then synchronized to a cloud of your choice—Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive. We also have a solution for Microsoft Teams where you can encrypt your files before you share them via Microsoft Teams. Therefore, our approach is to offer encryption for any provider you use, and we support more than 20 different storage providers. You can also encrypt your local network drives, or NAS (network-attached storage).
SD: What types of industries need to use a product like Boxcryptor?
AP: Our clients come from all over the world. Every company has important data that has to be protected. Our clients come, for example, from the medical sector and we have hospitals, dentists, and doctors who use our encryption software. Furthermore, we have the automotive industry, aviation, lawyers… There is no typical user.
We also have companies of all sizes. We have small teams within big companies, so, for example, the CEOs or C-level executives use Boxcryptor, and sometimes whole companies use it. Sometimes it’s the research department, sometimes the HR department. It really depends on your use case, like what kind of data do you want to share and store online and what needs to be protected.
SD: How does your company stay ahead of the competition?
AP: For us, it’s important to develop a product which can be used by everybody, and not only by people who have studied computer science for example. It’s the ease of use that we try to provide and, of course, we add features to make Boxcryptor more secure, for example, single sign-on, two-factor authentication, and everything that you need to set up a whole and complete security solution.
SD: What’s the biggest threat to cybersecurity in your opinion?
AP: I think a challenge is that very often you don’t know when you’ve been attacked or when data is lost. For example, when you have a car, and the car is stolen, you go outside and there’s no car anymore. You cannot drive. You can’t do anything. But often, when your data is thrown or lost, you don’t realize it. You realize it in one year, ten years, and then it’s definitely too late.
SD: How do you see cybersecurity developing in light of the pandemic?
AP: It’s even more important because many employees have started to work from home, so people need to access business data from a remote situation. You don’t know what’s happening at home, where are the devices going, what are the people doing with them because they are not in the offices anymore. So, cybersecurity is becoming even more important. And also, because you might need to share more data because you’re not all in one spot, you need to share the documentation about a critical discussion with an employee, with the HR department, for example, and how can you deliver it in a secure way to really make sure that the data is protected. This is where Boxcryptor can definitely help.