software dropbox end to end encryption

End-to-End Encryption Comes to Dropbox

Dropbox Boxcryptor
Image Credit: Dropbox

Dropbox to increase security capabilities by acquiring Boxcryptor IP technology and embedding it natively into its cloud back-up and sharing services. The technology allows users to encrypt data on the client side to fully control who has access to their data. An important feature for SMEs and enterprises that need to meet strict data security requirements.

Working in partnership with Boxcryptor

Dropbox already has encryption capabilities but does not support the creation of private keys. Instead, users had to implement their own end-to-end encryption if they required it. This is where Boxcryptor comes in. Boxcryptor was founded in 2010 to help make complicated security solutions easier to use.

The technology that they created enabled users to benefit from the capabilities of cloud computing such as disaster recovery and scalable storage at the same time as not giving away the keys to their data.


For Boxy Business Users

The Dropbox team explained in more detail on their blog:

We know security is a top priority for our customers. It’s important that we offer features that are seamlessly built into our product so customers who want or need an end-to-end solution can safeguard their confidential information without compromising their user experience. We plan to embed Boxcryptor’s capabilities natively within Dropbox for our business users on our paid plans, adding an additional layer of security by encrypting files locally on their devices prior to syncing their content to Dropbox.

The German encryption service, Boxcryptor, added to this with the following statement:

We believe that the combination of our leading encryption capabilities and Dropbox’s easy to use product, with Dropbox’s already robust security features, will help even more customers protect their most sensitive information. As we’ve been a Premium Technology Partner of Dropbox for many years now, we know that we have entered a trustful relationship and we are looking forward to the road ahead.

Attacks Have Increased Since the Pandemic

This is a smart move for Dropbox as the way we work and exchange data has changed dramatically since Coronavirus. More and more teams now work in distributed environments and need to communicate and share files securely. An Ernst & Young’s 2021 Global Information Security Survey reported that more than three in four respondents warn that they have seen an increase in the number of disruptive attacks following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The phrasing of the deal seems to avoid calling this a complete acquisition, rather an acquisition of capabilities. Boxcryptor also stressed in their statement about the acquisition that existing Boxcryptor users and customers will remain under Secomba GmbH with the same Shareholders.

Private keys and contracts will not migrate to Dropbox and all user data will remain on German data centers. Existing customers can keep using Boxcryptor as usual, but new accounts and licenses will not be created. Pfundmeier and Robert Freudenreich the founders of Boxcryptor say that their new mission is to embed Boxcryptor’s IP technology into Dropbox.

James Capell

Technical editor and journalist. I have a particularly strong interest in NLP, AI ethics and cyber crime. Not too fond of cats.