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WSU tests Weber Box cloud storage

Dropbox, iCloud, Like Box and MobileAccess are all popular online storage forms that keep files safe and secure. To keep up with the times, Weber State University has developed its own form of cloud storage called Weber Box.

Weber Box is currently in trial form in the university, and many different departments are using it. Jonathan Karras, the network and security technical manager, has been working closely with the project and its safety.

“One of our main concerns was safety,” Karras said. “Box is encrypted at rest and encrypted at transcript. The data will also not be able to get lost.”

Records placed onto Weber Box are available to those with specific access. To access an account, students must be set up through the IT department and are then monitored on all access they have used.

“Weber State will have ownership of all of the data put in,” Karras siad.

Weber Box provides many new possibilities to faculty and staff, including the opportunity for departments to become paperless, which helps provide the green environment the university encourages. Weber Box tracks all movement and access to files. Along with reducing files, it gives access from various devices, including iPads, smartphones, Macs and PCs. Mark Simpson of the Registrar’s Office currently uses it with his employees.

“We like the reliability it brings, along with the ability of always having a current file,” Simpson said. “Any time a document is changed, Box saves the old and new file with info of the person that accessed it last.”

There is currently a $5 monthly fee for every account using the Weber Box, but all WSU employees are able to get access to an account of their own, specific to the departments they work with. Each account is individual and will be given access according to the need and security of the job, in order to provide the needed safety and security.

Online storage drives provide safe and easy storage options that do not have to be accessed on only one device. When the file is saved, it is stored on a physical memory bank that is only available with access. This storage bank opens up to the Internet, where the information is accessible. Traditional memory sticks, USB drives and e-mailed files have many limitations overcome by these clouds. Users can get any file of any size from their storage and see it anywhere, whereas e-mails are restricted to certain numbers of megabits.

Jennifer Robinson, a student office clerk in the IT department who is studying zoology and is in the pre-vet program, has been using Weber Box from the beginning. She has seen from its origins how it has been adapted into the university.

“It makes collaborating between departments very easy,” Robinson said. “It’s like Dropbox on steroids.”

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