Allow admins to report on activity of external collaborators.
We want to report on external collaborator usage of our specific content for a number of reasons:
1) to be able to access if their external collaborators are no longer using our data and should be removed
2) to help us understand how their internal users are working with people outside of the enterprise.
Right now, the reporting is limited to showing when people have accepted folders, or users can go to access stats - neither of these options is sufficient.
Ability to see activity of external Collaborators.
a. Downloads, uploads, previews, edits, etc.
b. We can see my managed users but can't seem to find any activity for external collaborators other than they were invited and accepted the invite.
In the current state of Box this is already possible but with extra steps involved. Here is what I’ve learned about external users and what I can and cannot see about them. Hopefully this helps others who see this.
1. I can run a report on ALL external users and see what folders they have access to (using the Outbound Collaboration report) but I cannot run a report on a specific external user just to see what they have access to. I can look in the Users and Groups section and it will show what they are specifically collaborating on but there’s the possibility that their access may have been taken from a folder and I wouldn’t see it from there. Same goes for the report itself but that’s not as important because I would see all the folders they have had access to based on the invites in the report.
2. I can run a report on a folder a user has access to (using the Folders and Files report) but that only shows what files were uploaded and last modified to the folder. This does not show who uploaded them or who last modified them. If a file is deleted it will still show in this report. Its helpful but still does not show the full activity.
3. Using the User Activity report, I can figure out the activities of an external user as long as I pick all of the folders and sub folders they are collaborating in (which leaves the possibility of items missed). It will also give me any other user collaborating on that folder managed or not which is easy to filter out.
4. If you look at the Access Stats property on a file it will display both managed and external user actions on a file. Which that is great, but the User Activity report can grab the information on that file and any others in the folder. And the access data is still intact even if the external user is removed.
So the main question I want to ask is why I can’t pull a report on a specific external user in our environment with the same ease as a managed user?
My findings show from stitching together reports that it should be possible however to do this but in its current state, it would need 2 reports (Outbound Collaboration & User Activity for the specific folders and subfolders they had access to) to sort it out and put a report together before removing their access (99.9% of the time because they no longer work with the company). This would take about two hours (most of it waiting for the reports to complete) for me to filter, sort, and assemble in a best case scenario ( assuming the folders they have access to do not have multiple sub-levels of folders and the folders they are collaborating on are not owned by someone else in our company [which could be owned by another individual managed user]). When we offboard a managed user, we run the activity report for historical purposes in the event Legal or Cybersecurity needs to know for a case they are working on and we would like to have the same process in place for external users. Once a user is removed, so is their user activity (unless you look at the access stats on each individual file).
TLDR If you want to report on an external user with the same format as a managed user, run the Outbound Collaboration report, filter it by the external user you're looking for, find the folders they have access to, run the User Activity report on the folders and all subfolders of the parent, then filter for the external user again.
Additional reporting would be great, especially a simple report that lists all external users similar to managed users.
AdminAnonymous (Admin, Box) commented
My customer would benefit from the ability to see: (1) when the External Collaborator last accessed their account; (2) when the External Collaborator first was given access to their Box account.
Similar to what is offered in the User Details report for Managed Users.
Matt Wells commented
To be able to filter an activity report for one folder that shows both managed and external users. This would allow greater visibility of who is accessing and using data when a project includes external collaborators.
We are periodically required to create a report that details external user interactions with shared content. This helps us gauge the engagement of the external collaborator, and potentially what specific content is of most interest.
It appears that [Reports > User activity > File management > All > Export > Filter] is the only way to report on external user activity. This apparently covers all external user actions apart from login activity.
Running this User activity report on a folder is fine, but clunky as you can’t filter by an external user directly via the UI (you have to export the results and then filter on User's name/email columns in Excel).
The [Reports > User activity > Filters > Users or groups (optional)] field needs to incorporate external users.
We would love to see when an external users does any activity to a directory or file, just as an internal user. We have locked all file sharing to force external users to create an account. No 'open' links.
This important for firms sharing documents with opposing counsel, etc.
Box Administrator commented
It is unthinkable that a company like box that supposedly prides themselves on security that you cant repot on external users and what they have access to in your org. borderline criminal? how are you supposed to audit these external users? crazy
Sandy Halim commented
I second this idea. We had an external user removed folders that were owned by several internal users and until we exported whole activities within a date range and did some filtering we had no idea of the cause and impact.
This is critical if Box take security into account seriously.
Nada O'Neal commented
It's especially problematic when we think that an external collaborator may have been deleting, renaming, or moving files. It can really hard to track down what happened without the ability to report on their activity.
This came up once when we knew someone had deleted one file, and we were like, "they deleted one... did they delete others?" Even though it's theoretically possible for us to retrieve from the "items I own" Trash, it was hard to figure out if there was a big problem or not.
AdminRaymond Chan (Admin, Box) commented
In the reporting UI for User Activity report. Admin is able to apply a prefilter by managed users/ group. Since the report also includes event performed by external users, it would make admin's life easier if they can also search by external users.
Sara Hannigan commented
We would like to export external user data in a format similar to the managed user export so he can create a csv file.
Brad Monroe commented
Currently, admins can sort the External Users page by Login, Name, and Date Added. Customers would like the ability to also sort by 'Last Activity Date' so they can easily identify the External Users that haven't 'touched' (been active) in a company-owned folder in the longest time and can then take the appropriate action (removing from all folders via the right-click menu).
This would be especially helpful as reporting on External Users is currently very limited in the Admin Console (e.g., they do not show up on the 'Export Users' report).