MobileIron has rolled out a new service that provides a new kind of security for enterprise users. The recently publicly listed company has unveiled its Content Security Service (CSS), which ensures document-level security regardless of cloud storage provider.
One dilemma that IT admins have to consistently grapple with is the continuous push by employees to transfer their work files to their own personal cloud storage services. Whether it is Dropbox, Box, Google Drive or any of the numerous cloud storage providers, most workers find that storing and accessing their files using these providers are simply easier and more familiar, not to mention more flexible, than being restricted by their company's policies.
Chris Hazelton, research director for enterprise mobility at 451 Research, says 39 percent of employees in the United States prefer their personal cloud providers to an enterprise solution, and IT admins have to think up of something to ensure the security of work documents even as employees turn to other providers.
"Employees often bypass restrictive IT policies to use their preferred consumer apps for work, unintentionally putting corporate data at risk," Hazelton says. "It's about familiarity, access, and awareness."
The solution, according to MobileIron, is to unlink storage and security to give IT admins the authority to ensure the security of individual documents while allowing employees to use the cloud storage provider of their choice. This is actually the second phase of MobileIron's CSS, following the release of Docs@Work, a mobile app that provides employees native access to cloud-based content storage.
This phase offers enterprise clients more functionality by allowing them to secure their documents stored in various repositories. Encryption is one of the core capabilities of CSS, allowing IT admins to encrypt documents as they travel from one personal account to another. The service also allows admins to set expiration policies governing specific documents. For example, if a document containing a price list changes every 30 days, CSS can be scheduled to delete that file in 30 days and replace it with a new price list.
CSS is also equipped with the capability to track a document as it goes from one employee to another. For instance, it can see who opened a file and what device the user used to open that file.
The service integrates perfectly with Docs@Work and supports Dropbox and Box at launch, although MobileIron says it will continue to expand to include support for other personal cloud providers.
MobileIron vice president of strategy Ojas Rege acknowledges that some cloud storage providers, such as Syncplicity and Box, actually provide document-level security strategies for their clients. However, Rege says only MobileIron offers a solution that allows admins to ensure the security of cloud-stored documents across multiple repositories.