BlackBerry the MSP, BYOD the Target

By Doug Barney

It has been teased for months, and now it’s here.

BlackBerry (remember when it used to be called Research in Motion?) has shipped its Secure Work Space tool, the managed solution that keeps mobile applications for work or pleasure separate. The tool works with both Android and iOS. No word on Windows phone support.

The software requires BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 – a way to manage corporate e-mail accounts. 

Image via Shutterstock

BYOD is a hot topic, and for IT it’s great and terrible at the same time. On the plus side, employees enjoy tapping into the corporate network with their own devices – it blends the best of work and their personal lives.

But it is a bigger security risk than an apartment full of Bulgarian hackers.

The main issue for IT is keeping work and personal data and applications separate – even as they exist on the same machine. What Secure Work Space does is attack the apps problem, but at the same time helping to make sure work and personal data don’t comingle.

One BlackBerry customer, e-office mobile (and yes, they refused to capitalize the name), was a beta tester. “Secure Work Space builds on BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, and we found that BlackBerry’s secure infrastructure offered our company the best containerization solution to help mobilize our multi-platform environment, while maintaining a great user experience,” said Thierry Lammers, director and co-founder of e-office mobile. “We’re looking forward to deploying this solution across our organization and to our customers in the coming months, and bringing the separation of work and personal data to life on iOS and Android devices.”

Partners are everything when it comes to mobile, and one such BlackBerry compatriot is Box, which tries to drive collaboration in the cloud.

“Content sits at the center of every successful business and Box ensures that today’s mobile enterprise can securely access their information from any device, in any location and at any time,” said Whitney Bouck, senior vice president and GM, Enterprise at Box. “Box and BlackBerry are powering enterprise mobility for today’s knowledge workers.”

Secure Work Space works by giving end users a container which holds the corporate apps and data apart from all the personal stuff. 

“As our dependency on mobile solutions grows, and as a greater variety of mobile devices enter the workplace, the need for solutions to manage and secure these devices has never been greater," said David J. Smith, EVP of Enterprise Mobile Computing at BlackBerry. "In today’s ‘bring your own device world,’ Secure Work Space is a differentiated solution that brings key elements of the BlackBerry security platform and mobile device management to iOS and Android devices."  

Just Don’t Say No

Many shops are trying to decide if they should say yes or no to BYOD. They should never say maybe because this technological gray area lets in all the risks without any of the protections of a good BYOD policy and BYOD tools such as Mobile Device Management (MDM).

You probably can’t say no even if you wanted to. According to Forrester, some 37 percent of information workers in the U.S. already use their own devices – without corporate permission. 

Forrester also argues that by 2016, 200 million people will bring their own devices to their companies.

Edited by Alisen Downey

MSPToday Editor at Large

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