In this day and age, everything revolves around information or data or as I would prefer, content. It does not discriminate; from the fashion moguls to the business executive to the college student. It is therefore absolutely necessary that enterprises ensure their content management practices show the need to secure mobile data.
Many IT departments haven’t defined their content strategies even as we progress toward the cloud and mobile era. It is worth noting that crucial information can be residing on various cloud services as well as mobile gadgets which may often not be controlled directly by the organization. It is no wonder that a lot of corporations still prefer using outdated shared storage methods as their main content management strategy as they have limited per user security because they are basically shared drives.
However even with all of that, it is a bonus that almost all operating systems have some sort of sharing and cross-sharing program which involves Mac OS, Linux and Windows. The down side is that control is limited, tracking practically doesn’t exist, and authentication is at a bare minimum and as for management visibility, literally missing. The dangers are thus very apparent, data can be stolen, altered out of malice, lost or even worsen and there is little remedy and more often than not no knowledge on the side of the organization.
In a bid to avoid such occurrences, two technologies have emerged recently to assist IT personnel to develop a content management strategy. These are: mobile content management (MCM) and enterprise file sync and share (EFSS).
MCM containerizes content
Mobile content management is available as a part of enterprise mobility management system but has also been previously available as a standalone product or service. It contain parts of cell phone device and application management and also inclusive of expense management tasks overall policy compliance and identity.
A lot of the time MCM is applied as a secure vessel on a mobile gadget controlled by a central authority. The vessel is often encrypted and there are policies set in place to regulate how can access information in the vessel and how permitted apps can use the data as well as it allows users to copy, print or consume corporate content. Top noted vendors include BlackBerry and VMware, GoodTechnology and MobileIron.
Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) Features
Cloud based file storage is one of the most familiar storage and sharing services which are at times even used in businesses. TDWS Cloud is one such service. The enterprise file sync and share products vary from traditional sharing techniques and consumer grade services by addition of tools such as SharePoint support, Active Directory integration and more understandable two factor security authentication.
EFSS offer also gives centralized administration and management, policy based push sync and Group Policy management unlike consumers facing Dropbox and Google Drive. To add to that, they have competencies for geofencing, rights management, access restrictions, data deduplication reporting and so much more. While EFSS is not equivalent to cloud based service it can also serve effectively in this role if cloud services are not the preferred option. For EFSS there is still a market and vendors like TD Web Services have TDWS cloud.
MCM and EFSS often have a functional overlap with regards to sync but MCM is most suitable for people who prefer to use their own devices.
How to implement EFSS and MCM
A lot of MCM and EFSS are directed to tablets and smartphones but it’s also necessary to include traditional desktop operating systems and provide cross platform support. Between the both of them, their services and products have a lot of features but they maintain a kind of simplicity because of managing huge quantities of content accessed to by different users. It is encouraged that IT departments take MCM and EFSS finalists a trial run with real time users before finalizing on any decisions the reason behind this is that there is a variability in user interfaces, user preferences, feature sets and individual skill which may –in the long run- pile up support costs.
Another worthwhile idea is doing a staged rollout to pin point potential problems prior so as not to interfere with business productivity. The point behind these systems is business growth and thus having an upfront functional verification and usability can make a big difference.
Before utilizing the EFSS and MCM products it is key to decide if one should host it in the cloud or locally. While the use of a third party in handling sensitive data poses a security threat to IT managers, they can rest assured that there are features to provide them with security. Furthermore they can also add another security measure by encrypting their data all they have to do is ensure they have an up to date security system.
There is a distinct advantage in cloud based services is they have a little blow on the IT department and the provision of simplified scalability. In summary, choosing the appropriate management feature can be an overwhelming especially with the evolution of the industry but it is inevitable as there is demand for more manageable, comprehensive and secure strategies.