MobileIron seeks to secure corporate data on personal clouds

New service wants to keep data secure while allowing employees to use personal services

When restrictive IT policies push employees to personal smartphone apps to share corporate data, the security of that information is at risk. On Wednesday, MobileIron will release an update to its Content Security Service that seeks to plug that hole.

One report suggests two out of every five U.S. workers turns to consumer apps on their phones when doing business, partly because of familiarity and partly because they often are a quick way to get work done. But that can mean corporate data ends up on systems that aren't under the control of the company -- a potential security risk should the employee get hacked, leave their job, or simply be careless.

The latest version of MobileIron's Content Security Service is designed to make that kind of sharing secure rather than shutting it off.

The software, which is a component in the company-installed MobileIron Docs@Work app on iOS and Android, encrypts data as it travels to personal accounts on certain cloud services, including DropBox and Box.

It also adds company-established policies that dictate what can be done with the data and how it is shared. For example, documents can be set to be deleted after a certain period. If a document requires regular updating, the software can ensure that old copies are purged and automatically replaced with new ones. The system also tracks who accessed documents, when they did, and what device they used.

Ojas Rege, vice president of strategy at MobileIron, said he sees the software as decoupling document security from corporate cloud services, allowing employees to utilize whatever app works best for them on their device while maintaining control over documents.

MobileIron did not release pricing information for the new service, which will be offered as an add-on to the core MobileIron platform.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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