This week, we released an update to the Mimecast Mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
We’ve already received a number of positive Tweets about the new app and some ideas to take into future updates – special mention to Duncan James, Colin, Peter Annandale, Alex Heer and Rory John for your comments!
The key benefit for users is of course mobile email continuity - being able to send and receive emails when primary mail servers are down! But in addition, the app introduces new archive search options that allow you to access old emails going back years, as well as the ability to search across delegate mailboxes. Plus you can now control your personal or moderated ‘on hold queues’ where you can review messages on hold, and block or release messages from Mimecast. You can also add senders to your blocked or permitted sender lists. Finally, customers who make use of email Smart Tags can now access these through the app.
Even though the new slick user interface grabs the attention, it still delivers on the areas that are traditionally valued in business – security and control.
IT Managers are constantly trying to balance the security of corporate data with user productivity – ensuring users have the right tools to get the job done. Providing users with access to corporate data from smartphones and tablets invariably enhances productivity, however controlling and securing that data without impeding the user is not only a challenge but a major concern. Mobile users can inadvertently put corporate data at risk by doing things such as opening email attachments in third party apps (e.g. Dropbox, Evernote, PDF Reader), using unsecured networks such as public Wi-Fi hotspots, and sending corporate mail from personal accounts when primary email servers are unavailable. All of these are very accessible and convenient to the user, however it is these characteristics that make them a target for hackers and a concern for the organization.
With this in mind we wanted to provide functionality that supported the challenge of securing corporate data on mobile devices.
You now have complete control over your Mimecast UEM administration with the ability to specify access to mobile apps using Active Directory groups, while also being able to allow individual features within the apps.
The app runs within its own secure container, with all communications secured between the app and your Mimecast UEM account. This ensures all emails and files sent from the app are subjected to existing DLP and security policies, and prevents users from inadvertently sending corporate data from a personal account. Another key security feature is the protection of email attachments from distribution or access by third party apps on the device by disabling the ‘open in’ functionality native to the device’s operating system.
For more security and management, you can add additional security controls by enabling enforcement of trusted networks’ access; which restricts the app to accessing data from known and trusted networks; preventing access from the free, public Wi-Fi hotspots that are often insecure and left open to attack. You can also enforce pinlock and password requirements to prevent unauthorized access.
What is information fragmentation? I describe it as silos of information, organized and stored in different but sometimes overlapping structures, without holistic views of the information – all leading to lost productivity, ill-informed decision making and poor information integrity.
Almost everywhere you look information fragmentation is costing business money in lost productivity, frustrating users and exposing businesses risks through failed discovery requests, and forcing business to impose controls that become too restrictive.
The problem is relevant for all of us – at work and in our personal life. Take your personal photos or music for example. More than likely you have some in folders on your laptop, external hard drive, and now cloud storage services like Dropbox, Amazon, and Google? Can you search for and play your music from one location? Is there an easy way of acquiring and consolidating all that data into one central, secure repository?
Organizations face similar issues. Documents and other unstructured data are stored in many places; like laptops, inboxes, file servers, document management systems, SharePoint, proprietary and specialised platforms, as well as cloud services. This makes it increasingly difficult for IT Teams to locate this data and to search reliably across it when responding to eDiscovery requests.
Businesses of all shapes and sizes, across all industries are faced with this common problem. And the more specialized the data and storage platforms are, the bigger the problem, the higher the cost, and the greater the risk.
The underlying problem for all of us is how do we store the data securely, while ensuring we can access the data in a useful and productive way?
Business has two realistic solutions to the problem - on premise only, or a hybrid solution of on premise and cloud. On premise only solutions have been falling out of favor for many years with the high cost of implementation and maintenance, and a lack of flexibility with end user access often being cited as the cause of most concern.
What’s needed is a cloud service like the Mimecast File Archive that can complement the on premise solution by providing predictable costs, automated archival of files on a scheduled basis, secure and intuitive end user access and a solution that offers a smarter strategy for managing information fragmentation and the high costs associated with storing and managing data.
At Mimecast, we’ve also learnt that storing and protecting the data is only one part of the solution. Exploiting the data, while retaining the security and control that the IT team demands, is where businesses get real value from their archive by leveraging the data within it, and exposing the data to users in useful, meaningful and productive ways. We provide businesses with a suite of apps for end users that allow them to access the data in a way they’re comfortable with.