Mobile Content Management – Do you have a Strategy?
By Jim Lundy
Mobile Content Management is all about File Sharing and Cloud Content Services. ECM players and Vendors such as Accellion, Box, DropBox, Citrix, Documentum, Google, HighTail, Huddle, IBM, Microsoft, OpenText, SpringCM, WatchDox and more want to store your corporate or government content. Nearly every vendor claims they are secure; many are, but many are not as secure as they claim. We have been getting calls from clients about recent claims from Cloud and Mobile Content Vendors, such as DropBox because those vendors want to secure contracts and they have been presenting their services as viable options for the Enterprise. This blog post is about Mobile and Cloud Content Services and the need to have a strategy for sharing content externally before selecting a vendor.
There is a Shadow IT movement afoot and it often starts with Cloud applications. The shift to business users buying SaaS based Cloud Apps is one of the biggest movements we have seen. The problem is that when it comes to content and the way some File Share/Sync offerings work, it can make for an extremely easy way for your executives to be hacked (in some cases your network gets hacked too).
Business users often start using a file share service because they need to share large files, but it can also be about sharing sensitive files. The crooks are onto this. They are also onto the fact that people have personal accounts, in addition to their enterprise account.
Business Users are Not Aware of the File Share/Sync Risks
In many cases, business users have no idea that hackers are targeting them. They are even more unaware that it can start with an innocent decision to add a file sharing product that may have started its life as a consumer product. This isn’t a new issue. In fact, when there have been breaches, the first thing that often happens is that certain products, such as DropBox are blocked…. Again, Mobile Content Management needs to be looked at as a Strategy. One of the goals is to protect critical content.
File Synch and Security
Not all Desktop and File Sync products are the same. In fact some make it much easier to deliver malware to a specific user’s desktop. When the file sharing software is designed to bypass the operating system, it makes for easy malware delivery. It is also often designed so that things such as password controls are bypassed. This is one area where there are clear differences between products that started life with a Consumer focus and those that are focused on the Enterprise.
The bottom line is that File Sharing and Syncing is a basic set of features and should be viewed as tactical. Mobile Content Management should be the go forward strategy.
Mobile Content Management – more than security features
Enterprises need to look at Content strategically and realize that bad people want access to it and will do creative things to steal it. Business Executives often do not realize this. Our suggestion is for the enterprise to Pre-qualify products that meet a minimum set of requirements. Note that this is about more than having a vendor say that they have certain security features. It is about looking at the entire gamut. Mobile Content Management is about managing content outside of the enterprise repositories, whether they be cloud or on-premise.
While we will be publishing our first Aragon Research Globe Report for Mobile Content Management later in Q2, enterprises need to start working on a more holistic approach to how content is shared internally, but also externally. Enterprises that have already been hacked due to DropBox or other consumer file share services often look at alternatives from existing ECM providers, as well as Accellion, AirWatch, Alfresco, Citrix, EMC, Good, Huddle, SpringCM and WatchDox (and others).
The bigger issue is to establish a set of requirements that balance the security needs of the enterprise, but also allow business users to get their work done. Also note that some providers go further in the ability to track and lock documents – this is what MCM is all about.
We will be talking a lot more about MCM going forward, but the first thing we ask when we get the call is does the enterprise have a strategy around how content is managed. Mobile Content Management is the new watchword.
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