Since the early days of enterprise mobility, IT departments all over the world have grappled with how to control accessibility of emerging mobility devices and what kind of action can help prevent unauthorized access of enterprise data even if a device is lost or stolen. These have been burning questions for IT departments worldwide and many organizational have come up with techniques to handle the possibility of network security breaches. Some of the common methods of combating the risk associated with implementing enterprise mobility at the workplace include: enforcement of password policies for connecting to network and accessing information; configuring a device for remote wipe prior to allowing its use on the enterprise network; enforcement of VPN (Virtual Private Networks) for connections between enterprise servers and mobile devices. However in the ever changing IT and mobile solutions market, the flooding of new devices led to the implementation of policies such as BYOD, which allow users to access their company network using personally-owned devices. The implementation of BYOD policies led many organizations to figure out new ways of securing their data as traditional methods were unable to provide adequate security to corporate. One of the emerging tools proposed to enhance the protection of sensitive information from unauthorized access is known as the container technique.
What is a Container?
In very simple terms, a container is a software code or a piece of hardware, which allows the separation of personal data on a mobile device from sensitive corporate data. However that’s just the traditional view of containers- current containers are designed to perform a wide range of tasks including providing security to sensitive corporate data. The current design for containers includes the ability to provide secure access to a solution, which is tailor-made to provide specific functionality to the user according to the functionality customized at the time of configuring the device for use on the enterprise platform. The container allows the IT services department to exert superior control at the time of accessing potentially sensitive company information using the device. In this way, the container can be perceived to act as an additional security solution with respect to mobile devices.
Container techniques definitely improve the security outlook of devices, which continually access the company network as well as public networks. Moreover, containers also allow the IT department to initiate remote wipe commands to delete any sensitive data (such as authorization keys, business-relevant data etc.) stored on the device if it is misplaced, lost or stolen. Currently available container techniques also provided additional security to stolen devices, which undergo extended periods of hacking during attempts at retrieval of sensitive corporate data by unauthorized persons. Additional benefits can include streamlined of accessibility of data on the enterprise network if a correct code is utilized to access the data.
The main problem with implementing the use of containers is the increased cost and time required for maintaining functionality of the container on every device. As every new device connecting to the enterprise network is configured separately, enterprise-wise implementation of the system requires time, while significantly constraining available IT resources. Moreover, if a hardware-based container technique is implemented, the IT costs incurred by the company can get increased significantly in the short term, however in the long term, containers are perceived as an investment. Another problem for the IT department is related to tracking the condition of every container deployed by the department for various devices.
Though it is true that container techniques are still in a development stage and current container technology needs to progress to a much greater extend prior to gaining large-scale acceptance by organizations. However, the benefits of the technique are also significant including though not limited to an improved user experience and increased security of sensitive corporate data. Though the procedure of implementing container techniques for individual devices is currently cumbersome in nature, further development of relevant technologies is expected to improve the overall outlook of this emerging security solution.
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