Many companies have leaped with both feet aboard the iPad-for-employees bandwagon. Others, meanwhile, remain wary about the security liability of having company documents on a mobile device that’s not secured and locked down by the IT team, in the way that corporate info on a PC is.
To address the risk of iPad data leaks, MokaFive, the folks who created a secure, centrally controlled virtual desktop for Macs and PCs, are launching an app for iOS.
“It’s a secure corporate Dropbox,” MokaFive COO Purnima Padmanabhan tells Fast Company.
Like Dropbox, MokaFive’s app opens up to reveal a virtual bin full of corporate documents. They’re available online and off, and sync with MokaFive’s virtual environment on an associated computer. What’s different from a regular Dropbox is that a company’s IT department can control which employees see which documents and can transfer files in when they’re needed and remove them afterwards. Crucially, the app doesn’t allow non-IT employees to remove documents–preventing the information from being leaked via email or other electronic means.
There are security companies that address such data transfer fears in other ways. Websense, a security firm Fast Company spoke to earlier this year, has a service which will track every bit of data leaving and entering an employee’s mobile device. The same service that blocks malware also flags data transfers the company has redlighted. Padmanabhan says the MokaFive app is different because it puts the focus on the data rather than the device. With the app, the IT department can watch what you do with your data without peeking in at your other iPad activities.
The app is in pilot tests in a few different scenarios, Padmanabhan explains. Medical records provider My Direct HISP is pilot testing the system for transfering patient information to visiting specialists. iPads have already proved a hit with medical professionals, and My Direct HISP is using MokaFive’s app to update doctors’ iPads with patient information for just their day’s appointments. The next day, that patient data is pulled back.
Also testing the app is a big financial firm, Padmanabhan says (though she won’t say who), which is using the app for distributing board books with the company’s quarterly data before board meetings. Employees can access the packet through the MokaFive app up until the meeting, and the company can rest assured that the docs will stay secure. After the meeting the app is wiped and the docs are gone. Padmanabhan asked the company’s execs how employees would access the electronic files before the MokaFive app came along. “I asked what we were replacing and was told, ‘Oh, they just Gmail it to themselves!'”
While iPads are the focus of their first launch, MokaFive is also planning an app for Android tablets, and another for Windows.