A few years ago, when I had a regular job, my employer gave me a company phone. The phone number assigned to the phone seemed to have led an interesting life before it got to me. I would get mysterious hangups in the middle of the night and voice mail messages like, “Hi, uh, Jack, it’s, uh, me…you got anything for me?” This experience predated today’s current cybersecurity crisis, but it was a good lesson in the imperfections of company phones.
Business and public sector organizations are struggling with the competing mandates of mobility and security. With or without a company phone, you can be mobile or secure, but rarely both. Phones, whether they are company-managed or BYOD’ed, expose organizations to cyber risk. They get lost or stolen. They’re easily hacked, no matter how the device is secured.
SyncDog has committed itself to solving this problem. Like many of the more innovative solution provider’s I’ve seen in the last year, they’ve approach the challenge by side-stepping the accepted approach to risk mitigation. “We ignore the device itself,” explained Brian Egenrieder, Chief Revenue Officer of SyncDog. “You can disagree with us if you like, but in our view, trying to keep a device secure is never going to work. There are just too many vulnerabilities to exploit.” Instead, SyncDog provides a secure container for work-related communications and data that sits on top of the device.
SyncDog works through an app. The app creates a secure container that is encrypted and walled off from the rest of the data and applications on the device. “It’s like your own private, secure island on the phone,” Egenrieder added. Users cannot cut and paste in or out of the container. Nor will SyncDog allow screen captures on Android. Screen shots on iOS trigger an alert. It requires two-factor authentication (e.g. biometric) to open. Encryption is 256-bit, which is the FIPS and DoD level.
The app works on its own, with email, file manager, browser capabilities and Office 365 integration. It also integrates into other apps, allowing app-makers to add a higher level of security to their products. In this way, SyncDog is helping resolve the tension between mobility and security.