BlackBerry Balance Maintains Strong Wall Between Work, Personal Data
One useful feature of Balance is that you can control the ability to see both sides of the unified messaging. It can be provisioned so that it's not possible to see both sides of the phone in unified messaging and users can also choose to hide work messages from the personal (unlocked) side of the device. This is handy if you're trying to ignore your work email while you're on vacation, for example, or if you don't want to be distracted by personal messages while you're working. Despite the impenetrable wall between the work and personal sides of the device, switching between them requires only a choice on a pull down menu. Slide a menu down from the top of the screen and the choice appears. All you have to do is select it to change instantly. You can, however, set it so that a password is required to enter the work side of the device from the personal side. Balance gives users the limited ability to move data from the personal side to the work side of the device. But you can only make data more secure than it was to begin with. For example you can highlight data in a personal email and then paste it into your work email, but you can't go the other direction.Provisioning requires knowing details about the user's email service that are readily available to the IT department, including the user name, the server address and the domain information. I found the entire process of setting up and using Balance to be straightforward and uncomplicated. I also tried everything I could think of to get into the secure work side of the device in a way that an unauthorized user might. Trying to get access through the USB port, using the SD card and cutting and pasting simply didn't work. While the BlackBerry's memory is accessible through the USB port so that you can use the device as you might a memory disk or external hard drive, the secure section of the device remained inaccessible. Overall, BlackBerry Balance seems to be well thought-out and easy to use. The IT department retains control over the data on the work side of the device, and can wipe it as needed without affecting any personal information. Balance seems to be a quick and easy, yet very secure, method of protecting mobile data, and that's something most companies need.
Once Balance is provisioned for a specific user, the IT department doesn't need to do anything to the device. Users will need to enter their email address and password to activate Balance on their device, at which point the device will synchronize email that was provisioned to be in the work side of Balance.