Egnyte Mobile Data Management Suite Aims at BYOD Businesses

The launch comes as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives continue to gain traction among small businesses.

Enterprise file sharing and synchronization specialist Egnyte announced its mobile data management suite, designed to offer enterprises control over corporate data through a variety of device and file management strategies.

The suite is designed to give enterprise IT departments the ability to allow employees to use their own notebooks and mobile devices in the work environment while enabling them to maintain tight control over corporate data and minimize costs. The launch comes as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives continue to gain traction, though data security and employee privacy issues present a challenge to IT departments.

A recent study from industry analyst firm Ovum found that more than half (57 percent) of all full-time employees use a personal device to access corporate data. However, almost 80 percent of BYOD activity is still going unmanaged in the workplace, suggesting a growing need for cost-effective mobile device management (MDM) solutions.

Egnyte's platform attempts to assuage these concerns through management features such as a device control panel that provides an integrated, central view of all end-user devices connected to a company's account. IT admins can view information about the user, device type, last time of access and other data, and can take corrective actions such as disconnecting or wiping a device from the control panel in the event the device is compromised. In addition, users can view their own devices, allowing for self-service when needed.

"Egnyte offers our customers the option of using Egnyte in conjunction with their MDM solution or using our new capabilities as a MDM-light solution," Vineet Jain, Egnyte's CEO, said in a statement. "With the native security and management capabilities, IT departments can reduce costs by getting everything they need in one place. More importantly, they can be confident their files and data are safe."

Other features include certificate-based device trust, which allows only notebooks, smartphones and tablets with a valid security certificate to access the company's file sharing service, preventing access from unauthorized devices, and local file encryption on smartphones and tablets, which is designed to prevent data from being accessed directly from the mobile file system by limiting access to authorized users deploying the Egnyte application.

The ability to remotely wipe files from the device control panel enables the initiation and verification of a remote wipe of all Egnyte file contents in cases where a device is lost or stolen. A two-step login verification enforces a second factor for login in addition to username and password verification. This two-step login can be enforced whether the user is logging in from a notebook, smartphone or tablet, a company release noted.

A recent Ponemon Institute study found that 70 percent of the more than 86,000 laptops lost in 2011 were not encrypted, and that the average cost of each unencrypted lost laptop to an organization was $56,165. Costs associated with a data breach represent 80 percent of the total cost of a lost notebook, compared with 2 percent for replacing just the computer. Encryption can reduce the cost of a lost notebook by more than $20,000, on average, the study found.