BlackBerry says its new Digital Office eliminates want for VPN, VDI
BlackBerry has unveiled its Digital Office platform, an online portal and workspace for safe on-line and offline entry to company on-premise or cloud content material, together with Microsoft Workplace 365 assets.Digital Office, introduced final week, integrates a safe browser-based workspace bought by Awingu, a Belgium firm that penned a partnership with BlackBerry in 2018. Companies can entry their legacy Home windows, Linux, SaaS or inside internet apps, desktops and recordsdata within Awingu’s safe managed browser. Awingu’s unified workspace runs Home windows, Linux, internet and intranet apps.Primarily based on BlackBerry’s Zero Belief Structure, Digital Office eliminates the necessity for a VPN or VDI infrastructures and is designed to supply steady risk safety utilizing synthetic intelligence and machine studying to allow customers to securely work wherever and from any machine, in response to BlackBerry.Zero belief is an enterprise safety structure or community the place there’s by no means a “default belief” choice that mechanically authorizes end-users or programs; as an alternative it requires a type of verification for any try to entry enterprise programs.The system depends on multifactor authentication, analytics, encryption and file system-level permissions and consists of dynamic enforcement of entry guidelines – not just for a consumer’s id but in addition for his or her machine and the context by which they’re trying entry. The result’s that customers are given the minimal quantity of entry to perform a selected activity. BlackBerry“We break all the things all the way down to an actor, an motion and a goal. So who am I, what machine am I making an attempt to do, over what community am I making an attempt to do it, and based mostly on analytics ought to I’ve kind of friction for what I’m making an attempt to do?” stated Alex Willis, BlackBerry’s vice chairman of gross sales engineering. “Friction might be a number of types of authentication, or block entry.”Awingu’s browser was out there previous to Digital Office by way of BlackBerry UEM and as a part of its BlackBerry Entry cellular browser providing. Digital Workforce additionally incorporates BlackBerry’s personal Desktop administration platform in addition to AI-driven safety software program from Cylance, an organization acquired by BlackBerry a few yr in the past.”[It’s] not simply Awingu, however all of the connectivity by way of both the e-mail calendar contacts functions inside Digital Office in addition to BlackBerry Entry Browser” Willis stated. “So, the entry browser is connecting to the BlackBerry infrastructure similar to our functions would in your iPhone or Android machine. So, we’re facilitating the safe connectivity behind the firewall. The consumer doesn’t know if it’s going by way of a VPN. All they know is they begin the browser and get to their company web.”For auditing functions, IT admins may video file each end-user for his or her total session or after they entry a selected software, Willis added.In some methods, BlackBerry’s Digital Office is one thing of a re-packaging/licensing announcement as an alternative of a set of recent merchandise, because the capabilities and partnership with Awingu are all issues BlackBerry has had for some time, in accordance in response to Chris Silva, a vice chairman of analysis at Gartner.Whereas different distributors similar to VMware and Citrix provide unified workspace options, BlackBerry is “considerably distinctive” amongst different unified endpoint administration (UEM) suppliers in that the majority of its prospects are utilizing an specific container. Which means end-users are counting on BlackBerry’s UEM app to entry e-mail, contacts and calendars, versus the native apps, in response to Silva.“They’re additionally the one vendor with a container that may be consumed on desktop and cellular,” Silva stated by way of e-mail. “Addressing the Home windows app challenge was of nice significance to maintain competing within the UEM market, particularly as VMware and Citrix each now provide licenses that embody each UEM and their virtualization expertise.”By means of its Awingu partnership, BlackBerry’s browser-based entry capabilities are a novel variant to VDI, in response to Nick McQuire, a senior vice chairman of analysis at UK-based CCS Perception.“By integrating this, it offers BlackBerry extra choices to upsell prospects on new use instances, particularly on the desktop,” McQuire stated by way of e-mail.Extra importantly, McQuire stated, the Digital Workspace implements some key BlackBerry parts in safety, too, similar to Cylance and its safe community.“This allows BlackBerry to use conditional entry insurance policies to the office software similar to by way of machine studying, figuring out whether or not the machine has malware earlier than permitting consumer entry or whether or not the consumer is displaying dangerous habits,” McQuire stated. “Conditional Entry is now changing into a key tenet in a zero belief safety mannequin which, though [it] is a large buzzword now in safety, is beginning to achieve floor with IT professionals – not less than conceptually.”ConvergeOne, a Bloomington, Minn. IT companies supplier, deployed BlackBerry Digital Office final yr. ConvergeOne’s staff are issued company laptops – a complete of about three,000 endpoints. For conventional e-mail, calendaring and entry to a worldwide tackle listing, the corporate was permitting Lively Sync connections for private units to the Microsoft Alternate surroundings, implementing company coverage on the whole machine.ConvergeOne’s staff are extremely cellular and as much as 75% of ConvergeOne’s end-users hardly ever set foot in company workplace. The corporate had been hindered by the standard safety stack, interfering with staff’ mobility and talent to ship to ConvergeOne’s purchasers, in response to Collin Buechler, the corporate’s info safety and compliance officer.“A few of these hinderances included consumer networks blocking VPN to ConvergeOne, machine failures whereas on the highway, and the rigidity of the standard safety stack of safety controls,” Buechler stated by way of e-mail. “[BlackBerry] Entry solely wants an outbound web connection to work, the answer does all the remaining.“With BlackBerry Digital Workforce we will have a crew member again up and working on any suitable answer inside about 10 minutes if their laptop computer is stolen or blue screens proper earlier than a consumer presentation,” Buechler added.With the inclusion of Digital Rights Administration on paperwork despatched to purchasers or exterior of the ConvergedOne, Digital Workspace permits higher compliance with necessities in NIST, ISO and FARs when it comes to figuring out the place the info is and who has accessed it, Buechler stated.“ConvergeOne can retroactively disable this entry if mandatory, or if the doc was acquired nefariously, it’s encrypted with government-grade encryption and is ineffective to any nefarious sorts which will get entry to the file,” Buechler stated.BlackBerry’s marriage of UEM and safety is a part of a nascent business pattern, and additional proof of BlackBerry’s “seismic shift” in route in the direction of enterprise software program and safety over the previous 5 years, in response to McQuire.“The UEM area is heading in a number of instructions, however we see competitors coalescing in the intervening time on the intersection of UEM, safety – significantly cellular safety – and id,” McQuire stated. “In consequence we’re seeing extra of those wider workspace choices as prospects want to the market to not solely safe all of their units, but in addition their knowledge, which suggests tighter safety across the consumer and the functions staff use every day.”
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