Saturday, July 13, 2013

BlackBerry's "Work Space" for IOS & Android

Finally BlackBerry has released Work Space, which gives Corporates an ability to segregate and control "work" part of BYOD devices. So in a way, this is BlackBerry's MDM solution.

A few details can be found in this article 1 and article 2. It looks like Work Space is very similar to Work Balance that is built into BB10 but not as elegant.

It is a separate app on IOS (which I understand) but on Android "it can have - separate home screen" (no clue what this means). I have not done enough reading and research; if you do, please let me know what this means.

It is supposed to allow "IT managers to fence off corporate email, calendars, contacts, tasks, memos, Web browsing and document editing from personal apps and content which could be less secure". Not clear from these articles how these are architecturally accomplished on IOS & Android. If you have studied details, please let me know how it works.

Let me propose a high level architecture on how such a secure container can be created on IOS & Android, just for the heck of it:

- A separate app

- Data within the app and encrypted

- Can only be decrypted using a key received from BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), on establishing a session. Key not stored locally. BES sends it only of the device is not rooted.

- Cut, paste, forward can only be done within the app restrictively but not outside the app

That is the outline. I guess it is too restrictive. What do you think? Any errors? Any refinements?

One of the articles I mentioned above states that this is perhaps BlackBerry's business plan beyond devices - indicating a shift from devices to services. It is probably more like hedging bets.


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