17 May 2011

Mitigate "lost phone" risks with BlackBerry Protect

A big problem facing companies today is data leakage.  This is the unauthorized access to internal company data.  This could be the emails, stored documents, or access to the corporate network.   Worse yet, a compromised personal-liable device like a smart phone can be used to send an receive emails as the user and this can lead to all sorts of corporate compromises.

Research In Motion (RIM) has released the free BlackBerry Protect application in March this year.  It provides the functionality to either clear the device of all data and to find the device again.  It also provides the convenience of making device migration easier because all data is backed up and can be restored to the new device.

Here is the blurb from the Site and it is actually accurate so I can quote it directly

"BlackBerry® Protect is a free application designed to keep your information secure if your BlackBerry® smartphone goes missing. If you’re on an applicable consumer data plan (enterprise plans are not supported at this time), you can download BlackBerry Protect  and then log into the website where you can lock, locate or wipe your smartphone from wherever you are. You can also choose to have your crucial data backed up wirelessly and automatically, as often as you choose (daily, weekly, or monthly).

Can’t find your BlackBerry? Go to www.blackberry.com/protect to

  • Locate it on a map
  • Set a password and lock it to protect your information
  • Wipe all the contents 
  • Make your BlackBerry ring loudly to help find it
  • Display a message on the homescreen instructing whoever finds it on how to return it

Wireless Backup and Restore

  • Wirelessly back up  contacts, calendar, memos, tasks, browser bookmarks, and text messages
  • Automatically back up daily, weekly, or monthly
  • Wirelessly restore your backed up data when switching to a new BlackBerry "

It is very encouraging to see that manufacturer provide these levels of functionality to reduce the risks for corporates (and individuals.) As a recommendation, I would strongly suggest or enforce your users to make use of this application.  I cannot think of a single drawback to using this app.  Blackberry enterprise server provides remote wipe capabilities already and therefor does not allow Blackberry protect on BEZ managed devices.  

Check https://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/20844  for all the details and supported devices.

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