Providing secure mobile access to corporate file shares

Enterprises with BYOD policies need a secure way to incorporate mobile devices into the corporate IT environment. Cortado Corporate Server with an HTML5 client offers a solution.

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Cortado recently announced an HTML5-based client for securely accessing its Corporate Server product, and while this is great from an IT perspective, end users may still be tempted by alternative means for accessing their files.

Cortado Corporate Server is basically a software product that sits in front of your file share and integrates smartphones and tablets into your corporate IT environment.  Previous versions of the software only extended file shares to the Cortado application on mobile devices.

Now that Corporate Server includes an HTML5 client, users can go through the same front door whether accessing files from a mobile device or from a browser on a desktop. Cortado claims that this will prevent users from resorting to potentially unsecured means -- such as DropBox or emailing -- to access their files.

Since Cortado was (until recently) known as ThinPrint, this product also incorporates mobile printing and faxing capabilities.

From the corporate perspective, Cortado Corporate Server is attractive because it sits in your own environment, behind your own firewall and all your data stays on-premise. In addition, all requests for access (for the Web and mobile clients) go through an administrator and different levels of permission can be set for different devices. For example, IT can require a pass-code lock to be in place on a device in order for the Cortado app to work, or downloads can be disabled for devices that don't allow local storage to be encrypted.

These restrictions mean that using Cortado Corporate Server is far from being a wild-west Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) free-for-all. But this isn't necessarily good for everyone: IT and legal departments love the control, but users will not.

Imagine a user who brings in a new phone and IT says, "Great, you can view your files, but if you want to download them and view them offline … sorry!" Next thing you know, the user will just be emailing files to their phone and files won't be secure.

Of course, the printing, faxing and PDF capabilities that Cortado Corporate Server provides are great tools for many users, so maybe those are the real benefits -- especially if it provides access to existing corporate content without complex firewalls and VPNs.

At the end of the day, Cortado Corporate Server is a simple tool for providing secure read/write/print/fax access to corporate file shares. And if this prevents some users from pulling files into Dropbox and personal email, maybe that's a good enough reason to use it.

Read more from Jack Madden

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jack Madden
blogs about all things desktop virtualization-related at BrianMadden.com. (What that really means is that he blogs about storage, management, hypervisors hardware, consumerization, cloud computing and a myriad of other topics.) Madden is also the guy that gets sent out to talk to lots of vendors and try out all of their products. Madden has been involved behind the scenes at BriForum events since 2008, and was the Media Editor for BrianMadden.com before it became a part of TechTarget. Follow him on Twitter @JackMadden.

This was first published in November 2011

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