Aug 20 2014

Colleges Expand into Mobile Content Management

Campus IT staffs start slowly with basic mobile device management and branch out into securing data.

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) takes mobile device management so seriously that the South Carolina chapter of Government Management Information Sciences recently honored the university’s IT staff with an Elite Achievers Award.

Clay Taylor, a senior information security analyst with the university’s Office of the CIO, deployed Citrix Systems XenMobile last fall to remotely wipe lost or stolen devices, establish virtual private network connections and enforce password standards. Over the past few months, MUSC began to use more features of the MDM platform, including content management.

Today, XenMobile secures MUSC’s 12,000 enrolled devices. All medical applications are encrypted on smartphones via the PIN requirement enforced by XenMobile. Mobile users can also access schedules for rounds and appointments.

The university requires NitroDesk’s Touchdown for Android to provide email encryption on Android 2.x devices that don’t natively encrypt email. Next year, Taylor will consider implementing data loss prevention within XenMobile and across the enterprise to monitor sensitive data leakage.

“We recently set up a remote interpreter service that lets a patient who needs language translation or sign language interpretation run a secure one-on-one video conferencing session on a managed mobile device,” Taylor says. “Using MDM, we completely lock down the devices so that video can’t be stored, patients can’t access the Internet or app stores, and even force the devices to use our secure wireless.”


The percentage of organizations that push apps to their employees who are using customized applications

SOURCE: Fiberlink, “MaaS360 Mobile Metrics,” May 2014

Chris Silva, research director for mobile and client computing for Gartner, says universities will increasingly integrate content management into their MDM environments. “Only 20 to 30 percent of organizations go beyond basic MDM, but that will change as the people closest to the day-to-day work demand that secure document management is integrated into workflows so they can run apps on mobile devices,” he says.

Mobile Access at UMUC

Rustom Kaovasia, systems engineer for the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) says about 600 faculty and staff can access university data on their smartphones and tablets through an AirWatch interface.

Not long ago, UMUC was a BlackBerry shop, but as other smartphones and tablets grew in popularity, Kaovasia says UMUC needed a solution such as AirWatch to more effectively manage devices with different platforms. “We just found AirWatch a more secure way to access university data,” he says.

Content Management Capabilities

Silva describes three roles of secure content management in an enterprise mobile management (EMM) package:

  • Secure Storage: A client application enables users to store content securely on a mobile device. The EMM can enforce authentication, file sharing and restrict copy-and-paste functions.
  • Content Push: Along with receiving content via email, EMMs can push content and oversee it as needed; for example, by controlling document versions, alerting users to new files and flagging a content expiration date.
  • Content Access: A back-end repository serves up content to mobile devices. Capabilities include support for specific repositories such as SharePoint or Documentum, restricting downloads while roaming and audit logging to track who accesses or downloads files.
Image by Ellagrin/ThinkStock

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