The FBI Cracks the iPhone – What Can Legal IT Do? From Mobile Helix CEO

By Seth Hallem, Mobile Helix CEO and co-founder

LegalIT Insider logoOn March 28th, the Department of Justice confirmed that it had successfully unlocked the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5C without Apple’s assistance. On that same day, the US government moved to vacate a California court order that had attempted to force Apple to assist in the decryption of the device. While the legal maneuverings are fascinating in their own right, the conclusion leads to an even more fascinating technology discussion – how did the FBI crack the iPhone, and what are the implications of this successful hack? Continue reading

Security Reigns in Legal Tech

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“ILTA’s 2015 Technology Survey Published: Security is King, Queen and Pawn” – Jobst Elster, InsideLegal

 

Security is on the minds and the agendas of Legal IT teams. It’s no wonder. The Legal profession is no different than the rest of the business world. Experian, Trump Hotels, Ashley Madison and the FBI are just a few of the organizations to suffer from major data breaches in 2015. Continue reading

Can you say second-factor authentication in Japanese?

Iikura-san in Japan kindly translates all of our Mobile Helix press releases to Japanese and posts them to his site. Take a look. 

Or, read our press release on our new LINK Second-Factor Authentication in English.

フォト

【LINK Mobileアプリは、弁護士が、スマートフォンやタブレットを使用して、法的なワークフローを、容易で、セキュアにする。】 ‘16.01.14
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Mobile Helix enters formal partnership with iManage and launches two-factor authentication for LINK

LegalIT Insider logo

Mobile Helix is to enter into a formal partnership with iManage, as the Manhattan-headquartered company also launches two-factor authentication for its mobile app, LINK, which enables lawyers to access their documents, emails, calendar and other web apps from one place.

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Working While Mobile

Unsplash: Joren Frielink

Unsplash: Joren Frielink

Mobility in the enterprise has taken off and it’s headed in only one direction. I’ve read the hand-wringing in the press about the lagging adoption of enterprise mobility. I suppose that it makes for provocative headlines. But that’s not what we are experiencing in our business as an enterprise mobility solutions provider. We see professional services organizations moving forward with requirements, timelines, and budget.

They can’t wait any longer. The business demands it.

Beyond Email, At Last

For years the concern has been that enterprise mobility had not moved beyond Email, Contacts, and Calendar. Fortunately, a couple of leading enterprise software companies have shared their real-world data and colorful charts. Let’s take a look at the data.

Good Technology’s “Mobility Index Report” for Q2 2015 shows that their typical customer has deployed 3.43 apps in addition to Email.

Good Technology Apps Beyond Email Q2 2015

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Mobile App Blacklisting – An Exercise in Futility

sisyphus Image

The theory goes something like this. Mobile apps are the unregulated Wild West. Users are unable to make informed choices about which apps are “safe” and “appropriate” for work and therefore cannot be trusted. IT must assume the worst and create a “blacklist”1 of risky applications that that cannot be downloaded to any personal mobile device “approved” for work. This ensures the enterprise remains safe and free from infection while allowing employees to work using personal mobile devices. IT can sleep easier at night, employees are happy. Well, not really…

The App store had 1.3 million applications available for download in September 20142. This number is growing rapidly, from 1 million in October 2013. Then there is the Google Play store, the Windows store and others. How in practice can the IT team of any average company stay current on this vast app offering, blessing the good and weeding out the bad apples? Well they cannot. As fast as IT blacklists, enticing new apps appear. IT has no choice but to blacklist indiscriminately – preventing employees from using many powerful and completely benign mobile apps to do their jobs. An exercise in futility indeed. So, is app blacklisting worth the considerable effort required to implement and enforce?

Not only is app blacklisting an exercise in futility, it is also directly contrary to the compelling reasons to embrace enterprise mobility in the first place. Recent research from Citrix3 shows that two of the five most commonly blacklisted mobile apps are Dropbox (for file access and sharing) and personal email. Does blacklisting Dropbox and personal email access help or hinder the enterprise?

Employees need access to their enterprise files to work. Accessing personal email on a personal mobile device is a critical need. Why are users downloading Dropbox and personal email to their personal mobile devices? Is it so they can maliciously infect enterprise networks and threaten sensitive corporate data or is it so they can work more and be more productive in their personal time while outside the office? The answer is pretty obvious.

The majority of employees are motivated by good. They want to work as productively and effectively as possible. They want to use their down-time efficiently and get work done. This is why they are willing to use personal mobile devices that they purchase and pay for themselves to do so.

Blacklisting is a brute force approach that provides a false sense of security for IT. Blacklisting penalizes the most committed and valuable workers, punishing them for wanting to be more productive using their own personal mobile device. Something is very wrong here.

We have written previously about the “Legal Mobility Disconnect”. App blacklisting contributes to this significant productivity gap. The answer is for IT to lead and provide users with the mobile tools they need to do their job and get work done. This starts with file access and email. These IT provided solutions must be intuitive and easy to use. They must be secure and they must be readily available without imposing unreasonable restrictions on personal mobile device use outside of work.

If this post resonates, please explore Link by Mobile Helix and see if it offers you an alternative and more practical path to sustained, secure enterprise productivity. For those who remain unconvinced and plan to continue blacklisting, then you may want to read about Sisyphus4, who was engaged in a similar exercise in futility thousands of years ago – in his case for eternity.

We would love to hear what you think so please let us know.

– Matt

Notes and Links:

1. What is Application Blacklisting?
2. Statista App Store Statistics.
3. Citrix Mobile Analytics Report – February 2015.
4. The Myth of Sisyphus.