Mobile Helix secure data with HTML5 offering

Opinion by Dan Raywood

This week saw a new company launch in the mobile space to help with the continual problem of 'bring your own device'.

This week saw a new company launch in the mobile space to help with the continual problem of ‘bring your own device'.

I spoke with New York-based Mobile Helix this week and co-founder, chief operating officer and president Matt Bancroft, who explained that the issue as he sees it is about data security, as well as offering an HTML5 platform.

The company offers the Link HTML5 platform that Bancroft said allows any existing or new browser-based enterprise application to be deployed across multiple device types, which was where he saw was a problem to be solved.

He said: “We really believe that the idea of managing the device is the wrong way to go about security; we believe that all that matters is the data. It really doesn't matter what device you are using or what the user can do, my experience is that this is unpopular as it discourages the user from using the solution and it is easy to hack a device and access secure information.”

Bancroft explained that the platform will allow applications written in different code to run without being rewritten, and that HTML5 can deliver a better user experience to give more access to the device to support offline access with greater security.

Link deploys applications through internet browsers to enable a simplified ‘download free' application delivery and support model, removing the need for a separate enterprise app store, app catalogue, and dedicated distribution and update processes for every different application and mobile operating system, according to Bancroft.

“The data is secure irrespective of what happens to the device as it leverages HTML5 and it needs to work right away regardless of where the user is,” he said.

“HTML5 adds an important capability for mobile as it allows you to run JavaScript where you had to run a plug-in previously, so there is a much better user experience.”

He added that accessing the corporate data through the device allows a corporate environment to be launched where applications are available. “This is not using desktop virtualisation, it is running inside a container inside the device and the container connects to the gateway and then on to the enterprise network and makes a connection between the device and gateway using HTTPS.”

Bancroft said that encryption keys are not stored on the device and it just provides the control and management between the data and business, and its offering does not look to manage the device at all, as it is managing the container.

Seth Hallem, co-founder and CEO of Mobile Helix, said: “Link is designed with unrestricted enterprise productivity at its core. It is the first product on the market to combine the unmistakable benefits of device-independent applications built using HTML5, with a disruptive data security platform that ensures sensitive corporate data is safe on any device.”

I concluded by asking Bancroft why he felt that this was the right time to launch, after two years in development. He said that this is an exciting time as IT security has shifted with the introduction of mobile devices and that users have become more sophisticated over the past few years on how they use data. 

“IT cannot dictate as the power has shifted and the freedom of the user to choose the tools and software means that they need to work in the world of the user than with secure devices,” he said.

“The next 20 years of investment in the web will be all about existing enterprise the way they want to work. It will be about keeping users happy, but you don't have to reinvent security and application development systems, as the web was created in a way that enterprises embraced.” 


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