How Colligo Helped Novartis Trust iPads On SharePoint - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

05:54 PM
Connect Directly

How Colligo Helped Novartis Trust iPads On SharePoint

Penetration testing found only Colligo met Novartis' rigorous criteria for allowing iPads to access sensitive corporate data on SharePoint.

 7 Examples: Put Gamification To Work
7 Examples: Put Gamification To Work
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
When Colligo Networks asked Markus Bosch to test its iPad app for secure access to SharePoint, it couldn't have picked a better time.

Bosch is a solution architect at Novartis International, responsible for meeting the collaboration needs of the drug maker's headquarters staff. Colligo Networks makes several SharePoint-centric products for file management and synchronization. Novartis was already using the Colligo Contributor Add-in for Outlook to make it easy to upload and download files through the SharePoint interface and share content through the portal, rather than as email attachments. When he "stumbled over Colligo again" at a SharePoint conference last year, Bosch had just received a request from Novartis' investor relations department for iPad access to documents stored in SharePoint.

While he understood the investor relations team's desire to do more with their iPads, Bosch was also cautious because of the sensitivity of the information they worked with. "We could lose a lot of money if the wrong information is disclosed," he said in an interview.

[ Is it all about Apple? Read BYOD Policy Or Buy Everyone An iPhone. ]

Colligo tested its Colligo Briefcase iPad app against Novartis' requirements, and in the end Bosch was convinced. He had an Ernst & Young consultant run a series of penetration tests on Colligo Briefcase and other file management apps he was considering, including GoodReader, SharePlus, and Aircreek's Filamente. The testing looked both at the apps in normal use and their vulnerability to "jailbreaking" techniques, where an attacker might subvert the iPad's normal hardware and software security.

With the other tested apps, authentication methods could be bypassed and jailbreaking would allow someone to read content directly from the iPad's memory, Bosch said. "But with Colligo Briefcase, he didn't get anywhere." Because the application provides its own encryption, documents in memory were unreadable, even on a jailbroken device.

"When we started looking at the iPad, we realized there were a lot of issues that needed to be resolved to make it a secure environment to put corporate data," Colligo CEO Barry Jinks said. Jailbreaking was one of the items on that list, along with addressing scenarios where an iPad is lost or stolen, or when an employee leaves the company with corporate data stored on his personal device.

Mobile device management software exists to address these issues across a variety of devices, but applications for managing business data must address them, too, Jinks said. These products typically promise the ability to initiate a "remote wipe" that will clean the device of corporate data, but, according to Jinks, "some apps leave remnants of themselves on the device when it's wiped, and there are a lot of apps you can buy in the app store that can't easily be remotely wiped."

Many apps, emphasizing convenience for the user, will also prepopulate the user name and often the password for access to network systems, "which is not very secure if the device gets stolen," Jinks said. "They depend on the keycode locking of the device. We believe there needs to be app-by-app keycode locking."

Bosch said his selection of Colligo Briefcase only applies to the holding company that oversees the firm's international operations and, so far, has only 22 users in investor relations. However, there are another 18,000 iPads in use across the company, he said, so Colligo could have a broader opportunity if other divisions follow its lead.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and

The Enterprise 2.0 Conference brings together industry thought leaders to explore the latest innovations in enterprise social software, analytics, and big data tools and technologies. Learn how your business can harness these tools to improve internal business processes and create operational efficiencies. It happens in Boston, June 18-21. Register today!

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Reflections on Tech in 2019
James M. Connolly, Editorial Director, InformationWeek and Network Computing,  12/9/2019
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Flash Poll