New WatchDox by BlackBerry features allow for file permission control beyond the firewall

BlackBerry has announced new features to its WatchDox secure file sharing service, including the ability to control email attachments after it has left the firewall, as well as Office and Salesforce integrations.

BlackBerry purchased Watchdox, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based company, over a year ago to boost its enterprise mobile management portfolio. Components of Watchdox’ software are sold as a single solution with option add-ons.

The key new capability, called Email Protector, combines two main functions, namely DRM controls on the file level and a Dropbox-esque file sharing system.

Watchdox Outlook_Send_Protected

When a user attaches a file in an email, WatchDox automatically uploads the file to the cloud, then generates a link for the email recipient to go and securely download or open the file. This allows users to control whether a file can be downloaded and opened normally, or be limited in ways such as online-view only, or apply watermarks.

There is a range of controls that can be applied, the most restrictive of which might be the “spotlight” reading mode that only displays parts of documents that the mouse moves over – for top secret documents.

If a document is deemed downloadable, DRM is still capable of controlling offline access. Integration with Microsoft Office and Salesforce allows WatchDox to set expiration dates or revoke access at any time, as well as limit various functions such as printing, editing or copy and paste.

Furthermore, it works as a safeguard. Thanks to background integration with data loss prevention (DLP) solutions, the software is able to detect sensitive documents such as intellectual property or financial data and apply policies automatically in case a sender has forgotten to do so, before it leaves the firewall.

“You have full control of the file,” Tim Choi, vice president of product management at BlackBerry told CDN.

He explained that Office integration goes as far back as the 2003 version, and that the company is looking at expanding integration beyond Microsoft and Salesforce.

Watchdox Salesforce_Sharing_ENG

“We recognize enterprises use a wide range of softwares, and files are instrumental to those applications,” he said.

Additional capabilities coming to WatchDox include in-browser document editing through Office Online integration, a new Outlook plugin for attachment management, custom application workspaces from third-party developers, a new HTML5-based online viewer, administrative controls, and more authentication controls.

Email Protector and Salesforce integration are available now, while the new Outlook plugin will be released in the coming weeks.

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Dave Yin
Dave Yin
Digital Staff Writer at Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel.

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