Strengths: Full management of an encrypted container without completely locking down a user’s device.
Weaknesses: None that we found.
Verdict: A solid approach, especially for BYOD environments where users are fearful of losing their personal data if the IT shop needs to do a remote wipe – this month’s Best Buy.
SafeZone from Fixmo takes an interesting approach to mobile device security and management. This product can be used to create a protected encrypted container on a user's device that houses all business applications and email. This means the user can have their own device with their own apps and other personal stuff, such as pictures, music, videos and email, but on the same device have access to data and applications that are secured by the enterprise IT administrator.
This solution comes in two flavors. The first is a client-only version that users can easily install on their devices. This iteration provides FIPS 140-2 Level 1 validated AES 256-bit encryption of data at rest, and all apps and data within the container are protected by an IT-controlled and/or user-defined strong password. The second version is a client/server-based offering that allows an IT administrator to manage policy through a combination of the SafeZone Enterprise and ActiveSync servers. The client/server model offers a lot more in the way of functionality and policy control.
We found that from both a user and administration perspective, this product was easy to set up, deploy and manage. The client can be deployed to Apple and Android devices and tablets.
Using this product, an administrator can place strict controls on what is allowed and what can be done in the SafeZone container. All user corporate email, calendar, contacts and other applications are kept safely encrypted. If a user is found to be violating policy, the administrator can easily lock down the SafeZone environment until the user becomes compliant. As an added bonus, even with the SafeZone container locked down, the user can still employ the personal side of the device. This ensures that one is not locked out of using their device until they can work with the IT administrator to resolve the compliance issue, but the data in the SafeZone container stays protected. This functionality also includes the ability for administrators to periodically check if a device has been rooted or jailbroken. Also, with this product, administrators can set policy to remotely lock or wipe the SafeZone container if the device becomes lost or stolen. To further control and maintain compliance, Fixmo also offers Sentinel, which works with SafeZone for solid and comprehensive mobile device integrity monitoring and device compliance reporting.
Documentation included an installation guide for the server. This guide covered how to get the SafeZone server components installed and up and running with clear, step-by-step instructions and many screen shots.
Fixmo offers standard eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week phone and email technical support as part of an ongoing license fee. Customers also can add 24/7 premium support at a cost of $4 per device per year. We found pricing to be fair and quite flexible. Customers can opt for an annual subscription cost model, which runs from $49 to $79 per device per year depending on features, or they can purchase a perpetual license that can range from $99 to $149 per device. These prices also include all the necessary server software components. The annual license includes support costs. We find this product to be an excellent value for the money.