WhatsApp in a Business Container? Is it Even Possible?

How do you use WhatsApp for business? And what’s mobile business container? A lot needs to be taken into consideration.

WhatsApp in a business container? A lot needs to be taken into consideration.

A “business container” (a mobile security technique that separates business and private apps) is nowadays the standard bearer when it comes to security. Initially launched mostly as isolated mail apps, they were soon joined by almost all PIM features. This was followed by a time when app wrapping and software developer kits were used to try to change third-party apps in such a way that they could create a productive container together with a central mail app. Thanks to the latest iOS device management features and Android Enterprise, this approach now fortunately belongs to the past. Containers can now be created on the basis of any app available in an app store.

Does this mean development has reached an end?

Not at all, because business containers that ignore the most important component – the customer, are pointless. Still, users cannot use many apps and communication paths as they remain outside the container.

What happens for example if an insurance company’s customer wants to report damage with a photo sent via WhatsApp? This problem is similar to the installation of a lifting pump. It doesn’t belong in the wet area because its electrically operated and not in the dry area because it pumps water. No administrator will integrate WhatsApp into a business container, even if today its already technically possible. WhatsApp could easily gain important information from the container. But what use is the highest level of security when the company is overtaken by competitors who support modern communication methods?

There is a way however, to use WhatsApp for business – either you completely forget the container idea or limit it to just a few apps. You can also create a way of screening data from typical private apps, which are in general quite unsecure, so that date can securely enter the company. Since WhatsApp and others cannot be themselves secured, the security check has to take place further down the line and best before documents and files end up in the corporate network.

Cortado Server offers such a possibility. If the Cortado Workplace app is installed unmanaged on the device, documents from typical consumer apps as well as from the web browser can be stored in it. In the next step, the user can select documents and load them into the corporate network. But before they actually land on the internal file server, they are scanned for malware.

This process ensures that the requirement to use the latest ways of communicating is fully compatible with today’s security demands that companies have.

The reverse situation also has options. Instead of securing the access tools, the documents themselves are secured. All documents are converted into PDF files, clearly identifiable with an easy-to-retrieve watermark. This allows documents to be tracked, and compliance rules to be verified.

Business containers certainly are still justified, but you should be aware of enterprise mobility solutions, which offer alternative, more intelligent approaches, especially when it comes to equipping sales employees or freelances to best accomplish their jobs.

If you want to learn more about how to make WhatsApp business-friendly, make sure to take a look at our webinar recording.