Startup Armor5 debuts with cloud-based security for mobile devices

'Our technology is basically a browser in the cloud,' Armor5 CEO says

Startup Armor5 makes its debut Wednesday with a cloud-based security and management service for mobile devices that works without needing client-based software.

"The primary goal is protecting sensitive content the enterprise has," says CEO Suresh Balasubramanian, who previously was a general manager overseeing worldwide anti-piracy at Adobe.

[ OPINION: Forrester Research calls mobile-device management 'heavy-handed' approach ]

The Armor5 CloudSpace service requires enterprise customers to move VPN and other server connections into the cloud. The end effect is that any mobile device with a browser can gain access to restricted corporate data, but "we won't let the data stay resident on the mobile device," Balasubramanian says. As another example, he suggests an individual could make use of the Salesforce.com service to fill out forms, but the minute he tried to download data, it would be blocked.

We won't let the data stay resident on the mobile device."

— Suresh Balasubramanian, CEO, Armor5

"Our technology is basically a virtual browser in the cloud," Balasubramanian says. A secure container is created and the service can be set up to track file usage and other metrics, making use of the enterprise Active Directory policy engine as well for authentication or other purposes. "We do full water-marking on a document in real time," he says, and services such as antivirus in the cloud can be provided as well. The IT manager sets policy controls and rights management through a management dashboard.

The Armor5 CloudSpace service, not yet publicly priced but available this week, is said to be in beta tests with some companies, including CPP.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Armor5 was founded by Sunil Agrawal, CTO, and Naveen Ramaiah, vice president of engineering, in March 2012. The startup has received approximately $2 million from Trinity Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners and a fund that Citrix has for startups called the Citrix Startup Accelerator.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: @MessmerE. Email: emessmer@nww.com.

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