The Citrix Workspace app which was announced at Citrix Synergy 2018 in Anaheim, California yesterday, is creating a lot of stir among attendees, partners and customers of Citrix. This new app is going to revolutionize the way we work by improving productivity, reducing cost while providing a secure and safe environment to work.
Vishal Ganeriwala, Senior Director, Product Marketing for Citrix Workspace sees this app as a game changer in the industry. “We are delivering a very innovative solution with one single sign on to provide customers with all their apps in one location.” He pointed out that this is the first for this type of solution. “It is pretty game changing.”
Since the announcement, the feedback from customers and partners of Citrix is one that is positive. “They are really excited about this new chapter at Citrix around securing and delivering SaaS applications.” Most of the applications in use today by businesses are SaaS apps running on the web, mobile, virtualization and desktops. This solution from Citrix provides an easy to use, all in one service for not only SaaS apps but include web apps, files, mobile apps, virtual apps and desktops apps. Customers can access their Citrix Workspace from different platforms running Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux.
Access to the Workspace app is through a single sign-on that gives users access to all apps bundled in Workspace. It reduces the need to sign in to each individual application for work but at the same time raises the question about security.
Ganeriwala explained that the Workspace app has an analytics component built in that monitors the behaviour of the user. He referenced the credit card industry in describing how it learns our habits, which devices we are using, how often we use them and the locations for our purchases. Similarly, the analytics derived from data collected through the Workspace app provides a profile of the behaviour of the user, the device type whether managed or unmanaged, corporate or BYOD, wired network or WiFi. If there is a security breach, the real-time monitoring will trigger a set of steps to prevent or block access to specific apps, and will even ask for other authentication steps to ensure that the user is approved to have access. The customer sets these boundaries, but the monitoring is through the Citrix offering and machine learning.
Another critical part of securing the Workspace app is where the user identity is kept. “The customer picks the location where the user identity is stored,” said Thomas Berger, Senior Manager, Product Marketing of Citrix Workspace. He went on to explain that the customers set these security guard rails, and Citrix monitors the behaviours of the users. Citrix then autonomously acts to restrict users to the limitations placed.
The customer sets the perimeters, and that will include the number of devices per user, the type of devices which is customizable through the different packages of the Workspace app. These are grouped into managed and unmanaged devices.
The Workspace app provides the ability to browse the Internet through the app as well, eliminating the need for a local browser. This keeps track of building analytics of the user and maintains visibility to IT which gives an additional layer of control. With this safe browsing, a user can log in to the Workspace app using an unsecured WiFi network like at an airport and remains secure. “This is a work dedicated browser that is stripped down to the bare minimum to keep it secure,” said Berger. The use of this cloud-hosted web browser, which is completely isolated from the corporate network allows users to browse without exposing the network to malicious attacks.
One of the challenges Ganeriwala pointed out in deploying this new app is on the customer side. The educational aspect of training users how to use this “new” way will be a challenge even though it is fairly simple. Generally, people don’t like to change the way they are doing things. But with the benefits of using the Workspace app – the ease of use, fast access to all files, work access from any device, single sign-on experience, and remaining secure – users will hopefully be excited to make the transition to this whole new unified workspace.
Finally, there is an app that you can work from, using any of your devices, and access everything you need, all from one place – indeed a game-changing way to work.
The Workspace app will be out within 90 days. To learn more, go here.