Blue Coat Systems, the Sunnyvale-California-based provider of Web security and WAN optimization solutions that was taken private by private equity firm Thoma Bravo for $1.3 billion in a deal announced in December 2011, today introduced a set of mobile application controls to help address security risks associated with the use of unauthorized mobile applications on corporate networks.
Integrated into the company’s Blue Coat ProxySG appliances and the Blue Coat Cloud Service, the new mobile application controls enable IT to manage the use of unsanctioned applications and enforce policies across all devices on the network, helping to reduce the risks associated with the bring your own device trend that has resulted in an increase in mobile devices and unmanaged, untrusted applications on the corporate network.
The increase in mobile devices on the corporate network creates two distinct risks that lead to undesired or unpredictable network impacts, Blue Coat says. First, it contributes to the growing problem of unsanctioned applications on the corporate network. Second, corporate policies cannot be consistently enforced across all devices.
“Like web-based applications, the use of mobile applications is dramatically eroding IT control of the network,” the company explained. “Unlike browser-based web applications, however, mobile applications and their corresponding operations are typically self-contained and fall outside the control of traditional web security solutions.”
Similar to features that some next generation firewalls and other Web security gateway solutions are providing for web-based applications, Blue Coat’s mobile application controls are doing for mobile devices. For example, a company could set a policy for Twitter that prevents employees from sending tweets, but allows full reading or monitoring of other Twitter feeds.
“The growth of BYOD initiatives has created a situation where IT security managers are facing a deluge of untrusted, unmanaged devices and applications on the corporate network,” said Steve Daheb, chief marketing officer at Blue Coat Systems. “Blue Coat mobile application controls give administrators the ability, for the first time, to not only determine which applications are allowed on the network but also to what extent mobile device users are able to interact with those applications.”
Blue Coat said that it adds new applications and operations to its mobile application controls on a monthly basis, and that they are are automatically updated through the Blue Coat WebPulse collaborative defense and immediately available to customers.
More information from Blue Coat is availble here.