Solution Enables Enterprises to Deploy Private Mobile App Stores for the Enterprise
MobileIron, a provider of mobile device management and security solutions, has updated its Virtual Smartphone Platform (VSP) with several new features including the ability to let businesses create private “Enterprise App Stores” and deliver in-house iPhone and iPad apps to their employees without having to post them publicly.
As part of the latest update, MobileIron 4.0 features MobileIron’s App Management and Security allowing enterprise IT groups to centralize the discovery, deployment and security of internally- and externally-developed apps for all iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Symbian devices in the company. The solution enables companies to deploy Enterprise App Storefronts combined with a fully customizable API and policy engine that ensures secure apps get to employees and that rogue apps are kept out – for both corporate-owned and employee-owned smartphones.
Threats targeting the fast growing smartphone and tablet markets top the list of cyber concerns in 2011, according to several recent reports. A recent report from data security firm Imperva, said its experts predict mobile devices being compromised resulting in data theft or loss as a result of lagging security measures such as identification and authentication and the spread of mobile malware. Zenprise, a provider of enterprise mobile management software, shared concerns on mobile as well in its “Top Five Predictions for Enterprise Mobility in 2011.” The company said that in addition to preventing traditional security threats and vulnerabilities such as malware on devices themselves, mobile security requires defining the policies, rights, and content workers receive on their devices.
“2011 is going to be the year of the mobile enterprise app,” said Bob Tinker, CEO, MobileIron. “Our customers are experiencing a storm of mobile enterprise applications we call the ‘Enterprise App Storm.’ Departments, business groups, and even individual employees are taking it upon themselves to create innovative apps that solve specific business problems, improve how work is done, or just make their lives easier. Development is decentralized and, many times, IT isn’t even aware of what is being built.”
MobileIron 4.0 adds new functionality across three key areas:
• Enterprise App Storefront: The expanded storefront lets businesses deliver in-house iPhone and iPad apps to their employees without posting them publicly. The app storefront lets IT consolidate app discovery and delivery for in-house as well as externally-developed third-party apps. IT approves the in-house app, sets policy boundaries based upon the user’s role and mobile platform, and then publishes the app for end-users to download over the air. By launching the MobileIron app on their phone, the end-user sees when featured apps (e.g., ones that IT or the line-of-business feels are critical to install) are available and when there are new updates.
• Security and Rogue App Protection: IT can decide which apps to allow in and which apps to keep out. With the proliferation of consumer apps on corporate iOS and Android devices, IT needs to be able to block rogue apps that might create security holes or break acceptable-use policies. IT can now categorically deny email access to any device with a password spoofing app, or alert the user when they download an app that violates policy and guide them through remediation. IT can also create policies based on device posture, for example, apps that require security will not be published to a device that is not properly encrypted.
• API: The MobileIron Mobility API now enables the delivery of cross-platform application information so other corporate services can know what apps are on what devices. For example, a company can use the MobileIron API to track its mobile app license inventory to make sure that it is using the number of licenses in its contract. Another example is a system that needs to understand the full inventory of what is on a given device, e.g., a helpdesk system can know what else is on the system when it is troubleshooting a performance issue.
According to the results of a survey released this week by Check Point Software Technologies, the trend, variously referred to as consumerization and user-driven IT, has IT security administrators anticipating a significant increase in the number of users connecting to their network in the next year, saying 54 percent of IT Security administrators expect specific growth in the number of remote users.
“Mobilizing your workforce is no longer just about delivering email to a phone,” said Eric Goodness, Research VP at Gartner, Inc. “Gartner research shows mobile devices are driving explosive end-user interest in apps. As a result, many of our end-user and vendor clients are formulating their strategies for what apps to build, how to get employees to find and use them, and how to protect against external apps that might pose security risks.”