Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Rostyslav Demush, Greg Pierce, Jamie Madison, Otto Berkes, Ayman Sayed

Related Topics: Cloud Security, Mobile IoT, Microservices Expo, Machine Learning , Agile Computing, Wearables

Cloud Security: Article

How to Re-imagine Your Business for a Mobile World

And keep your data safe while doing it

There is little argument at this point that the mass adoption of mobile technology and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategies by enterprises is a true business technology revolution. At the core, the catalysts driving this revolution are the vast array of mobile devices leveraging soaring bandwidth - 4G - and super-fast internals - quad-core processors - which have become commonplace.

With this high-bandwidth, ultra-capable combination, end users see the productivity and convenience possible by running the newest, most sophisticated business applications on their own personal mobile devices.

And it's not just end users who can benefit. A recent Symantec survey found that innovative companies - early technology adopters, especially of mobile technology - are seeing significantly higher revenue growth and higher profits than traditional organizations; in fact, by nearly 50 percent.

The question facing every enterprise is, "Are we re-imagining our business with mobility as a central component?" Here are some suggestions on how to accomplish this, while keeping sensitive business data secure.

Evaluate App and Data Needs
The previously mentioned Symantec survey found that 84 percent of those successful, innovative companies are proactively adapting their businesses based on business drivers rather than simply reacting to user demand. So, companies need to evaluate. Thus, the first step in re-imagining business in a mobile world is to determine the apps and data end users could utilize - beyond email - to get their jobs done more efficiently.

App Type
Apps for CRM, e-Health and ERP are just a few good examples of line-of-business apps companies in different industries can leverage to improve productivity through mobility. Add to this list cloud-based file storage apps that give users access to their data across computing platforms.

Data Access
Beyond app type, companies must take a closer look at target user groups to determine each segment's specific data access needs. Some users might need resident data on their devices, while others who are likely to have connectivity all the time can manage with cloud-based data. Understanding each group's specific needs will help determine the type of technology approaches possible.

App Procurement
Once app type and data access requirements are well understood, companies need to explore app procurement. For some, the only way to get exactly what is needed is to build a custom app or have one built for them. However, hundreds of thousands of apps are already available for the most popular mobile operating systems and, in many instances, the perfect app likely already exists.

Keep App and Data Security Top of Mind
The Symantec survey referenced earlier also found that the innovative companies who are leading the way in mobility adoption also experience about twice as many mobile security-related incidents, such as loss of corporate data. This leads to a second question enterprises must ask, "How do we keep our sensitive data safe in a mobile world?"

From a high level, there are really two approaches to keeping business data on mobile devices secure. The first is protecting data at the device level and the second is protecting it at the app level.

Device Level Data Protection
Data protection on mobile devices at the device level largely involves mobile device management (MDM) software. MDM provides business IT with control over complete devices and, as such, policies can ensure devices are password-protected and also provide the ability to remotely lock or wipe devices in the event of a loss or theft and even prevent the forwarding of emails.

However, MDM cannot address other data loss-related concerns such as copy and pasting of sensitive information or, more important, protecting corporate data in applications beyond the email client.

Thus, the device level approach creates an environment where it becomes far too easy for sensitive data to mingle with personal apps and leak out through, for example, a web-based email account, social networking application or personal cloud storage. This can all occur without IT ever knowing.

App Level Data Protection
The next logical area where enterprises can implement and enforce policies to keep data on mobile devices secure is at the app level. The previous iterations of this approach involved sandboxing technologies, where corporate data on mobile devices is held in an established digital container on devices, and data flow from the sandbox or container is controlled. This approach prevents the confluence of personal and corporate data, the ability to copy and paste data accessed from within the sandbox to other areas on the device, and unauthorized email forwards from within the sandbox.

This sandbox approach worked well when email was the only app businesses wanted to mobilize. However, as companies re-imagine their businesses with a focus on mobility, this approach falls short. Any corporate app that needs protection has to be built in or modified to fit into the sandbox. With the diversity of apps available, this approach is very limiting and even the early proponents of this technology are moving on to other strategies.

One of these strategies is mobile application management (MAM), which addresses the limitations of sandboxes while still meeting corporate security needs. MAM technology allows companies to wrap their corporate apps and the data tied to them in their own security and management layers. This gives enterprises complete control of their apps and data while leaving user-owned information untouched. In contrast to the legacy sandboxing approach, it does this without any additional overhead, either from affecting device usage or source code modifications.

With MAM, controls such as authentication, encryption, data loss prevention and expiration - apps and data can be manually expired or set to automatically remove themselves from devices based on perimeters established by administrators - can all be applied to corporate apps and other resources on otherwise unmanaged, user-owned devices. In this way, complete end-to-end visibility and control over where sensitive data is flowing - regardless of what mobile application or service is being used to traffic the data - can be achieved and, just as important, maintained.

In addition, MAM allows multiple corporate apps to securely communicate with each other and for data traffic segregation, so all traffic from corporate apps can be routed through the corporate network while the personal traffic is left unmonitored.

It is important to note, however, that MAM as a term is being used loosely within the industry. Different technology vendors use it to describe different things. Some refer to app distribution functionality as MAM and still others refer to simple app blocking as MAM.

From an enterprise perspective, however, MAM should be more than that. More than simply distributing the right apps and blocking the wrong ones, MAM is about protecting the corporate apps and data on mobile devices by taking management from a device level to an application level. It is the most effective tool for separating corporate data from personal data to make safe, effective BYOD policies possible.

Re-imagining business for a mobile world, while not without its growing pains, can be a fairly straightforward process. However, to re-imagine business for a mobile world confidently, MAM should be a part of every discussion.

More Stories By Swarna Podila

Swarna Podila serves as a senior manager with the Enterprise Mobility Group at Symantec, responsible for the messaging, positioning, go-to-market strategy and overall evangelism of mobile security and management products and services. In her role, she focuses on the enterprise routes to market, messaging the solutions for on-premise and cloud deployments. At Symantec, Podila has promoted the idea of user-centric and information-centric view and anytime, anywhere productivity.

Prior to Symantec, Podila served a product marketing consultant at Citrix. There she was responsible for the messaging and launching of the company’s networking products. Prior to Citrix, she worked at a software startup and was responsible for their transition from stealth mode to a mid-sized company. She was responsible for product messaging, identifying routes to market and sales enablement. With over 10 years experience in the IT industry, Podila has held a number of roles in product strategy, marketing and engineering. She has an undergraduate degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...