Welcome!

Security Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Rene Paap, Vormetric Blog

Related Topics: Security, Wireless, SOA & WOA, AJAX & REA, Web 2.0, iPhone

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
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ActiveState, the leading independent Cloud Foundry and Docker-based PaaS provider, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. ActiveState believes that enterprises gain a competitive advantage when they are able to quickly create, deploy and efficiently manage software solutions that immediately create business value, but they face many challenges that prevent them from doing so. The Company is uniquely positioned to help address these challenges thro...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
SYS-CON Media announced that Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow, has launched a new ad campaign in Cloud Computing Journal. The ad campaign, a webcast titled 'Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy?', focuses on the latest data center networking technologies, including SDN or ACI, and how customers are using SDN and ACI in their organizations to achieve business agility. The Cisco webcast is available on-demand.
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness, and in-car entertainment and this excitement will bleed into other areas. On the commercial side, m...
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He discussed opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and technical point of vie...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP and chief architect at BSQUARE Corporation; Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc.; and Andris Gailitis, C...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CodeFutures, a leading supplier of database performance tools, has been named a “Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. CodeFutures is an independent software vendor focused on providing tools that deliver database performance tools that increase productivity during database development and increase database performance and scalability during production.
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The threat landscape of today is drastically different than just a few years ago. Attacks are much more organized and sophisticated. They are harder to detect and even harder to anticipate. In the foreseeable future it's going to get a whole lot harder. Everything you know today will change. Keeping up with this changing landscape is already a daunting task. Your organization needs to use the latest tools, methods and expertise to guard against those threats. But will that be enough? In the foreseeable future attacks w...
As enterprises move to all-IP networks and cloud-based applications, communications service providers (CSPs) – facing increased competition from over-the-top providers delivering content via the Internet and independently of CSPs – must be able to offer seamless cloud-based communication and collaboration solutions that can scale for small, midsize, and large enterprises, as well as public sector organizations, in order to keep and grow market share. The latest version of Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite gives CSPs the capability to do just that. In addition, its integration ...
“The age of the Internet of Things is upon us,” stated Thomas Svensson, senior vice-president and general manager EMEA, ThingWorx, “and working with forward-thinking companies, such as Elisa, enables us to deploy our leading technology so that customers can profit from complete, end-to-end solutions.” ThingWorx, a PTC® (Nasdaq: PTC) business and Internet of Things (IoT) platform provider, announced on Monday that Elisa, Finnish provider of mobile and fixed broadband subscriptions, will deploy ThingWorx® platform technology to enable a new Elisa IoT service in Finland and Estonia.
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, a...