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There’s Not An App For That – Mobile Security Ditches The Device Agent

By Author: Skyhighnetworks
Total Articles: 56

“It’s not easy getting 10,000 people, all with different mobile phones and operating systems, to install a software agent,” says Adrian Broeke, VP of IT Security, discussing the last time the company rolled out a Mobile Security initiative. “At least with cats you don’t have calls to the IT help desk.”

Installing an agent, or a small piece of software on a smartphone, was a key ingredient in many mobile device management (MDM) solutions. Now, security teams are looking for less intrusive ways to achieve similar results without having to put a software footprint, and maintain it up to date, across thousands of handsets with different operating systems and quirks.

By all accounts, the BYOD or bring your own device movement is in full swing. About 3 out of 4 American workers bring a mobile device to work and use it to accomplish part of their job. That means corporate data is being put onto these unmanaged mobile devices, or more likely put into cloud services which are accessed by apps on the mobile device.

“When you look at mobile usage, 86% of what people do on the phone is in an app, not a web browser,” says Broeke. In fact, many phones like those running Apple iOS don’t allow the end user to access the file system at all. That means any data on the phone is accessed through the apps, and is increasingly being stored in the cloud.

The widespread availability of 4G high speed internet on mobile is making it even easier to store data in the cloud. Many employees report they use their phones for many kinds of work, ranging from salespeople accessing sales contacts via Salesforce 1, a mobile app for the company’s IT procured Salesforce.com system. But employees are also using a wide range of other types of apps.

Many of those apps are not approved or vetted by the IT security team, and some do not meet the security needs of the company. That’s why they have moved to a new form of agentless mobile security that inspects all cloud traffic and enforces encryption and access control policies across cloud services.

Author :
Skyhigh Networks, the Cloud Security Services company, enables companies to embrace Cloud Security Services with appropriate levels of security, compliance, and governance while lowering overall risk and cost. With customers in financial services, healthcare, high technology, media, manufacturing, and legal verticals, the company was a finalist for the RSA Conference 2013 Most Innovative Company award and was recently named a "Cool Vendor" by Gartner, Inc. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Skyhigh Networks is led by an experienced team and is venture-backed by Greylock Partners and Sequoia Capital. For more information, visit us at http://www.skyhighnetworks.com/mobile-security/ or follow us on Twitter@skyhighnetworks.

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