Tag Archives: mobile application management

Avengers of Mobile Security…Uhhh…ARRRGRAGATE!!!!

A little business blog homage I conjured this week. The words are mine, the pictures are the work of my bosom buddy in the graphics group (name upon request).


  • When dastardly devices of mobility carelessly connect to WiFi!
  • When miscreant malware moles its way into network systems, lying in wait for a surreptitious subterranean attack!
  • When corporate documents are uploaded unknowingly to open file share sites by daft digital denizens!
  • When access to work productivity apps is assaulted by pitiful user experience and security sink holes!


Together, they harness IT best practices for data and device security, on a cloud more scalable and secure than Asgard (Note: encryption is used in many cases of mobile security versus Rainbow Bridges).

Tune-in true believers, MARVEL as the mobile avengers:

Hulk mobile security avengerSMASH Hulking Headaches of Mobile Deployment

Launching tablets and smartphones good. Giving access to wifi, email, files, apps with no agree to mobile security bad. No encryption means data not safe. No management of what connects to who and where bad. EMM must not be slow, not expensive, and not burden to IT with cloud architecture.

Hammer Away at Content on the Fly

thor mobile security avenger Ye lightening strikes of innovation rarely happen in the confines of darkened office halls. Nay, innovation will striketh over hill, mountain, or in shower. Giveth easy and secure content management to all of your kingdoms and business units. Mobile content management can oversee all sharing permissions, while imbuing security features down to the document level (including “cut & paste” trickery to move data into other apps).

Armor-Up in the Cloud

iron man mobile security avenger Adding new devices, operating systems, functionality, access controls and transaction level security requires new suits of armor for IT to deflect against system slowdowns and complete work stoppage (when content can’t be accessed on devices of choice). There are many suits to choose from in mobile protection today; from a separate workspace for transitory employees in healthcare, full device management for a clean-sweep of all (or some) data, to microscopic ant-size locks on apps, transaction and data on the fly.

Smart money says to use a common heads up display with one Enterprise Mobility Management centrifuge for every piece of functionality you need as you infuse more mobile into business operations. Sitting on a cloud frame also means powering-up in minutes, as opposed to the wait for a hellicarrier full of equipment to deploy.

Shield Against Bad Apps & Malware

capt america mobile security avenger Mobile threat management is the newest shield slung directly at mobile malware’s underbelly. Alerts activate proactive security policies to keep bad data quarantined and the device off the network. Next level defense is happening now with SDK’s for in-house app development security, brining in developers to join the data captains of CISOs and IT enablement.

For those just joining the fray with a low arsenal of devices to support, mobile app management and a corporate app store are good training grounds in a controlled mobile state.

Slip into Intranets and Content Repositories Faster

black widow mobile security avenger No one wants to mash their way into the data they need for business, especially not when access to SharePoint, file shares and intranets can be made native in feel and function regardless of manufacturer or operating system.

With mobile gateways and secure web browsing, seamless moves can be made into almost any system where your employees find what they need quickly, quietly and with graceful ease.

Ready to become a mobile avenger? Visit our TOWER OF POWERFUL RESOURCES ready to arm you with videos, white papers, webinars and a free trial to empower your mobile security.

Philly Phorum ’14 Panel: Mobility as an Engagement Enabler

philly Phorum '14 keynoteOn April 10, digital strategists gathered at the World Café Live in historic Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to explore the next wave of customer engagement using emerging digital technologies.

Fiberlink, an IBM company, was honored to host the first panel, “Mobility as an Engagement Enabler.” During this hour-long discussion, digital strategists from four diverse industry sectors shared their current mobile strategies and plans for future prosperity with mobile personalization driven by big data.

Moderator Joseph N. DiStefano, Business Reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, kicked off the panel by discussing his years watching mobility evolve from a second to first-screen experience. Joe then introduced

  • Scott Snyder Ph.D. – President and Chief Strategy Officer, Mobiquity
  • Michael Kinzly – Director of Business Solutions, WaWa
  • Joe Portale – Chief Technologist, Mobility Solutions, Lockheed Martin
  • Roy Rosin – Chief Innovation Officer, Penn Medicine

If You Build It, They Won’t Necessarily Come (or stay long)

The panel started with a serious and sobering fact: 70% of apps are deleted after sixty days. The chief culprits of this massive “app”bandonment are lack of clear long-term benefit to the consumer and failure to embrace emerging technologies. One new software update to a mobile OS can turn today’s darling into tomorrow’s frustrating and glitchy mess.

Snyder of Mobiquity delivered another revelation—the building of an actual app is only 20-30% of the work. Meaning, most organizations are still only at the beginning of their mobility journey. The next leg of this adventure will involve true personalization of apps powered by disparate systems feeding in a multitude of data sources.

The Convergence of BIG Data on Mobile

So, just how are these digital pioneers tethering BIG data and mobile?

WaWa: This all-in-one convenience store for everything from gas to grilled chicken salads has aggregated mountains of data from its customer purchases over the years, but only in the aggregate sense. Since the company prides itself on the consumer coming first, they have respected buyer privacy by never tracking purchases at the individual level. In the age of personalization though, there comes a time when consumers must share some information about themselves for a finely tailored shopping experience. To that end, WaWa is currently developing an app that will let customers choose whether the want to share their favorite items back with the organization.

Lockheed Martin: A company known on first blush for aeronautics, Lockheed actually serves a multitude of markets with mobility on their minds. Portale shared a scenario of battlefield logistics, where data and devices can become the Patton of the new millennium providing real-time field positions of troops and enemy combatants.

Penn MedicineThe focus of apps and mobility in medicine is being forged on two fronts. On one side, healthcare providers like Penn are using apps as community builders amongst patients to share their thoughts on treatment practices, connect with other patients, and offer a direct conduit to caregivers. Moving into the bleeding edge and integrating big data, technologies from companies like Proteus Data Health are enabling smart pills that give off signals to smarter devices so dosages and frequency are all meticulously monitored.

Protecting Privacy and Securing Endpoints

The conversation concluded with some words of caution regarding privacy and protecting data leaks.

Privacy has been an online concern since the first cookie was placed during a browsing session. Unfortunately, though the volumes of data being collected have increased over the years, privacy practices have remained fairly static. According to Snyder, privacy policies will need to be more fluid in our mobile future. A trust relationship will have to be built over time with users willing to relinquish more information as providers show true value to end users for the use of this precious information.

The security of mobile data is another crucial concern. For years the conversation around protecting mobility has been relegated to IT control of devices. As wearable and even consumable data collection points become the norm, we will need to think beyond device protection and even app safeguarding. The answer is a complete enterprise mobility management strategy that considers device end points, apps and data as one ecosystem that can all be monitored, managed and secured.

Mobility Management 101: Talking Tech to Teachers & Staff

As schools and universities across the globe trade their textbooks for tablets and slide rules for smartphones, the IT staff of these institutions must rise to the challenge of protecting and managing these new endpoints of burgeoning knowledge.

To aid in this vital endeavor, Fiberlink, an IBM company, hosted a 1-hour Webinar to help translate common mobility management terms into staff and teacher speak . According to webinar hosts Frank Gentile and Tyler Hoy, education mobility specialists with Fiberlink, the toughest challenge facing IT in education is evangelizing the virtues of mobile device management, mobile app management and mobile content management to budget approvers and teachers within the school district.

Unlike other industries, educational organizations often rely on bootstrap resources to manage smartphones and tablets. There are even scenarios where there are no IT resources within a district, leaving teachers with the burden of managing a technology landscape that is still misunderstood even within the most erudite IT circles.

To find out just how many schools are currently contemplating mobility, the Webinar opened with a simple poll to determine the audience’s timeframe for mobile enablement. 40% of attendees were already in a pilot program for implementing mobile devices. Another 40% had plans to initiate a pilot program before the close of this school year, while the final 20% were ready to launch a program before the end of the current calendar year.

Mobile Policies Prevent “Running in the Halls”

School is as much about learning societal rules as it is about facts and formulas. With the proliferation of mobile communication and productivity applications, students would be wise to learn the mobile rules of conduct they will be expected to follow when they enter the workforce. Policies within a mobility management platform are those first lines of defense, just as a hall monitor stops kids from pushing and shoving their way to class.

According to the second Webinar poll, over 50% of attendees were not enforcing basic policy protection (like passcodes) or remediation for lost or stolen devices (like blocking or wiping a device).  To take the severity of the situation another step, policies also quickly enable access to WiFi, apps and school content. Some participants said they were relying on Apple Configurator to meet some of these needs, but the need to physically tether devices to a management console leaves little to no room for scalability. Also, this approach only addresses one OS, Apple. In a world where Android dominates the consumer market and schools look to cut costs by relying on Bring Your Own Device Programs, the Configurator model breaks down rapidly.

With mobility management solutions like MaaS360, all devices are enrolled into the system and configured over the air. This means with the push of one button, IT (or a teacher) can easily push a notification to students via SMS or email. Once a student hits “accept”(or whatever custom End-user Licence Agreement, or EULA, the school wishes to enforce), the device is enrolled and policies are enforced.

Now, not only are devices connected to network resources, but also the administrator now has a clear view of the school’s digital footprint. Device types, installed apps, OS types and versions are all easily accessible from the front-page watchlist. If a student tries to jailbreak or root the device, policies spring into action to place the mobile rapscallion in digital detention until they are back in compliance. Digital detention can also be used when passcode entries reach their limit or for devices not on the latest and greatest operating system version (or to keep devices on older OS versions until all the bugs are worked out in the latest and greatest).

Learning: There’s an App for That!

school-lockersIn actuality there are thousands of apps that can harness the power of young minds and further foster the teacher student relationship in the digital age. However, IT has struggled with the best way to distribute the apps they want on phones and control time wasters like Flappy Bird or Candy Crush.

Enter Mobile App Management. With this tool in place IT can blacklist (ban) or whitelist (allow) both public and custom developed apps. Another popular control model is Kiosk mode, while often used in retail environments for point of sale or inventory lookup, this mode can be customized to turn school owned devices into running just the apps set by IT.

Mobile Container: The School’s Cleanest Locker

For enterprising schools that want to reap the cost savings of Bring Your Own Device, a mobile container would be the wisest choice for true security.

The container acts as a partition keeping school email, documents, apps and even web browsing in a separate passcode protected space. Even school-owned devices can benefit from these controls especially from the perspectives of web access and content distribution. A safe internet playground is not only the norm these days for students at home it also allows schools to meet Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requirements with robust filters based on categories or specific URL blocking.

Also of security note: within the containerized document sharing environment schools can abandon free cloud collaboration tools like Dropbox and Google Docs for a private cloud alternative. This low-cost, but infinitely more secure, alternative facilitates permission controls, sharing and even editing of the most popular file types being used today.

For the final poll of the Webinar, Fiberlink asked attendees what part of mobility management was most pressing for their district. App management was the clear winner taking 50% of the votes, while over-the-air configuration, digital detention, content control and secure browser shared the rest of the votes.

Educating (and Monitoring) the Educators

While much of the webinar and following Q&A focused on the needs of students, Frank and Tyler were quick to mention the ability to bring teachers and staff into the mobility management fold. Since MaaS360 policies can be customized into groups, the rules for adults on campus can be more flexible than the rules placed on students while ensuring their devices that are carrying sensitive student records can be located, blocked or even wiped in an adverse event.

Savvy school budget and IT leaders are rapidly learning that mobile is a first, not second screen experience, requiring the same controls and safety measures as more archaic endpoints like laptops and desktops.  Mobile device management, mobile app management and mobile content management are questions of when, not if.

BYOD Still Risky Business for Enterprises

Mobile connectivity and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) continue to grow at an explosive rate for the modern company. Sadly though, much of this connectivity is happening outside the view of IT and the security office.

Survey Says

risky-busines-smallestIn a recent survey sponsored by Harris Interactive and Fiberlink, over 2,000 working US adults were asked if they use their personal smartphones and tablets for work activities. Not surprising was that 51% said yes. What was surprising and frankly disconcerting for IT and their information security cohorts, is that many of these workers are treating company data as recklessly as they would a soccer schedule or recipes.

For example, among employees who use mobile devices for work (either their own or employer-issued), the survey showed:

  • 25 percent have opened/saved a work attachment file into a third-party app (e.g., QuickOffice, Dropbox, Evernote).
  • 20 percent admit to having cut/pasted work-related email or attachments from company email to their personal email accounts.
  • 18 percent say they’ve accessed websites that are blocked by their company’s IT policy.

These numbers become even more startling when the survey also revealed that less than one-half of 1% of users has any level of corporate security installed on their devices.

The chances of a malicious attack are slim (for now), but accidents happen every day on devices as we evolve from using our thumbs over our index fingers. One wrong swipe and an employee has now shared sensitive financial data on Facebook or pinned schematics on Pinterest.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

To protect devices entering the workplace, solutions like Enterprise Mobility Management for device, app and content security can help IT gain tighter controls without sacrificing the true freedom of BYOD.

In addition Dual-Persona offerings, like MaaS360’s Secure Productivity Suite, keep all work and personal information separate. IT sets the security policies like passcode strength and sharing options like to “cut and paste, or not to cut and paste.” With these controls in place, all mobile data adheres to overarching corporate security policies and stringent regulatory concerns for industries like healthcare, financial and public sector.

“Hmmm, I don’t think my employees would go for that.” Not so fast, when asked in the survey over 61% said they were somewhat likely to support IT assistance with security as long as they could keep using their own device.

If you choose not to support smartphones and tablets, our survey clearly shows people will find a way to connect WiFi and email regardless. If you are supporting mobile device connectivity without enterprise mobility management, be ready for the inevitable, not probable, data leakage event.

Education Mobility – No Hiding at the Back of the Class

Today’s students have my deepest sympathies. Back in the Paleolithic days of education, when chalk choked the air and gargantuan sized text books roamed the earth; slackers, the uninspired or just general rabble rousers had a powerful weapon at their disposal – the teacher’s line of sight. To speak more specifically, these miscreants could always find a way to procure the seats that were out of that line of sight, whether taking peripheral vision positions or slouching behind the more eager learners in the classroom.

Smartphones & Tablets – A Rabble Rousers Worst Enemy

Now, thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, whether student owned in a Bring Your Own Device Program (BYOD), or offered by the school itself, there is nowhere in the classroom for students to hide. Education engagement Apps like Learning Catalytics (recently acquired by learning tool juggernaut Pearson) have empowered educators in K-12 all the way up to higher Ed with a 360 degree periscope view of the classroom.

“Submit” to Never Raising Your Hand Again

We all remember the one student whose angelic hand would shoot up like an Apollo 11 rocket at even the most complex conundrums thrown out by teachers and professors, now that student will have to settle for gold stars at home with this leveling of the playing field. Interactive engagement Apps produced by the likes of Pearson coupled with the power of the touch screen can now make every student go the chalkboard at the same time without ever leaving their desks. Multiple choice questions, geometric manipulations, even the attachment of images for “Name that President” moments can be delivered to all students instantly.

eyes-back-of-head-smallTeachers Get Eyes in the Back of Their Heads

While there is woe in this new world of classroom transparency for some students, there is nary a downside for teachers. With controls from their iPad or Android devices, teachers can now see every single answer every single question…every single time.

Taking things to the next level, once the answers are submitted teachers can then do pairing exercises to match the accelerated students with others to foster collaborative peer learning.

Can IT Meet the Challenge? If Armed Correctly, You Bet!

With any new technology, IT can take two paths. There’s the ostrich system of letting these new technologies permeate the school with no controls or security. This would be a fine approach assuming the institution has a student base of less than twenty; a reality that only occurs in Walnut Grove inside Laura Ingalls class.

The practical and pragmatic approach is of course for IT to manage these devices; yes including the student-owned Bring Your Own Devices (assuming you don’t have the budget to buy every student a laptop or tablet). With Mobile Application Management (MAM), IT can distribute Learning Catalytics and any other App to all or select groups of students and teachers. Taking things a step further, IT can also ensure that every moment is used for learning time with Secure Browser control to ensure only sites that are learning focused will be accessed during school time. Tomorrow’s classroom is here for the school districts ready to embrace it.

Sir, Your Apps Doth Offend (and Expose) thy Company

Apps, we all love em, we all use em, and we’re all leaving the enterprise more exposed than the albino beach backside of a Coppertone ad model.

Recently, Business Insider posted the Top 50 iPhone Apps that employees are subversively leveraging within the corporate firewall despite IT’s fervent emails and general dismay. In order of use, here are the top 10:

  1. Facebook
  2. Dropbox
  3. Google Mail
  4. Apple iCloud
  5. LinkedIn
  6. Disqus (an app for leaving comments on Web sites)
  7. Salesforce
  8. Amazon Web Services (Amazon’s cloud that hosts files and apps)
  9. Hotmail
  10. Box

Let’s assume for a minute that completely ignoring the security wishes of the IT department is a forgivable practice. Let’s also assume that no one has ever added files with sensitive information to Facebook when we meant to instead post pictures of a great pair of shoes or a cool car.  What’s most alarming in this list? I’ll give you a hint; focus on numbers 2, 3, 4, 8 and 10.  

Apps that Cause IT Apoplexy

The problems in this scenario are many; adding sensitive corporate material to Facebook is a faux pas of egregious proportions, but at the end of the day while this is plausible it’s a slim chance scenario.

apps hated by ITWhat should give any CIO or CSO worth their salt pause for concern are the gigabytes of data being thrown into the cloud with complete and reckless abandon via consumerized file Apps like Dropbox, iCloud, Amazon and Box.

Sure, people need a password for these sites, but as we all know one keystroke logger will send that Fort Knox crumbling to the ground. Also, how many people actually log out of these Apps…ever? Not often, which means anyone who grabs their mobile device be it family or foe has immediate access to a plethora of corporate brain trust.

Wrap That App (Or at least manage it)

So what is one to do with these partakers of non-permissioned Apps? Lack of visibility especially in a mobile environment is no longer an acceptable excuse. With Mobile App Management (MAM) solutions, IT has the ability to see every App across the enterprise, and yes this includes those much talked about Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD).

If privacy or employee rights are a concern with BYOD, mobile app management combined with Mobile Document Management can let IT and mobility business partners at the department level dictate the documents that may and may not be shared.

Basically, there are options when it comes to Apps. Depending on your specific security needs, you might want to leverage the panacea of security with containerization, but that might also be overkill. At the very least you should have visibility and management before your entire enterprise is uploaded for the world to see.

10 Reasons You DON’T Need Mobile Device, App & Doc Management

10 Reasons You Don't Need MDMA wee little campaign I conjured to revitalize an exhausted database

Smartphones? A passing fad. Tablets? A smartphone too big for its britches!

Even if you believe in this “mobility” hoopla, does it really need to be managed and secured? Maybe not…

We’ve told you a million times why you need mobile device, app and doc management with strong security…but maybe you don’t. 

If your organization fits into one of these 10 highly “probable” scenarios, skip the MDM and with the money you save go buy the office…uhhh…a dozen donuts (sorry, but MaaS360 is really affordable).  

10 Reasons You Don’t Need Mobile Device Management


Do You:

  •  Employ only those assimilated by the Borg?
  • Feel smartphones are only for calls? 
  • Think business is best run uninformed?
  • Look for shiny halos over new hire’s heads?

Check out even more scenarios with this free eGuide!