Balancing Mobile Security with Functionality

A few years ago, many defense organizations and intelligence bureaus of different countries started laying emphasis on security above anything else. Soon, employees found devices to be so secure that they were impossible to use.

“We treated these devices like a desktop,” David Rubin, the FBI’s head of mobility, said Tuesday. “We have a picture of one of our agents sitting on the ground with their device plugged into a wall in the middle of a kidnapping investigation. Now how is that mobility?”

Like FBI, other organizations, private and public, who ventured into mobile device management faced a situation were it was important to have tight security around devices but not so tight that one loses mobility. Over the years, MDM solution providers have tried to bring a balance between these two aspects.

Also read: 5 Tips to Make your Mobile Device Management (MDM) Strategy Better

Walter Bigelow, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) chief of the IT Systems Management Division in the Office of Science and Technology, said at an event in the USA, “Security and mobility is all risk management. You want to have a managed device and a managed environment, but you don’t want to have to lock that sucker down. One of the keys is getting feedback from the end users and seeing exactly what they use the device for and then make adjustments for that as you go along.”

This is exactly what we are building with Appknox. When we spoke to businesses and app consumers, we realized the dire need for a balance between these two entities. We decided to introduce a new angle to security and mobility, with the intention to create a balance. We decided to scan apps that people use on their phones to check for security issues, thus generating a whitelist of apps that the enterprises can allow. The end result is that employees who are consumers of these apps get much more freedom on their devices while ensuring a high level of security as well.

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Published on Jan 15, 2015
Written by Prateek Panda


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