MobileIron 4.0: Mobile Management Software for Secure App Administration

Mobile management software firm MobileIron today released version 4.0 of its Virtual Smartphone Platform (VSP), featuring a mobile app management and security tool that allows enterprise IT groups to centralize the discovery, deployment and security of internally- and externally-developed mobile apps.

The 4.O mobile management and security tool covers mobile apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Symbian devices.

Additionally, MobileIron is also rolling out an Enterprise App Storefront combined with a full policy engine to help ensure that only apps sanctioned by mobile IT are being used on both corporate-owned and employee-owned smartphones.

"With MobileIron 4.0, IT gets control over how apps are distributed and used. IT can create its own framework for keeping bad apps out, they can black list or white list, and once a rouge app appears, IT is notified, and then a set of automated actions can happen. You could block access back to email. The strategy is changing from pure lockdown on mobile devices by IT to visibility and then appropriate consequences," Jesse Lindeman, director of product management for MobileIron, told EnterpriseMobileToday.

Mobile IT departments are facing the challenge of managing a mix of different smartphones and tablet PCs, all running on different mobile operating systems -- some owned by the company and some not. The fragmented mobile landscape is also splintering further because even smartphones running the same OS can be powered by different versions of that OS. And, the proliferation of mobile apps being downloaded by users adds to the complexity of supervising mobile devices in the enterprise.

The release of iOS 4.2, which includes enterprise APIs, and the rapid adoption of the iPad, combined with the growing popularity of Android-powered smartphones in the past year, is also fueling fragmentation in the mobile sector.

To address this, MobileIron is providing new functionality across three key areas:

1. Enterprise App Storefront

The expanded storefront lets businesses deliver in-house iPhone and iPad apps to their employees without posting them publicly. The app storefront gives IT a way to consolidate app discovery and delivery for apps that were built in-house as well as externally-developed third-party apps. IT approves the in-house app, sets policy boundaries based upon the user’s role and mobile platform, and then publishes it for end-users to download over the air. The end-user sees when featured apps, for example, ones that IT feels are critical to install, are available and when there are new updates.

2. Security and Rogue App Protection

Mobile IT can decide which apps to allow in and which apps to keep out. With the proliferation of consumer apps on corporate iOS and Android devices, IT needs to be able to block rogue apps that might create security holes or break acceptable-use policies. IT can now categorically deny email access to any device with a password spoofing app, or alert the user when they download an app that violates policy. IT can also create policies based on device protocols, for example, apps that require security will not be published to a device that is not properly encrypted.

3. API

The MobileIron Mobility API now enables the delivery of cross-platform application information so other corporate services can know what apps are on what devices. For example, a company can use the MobileIron API to track its mobile app license inventory to make sure that it is using the number of licenses in its contract. Another example is a system that needs to understand the full inventory of what is on a given device -- a helpdesk system can know what else is on the system when it is troubleshooting a performance issue.

TAGS:

Android, iPad, mobile apps, mobile management, MobileIron

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