Devices that hardly existed just a few short years ago are creeping into enterprises today at increasing rates. These include such names as iPhones, Androids, tablets, and even netbooks manifest in all kinds of flavors and varieties. The workforce is demanding these new consumerized products as opposed to the old notion of mobility, laptops that are tightly managed, have a service lifecycle, and are often behind the cutting-edge feature curve.
One of the most significant challenges facing security departments, CIOs and CSOs is the massive influx of mobile devices into the enterprise environment. They access services, information, and applications that are based in the cloud, store information, and access their networks. What does it mean to the organization from a support standpoint? What does it mean to security? What does it mean to the business?
This wave can certainly be construed as a challenge for organizations, but it is not without a significant payoff for business. The advent of mobility has changed the consumer side of technology, taking and getting information on the go, the ability to install specialized applications, and access to real-time updates are huge factors in that change. The enterprise is realizing this too along with the additional benefit of a reduced capital expenditure of device acquisition and maintenance, may realize significant savings in the immediate and long term.
Challenges in Mobility
The specter of security in mobility exposes very real risks. Being portable in nature, the threat of loss, unauthorized access, loss of data, all these things and more are risks that must be assessed and furthermore some kind of strategy surrounding this must be developed. Consumer mobility devices are permeating the enterprise regardless of the most restrictive corporate policies, people are using these devices.
This leads to the quandary of support and management. With such a variety of devices, these elements present a myriad of considerable challenges. Devices may be “rooted”, non-protected from malware, spying, non-encrypted – managing these and other questions are part of the enterprise mobility puzzle.
A number of products have emerged to face this changing world and meet its ever-changing demands. One of the most interesting products is Zenprise of Redwood City, CA. During a recent conversation with Zenprise CMO Ahmed Datoo, we discussed the leading features of the product, its advantages in the marketplace, the future of the product, and planned announcements.
Zenprise Mobile Enterprise Strategy
Zenprise has produced an industry-leading mobile strategy that is composed of elements designed to ensure the integrity and advantage of mobility in the enterprise.
- Strategy encompasses three tenants:
- Provide comprehensive security—from device, to application, to network
- Enable true scalability—from 100s of devices up through hundreds of thousands
- Deliver unparalleled customer service and support—including 100 percent SLA
Touting the ability to go far beyond simple “wipe” operations, the Zenprise Mobile Manager is a full management tool with the ability and the proven track of scalability to up to hundreds of thousands of devices. Features such as an app delivery framework that can deliver enterprise approved applications on an automated basis and prevent the loading of non-approved applications provide incredibly powerful manageable control options. The ability to create further policies preventing rooted devices from access, enforce device encryption, application connection encryption, separation of corporate and user information and remote configuration of network features all provide levels of security options that serve to allay several concerns in that realm. In the field of support, the system has abilities for remote control options, allowing support and the ability to remotely shut down running applications, configure settings, and diagnose issues.
“There are lots of solutions that can enforce passcode protection for a device or wipe it clean if it is lost or stolen, but our customers have moved beyond that rudimentary level of security and need the security surrounding devices on par with the security of the overall network,” said Jayaram Bhat, CEO of Zenprise. “We have expanded our mobile enterprise strategy to encompass the protection of not only the devices themselves, but the applications running on them as well as the networks they are accessing. And we’ve done this with real enterprise deployments in mind, not pilots, meaning we can protect and manage hundreds of thousands of devices and with a level of resiliency and redundancy not previously available.”
Zenprise is putting this strategy into the cloud. The first offering of its kind is designed to provide reliability and flexibility that takes mobile management to an entirely new level. Deliverable by means of public, private, or hybrid cloud constructs, the offering provides flexible, resilient management of mobile devices for business and extends into the full features of deployment, policies, application management and so on.
“Building on Zenprise’s strategy to provide security beyond the mobile device, ZenCloud is a cloud offering that offers the flexibility to run in several modes—as a public cloud, a private cloud, or in a hybrid mode. This innovative offering is the only one of its kind available today. ZenCloud enables enterprises to perform core mobile device management functions and set security policies on devices, while also enforcing these policies. This enables them to seal the enterprise perimeter from mobile threats; thereby making it a “closed-loop” solution. “
The company also touts a unique 100 percent SLA initiative that indicates the absolute commitment to enterprise class service and resolve to back that up and do so down to the minute. Depending on the outage time, the financial terms of the SLA can double or even triple.
Zenprise’s strategy to protect the mobile enterprise is anchored by three tenets:
- Protecting the device isn’t enough. Zenprise’s fully integrated platform is set apart by a Triple Defense approach which not only secures the device, but provides comprehensive security for applications and information residing on and accessed by that device, and the network on which it is communicating. It does this by providing a security solution that goes everywhere the data goes, securing every point in the enterprise’s mobile environment.
- If the server goes down, protection and management must continue. Recognizing the critical nature of mobile security, Zenprise offers the only 100 percent SLA that guarantees security and management functionality are maintained even in the event of the server going down. Under terms of the SLA, if a customer experiences any downtime as a result of an outage, Zenprise will provide service credits for every minute of downtime.
- The mobile enterprise encompasses tens of thousands of devices, not tens or hundreds. With the challenge of heterogeneous mobile device management being relatively new, it’s been common for enterprises to pilot solutions with 50-200 devices. However, true protection of the mobile enterprise will require the ability to secure and manage every device touching the network. Today, Zenprise’s largest customer is protecting more than 65,000 devices, and future customers are looking at as many as five million devices.
The company recently moved to Redwood City and is expanding their operations as this ever-increasing market grows. Supporting Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Android, Palm, and Apple iOS devices, their cloud offering runs in various worldwide data centers, and utilizes Citrix technology.