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Enterprise Mobile Application Security: It’s All About the App

A number of factors are contributing to the increasing importance of mobile application security within the enterprise. For one, the mobile enterprise application market is rapidly growing as businesses have increasingly rolled out aggressive mobile app development plans. Mobile device management (MDM) has proven effective in supporting bring your own device (BYOD) policies, but does not bring security and policy control directly to the enterprise app itself. To deliver effective, secure applications the enterprise must bring security to the application level while making the experience seamless to users.

Enterprise IT departments face a host of challenges when addressing mobile application security. They must secure apps on both managed and unmanaged devices while preserving the native user experience – a combination most modern security technologies cannot fully deliver, as each solution has its limits and drawbacks. Technologies such as virtual machines and sandboxes/containers divide the user experience and can have a huge impact on battery life. Integrated SDKs use API’s to add security to apps in development, but they cannot support pre-existing or developed apps. MDM systems focus on device level security and typically require an on-device agent.

However, some solution providers are still focused on delivering truly secure enterprise apps without these follies. Mocana Corporation, a provider of device management solutions and embedded security tools, has developed a unique and patent-pending technology that enables fine-grained security and usage policies within individual mobile apps. Mocana’s Mobile App Protection (MAP) security solution utilizes “Application Wrapping” to create self-defending applications, without the need to have access to the original source code, an SDK, or a separate agent on the device. 

Mocana’s MAP solution complements MDM infrastructure and effectively provides application-level security without influencing the user experience. “Wrapped” apps feature central policy management, FIPS 140-2 end-to-end encryption and eliminate open device-wide VPN. Only MAP protected apps, not the entire device, are granted VPN access to the enterprise network preventing malware and rogue apps from sharing a per-device VPN.

BoxTone, a global enterprise mobility management software and services provider, offers a similar product to Mocana’s MAP with its Automated Mobile App Management (MAM) solution. BoxTone’s MAM boasts app-level self-defending apps much like Mocana, but is also focused on managing the full app lifecycle.

Granting security at the app-level extends data access to a greater number of mobile devices and supports BYOD adoption. Solutions like Mocana’s MAP and Boxtone’s MAM complement existing MDM infrastructure making integration seamless, and justify extending investments already made in MDM. When it comes to enterprise mobile application security, it’s all about the app.

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