TMCnet Feature Free eNews Subscription
April 19, 2013

Symantec Mobile Management Suite: Seamless and Secure with Single Sign-On

By Joe Rizzo, TMCnet Contributing Writer

At the beginning of April, a study was conducted by iGR stating that a majority of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) were allowing their employees to bring their own devices (BYOD) to work. Most of these companies developed an official BYOD policy.

Regardless of whether a company has a policy or not, the BYOD trend is almost unstoppable. I have a friend with an iPad and whenever we discuss something and are not sure about information, he pulls out his iPad and checks out the information. Of course, this takes some (a lot) of the fun of arguing with someone about who is right away.

Once someone buys a tablet, they want to use it. Inevitably, they will bring it to work and use it as a secondary device in the office and primarily outside the office. This increasing implementation of the BYOD tactic continues to impact the way that businesses have to think about mobile productivity in their environment.

The most important factor is security. BYOD forces a company to respond with policies and technology that will keep their data safe and secure. On April 16, 2013 Symantec (News - Alert) released its findings focused on just that problem. The report, Internet Security Threat Report, shows that there is a 58 percent increase in mobile threats. These threats are directed at the BYODs.

Symantec has been involved with keeping data safe for a very long time. The company has one of the most comprehensive assortments of technologies designed to keep mobile data safe out there. Symantec feels that companies need mobile device management (MDM) as well as mobile application management (MAM). Foremost on their mind is to assure the identity of a user.

This is very important in order to be able to protect the data. It becomes increasingly more difficult to protect the data is you have no control over the device being used to access it. Symantec has integrated MDM and MAM into a single product. In addition, the product has secure e-mail clients and a single sign-on.

The secure email client is designed for both the Android (News - Alert) and iOS platforms. This provides safeguards to e-mail, calendar, address books and to-do lists. This feature also gives administrators the ability to configure multiple policies that can be geared to groups of users. This includes the capability to manage Exchange servers, user names, copy and paste restrictions, widget controls and synchronization, among others.

The single sign-on allows end-users to only login once while being allowed access across multiple wrapped apps. A “wrapped app” is the process of applying a management layer to a mobile app without requiring any changes to the underlying application. It allows MAM administrators to set specific policy elements that can be applied to an application or a group of apps.

The dual benefits of a single sign-on are ease of use on the user side and the improvement of security on the administrator’s side. Multiple authentications may be centrally managed more easily and tied to changes in group policies and authorizations.

According to Symantec, by adding SSL policing to the app-level policies and enforcing URL whitelist rules, data in motion will be encrypted and guaranteed to only be delivered to the server or service preconfigured by the business. This is necessary because most of the mobile apps in use rely on third parties. While these apps provide functionality, they rarely provide the security needed by most companies.

A seamless, single solution for mobile device management, mobile application management and mobile security is what Symantec is shooting for with their new suite. At the same time, it addresses a broader range of mobile productivity while it meets the security demands for businesses.

If you want to read the Internet Security Threat Report from Symantec, you can click here.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
» More TMCnet Feature Articles
Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox. [Free eNews Subscription]


» More TMCnet Feature Articles