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A Peek Inside Enterprise BYOD App Security Policies

IBM company Fiberlink shares data on how enterprises are pushing and securing mobile apps.

The average BYOD device's apps contain nearly 40% custom enterprise mobile apps, according to new data culled from IBM company Fiberlink's mobile customers.

Jonathan Dale, director of marketing for IBM's mobile subsidiary, says the firm's data reflects the increase in organizations building or customizing apps for their users' mobile devices. Some are layering in security policies with those apps, he says.

"That could be as simple as before the app grants the user access to the information they need, they perform an extra authentication -- to Active Directory or to an encrypted container on the device," says Dale. Fiberlink provided the following data to Dark Reading.

Some 35% of employees have between 25 and 49 apps on their mobile devices; 25% have between 50 and 99; 18% have between 10 and 24; 17% have less than 10; and 5% have a whopping 100+ apps on their devices, according to data gathered by Fiberlink.

Organizations push 15,000 different apps to their employees' mobile devices, 62% of which are publicly available apps, and 38% of which are custom apps from in-house. Some 77% of the devices are Apple iOS, followed by 22% Android and 1% Windows.

Dale says he was surprised to see that 41% of the mobile apps are automatically removed if a "selective remote wipe" is executed on a lost or stolen device. "I was a little surprised that was not higher," he says.

The good news from the data is many of these organizations are instituting some security policy with the mobile apps. "Another popular security feature is the ability to restrict data movement from that [mobile] app to other apps," he says, which can help reduce data leakage, for instance.

Containerization of enterprise data is becoming a best-practice: "It's becoming more popular when creating apps and putting in policies that you can only cut-and-paste with apps only within your secure container."

Among the most popular public mobile apps enterprises are deploying for their mobile workforces: Adobe Reader, Google Maps, iBooks, Cisco AnyConnect, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Earth, and Pages.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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Kelly Jackson Higgins
Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
6/4/2014 | 7:33:06 AM
Re: A Peek Inside Enterprise BYOD App Security Policies, by Kelly Jackson Higgins
It was interesting to see the data on the breakdown and types of apps IT is pushing to users' mobile devices. And it was promising to see that some really are starting to protect corporate data access. IBM's Dale said he was surprised to see Cisco AnyConnect show up as a popular public app, mainly because there are ways to streamline the VPN connection within apps. I thought it seemed promising to have IT pushing a VPN app.
James ArnoldW608
James ArnoldW608,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/3/2014 | 5:50:15 PM
A Peek Inside Enterprise BYOD App Security Policies, by Kelly Jackson Higgins
A very good analysis of the security challenge with BYOD.  Imagine "one" piece of data going  through such a multitude of authentication and verification procedures, without being altered in some way.  http://www.darkreading.com/endpoint/a-peek-inside-enterprise-byod-app-security-policies/d/d-id/1269404?_mc=sm_dr
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