Cloud security services provider Marble Security Inc., formerly known as IronKey, announced its new cloud-based mobile security service for protection against cyberattacks and data loss for employee-owned personal devices within the enterprise.
While the bring-your-own-device trend (BYOD) is by no means a new blip on IT's radar, there isn't one tried-and-true method for enterprise mobile management. Mobile device management (MDM), a common method for deploying, integrating and monitoring employee-owned devices on the corporate network, isn't plugging all the potential security holes.
"The use cases for BYOD don't necessarily support the use of traditional MDM solutions -- most are focused on the configuration management and not as much on the understanding of the security concerns that might be involved, like if the device has been compromised," said John Pironti, president of consultancy IP Architects LLC.
Marble Security services: Bolstering enterprise mobile management methods
Protecting the mobile perimeter of an enterprise is important because employees have come to expect access to corporate information with their personal smartphones and tablets. Marble Security's cloud-based security service can help medium-to-large enterprise users access corporate and public networks and cloud services on their mobile device while protecting user privacy, Web browsing and company data, said David Jevans, chief technology officer for Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Marble.
Marble's client application is available for iOS, Android and Windows devices, and employees can download it from the Apple Store, Google Play or via an email link. The Marble client gives the user access through a secure browser connected to Marble's own Virtual Private Network (VPN), which gives users an encrypted traffic channel, Jevans said.
The Marble service can work as an enterprise's standalone mobile security approach or in conjunction with an existing MDM platform. Marble Security can fill the security gaps of traditional MDM tools by protecting a mobile worker's endpoints against cyberattacks, even if they are infected with malware, he said.
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The cloud-based service uses Marble's Mobile Perimeter Defense -- existing technology that learns and adapts to data collected in real-time -- to protect users from malicious websites or applications.
"We have a secure domain name system on the back end that ensures a user won't be vulnerable to network-level attacks, and [the service] also is constantly learning from information collected and real-time blacklists to protect users from visiting sites or apps that may have been compromised," Jevans said.
Network administrators can manage all mobile devices from a central dashboard -- even jailbroken devices. The service also applies risk scores to each device that allows IT administrators, or users themselves, to identify and remediate threats, he said.
Enterprise mobile management: Cloud-based security vs. MDM tools
Enterprises' security needs vary greatly from one business to another, depending on their industry and the compliance and regulatory standards they are subject to. Some enterprises are relying only on MDM vendors to secure BYOD devices, including products from AirWatch, McAfee and Symantec. But cloud-based security services can offer expanded visibility beyond just the information that is coming into the enterprise's own environment, IP Architects' Pironti said.
"The benefit of a cloud-based service is the value of a community," he said. "The community allows [enterprises] to aggregate and understand intelligence of vulnerabilities and security concerns that should be looked at. Having that macro view, instead of an individual or single vendor view, can offer more helpful data to IT," he said.
Cloud-based mobile security services are also more cognizant of the kinds of attacks that occur and the general security of a device, as opposed to MDM tools, which focus on management, Pironti said.
However, MDM is still a factor in protecting and managing mobile devices, said John Girard, vice president and analyst at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Research Inc. "MDM can't always stop bad things from happening, but it assists in reducing accidents and can help disconnect devices from the company if they deviate from approved configurations," he said.