In the BYOD age, enabling a mobile workforce without compromising network security requires a fresh look at your organization's mobile security measures. Earlier this month, mobile and cloud security service provider Neohapsis and mobile app security solutions vendor Mocana announced a partnership aimed at helping organizations do just that. In a recent interview with James Mobley, president and CEO of Neohapsis, and Kurt Stammberger, vice president of marketing at Mocana, I learned how.
MAP automates and enhances mobile app security
For BYOD-enabled enterprises, particularly those that develop and deploy their own mobile apps, app security is a big deal. "Sixty-one percent of large enterprises say that app security is their number one challenge in developing apps and deploying mobility," Stammberger pointed out, citing a 2012 Forrester Research study. Securing those apps, according to Stammberger, takes up a significant amount of development time. This is where Mocana's Mobile App Protection (MAP) solution comes in.
Deployed as a pilot program in "a couple dozen Fortune 100 companies around the U.S.," MAP "allows you to add new security features to mobile apps by pointing and clicking, reducing the time it takes to secure an app from 8-12 weeks to about 4 seconds," Stammberger said. "MAP does this by automating a lot of tasks that once had to be done manually—penetration testing, for example." MAP can mitigate identified vulnerabilities "automatically, within seconds."
This, Stammberger explained, dramatically simplifies the task of mobile management for security admin. "Most of the headaches that come with mobile management aren't management problems per se," he pointed out. "They're security problems. If you can solve them at the app layer, then it doesn't even matter if you're managing the device. You can secure your app and data whether on a device owned by your organization, or whether it's deployed to a customer or somewhere else entirely."
If automating app security was all that an enterprise needed to do to ensure mobile security, however, the Neohapsis/Mocana partnership wouldn't exist. It exists because Neohapsis and Mocana see a need for more in-depth security consulting, and hope to fill it.
Neohapsis identifies threats to enterprise network security
"This partnership is going to significantly advance mobile security on the app side," Mobley told me. "Everyone we talk to today is focused on mobility and cloud initiatives; our partnership is going to enable a lot of those efforts within large enterprises." Mobile apps can open enterprise networks up to a host of security threats, especially since "most attacks happen at the app itself. So while these apps are fundamentally changing the way business is done, we want to make sure it's being done with the highest level of protection."
Neohapsis does this by consulting with firms on the particular risks and vulnerabilities they face to "identify the best ways to optimize their technology, giving them the greatest level of protection before providing that handoff to Mocana for the implementation of the product."
"Things are becoming more distributed," Mobley said. "There's a big need to be more secure and to prove that you're compliant. The combination of a trusted advisor like Neohapsis and a security solutions provider like Mocana will mean a lot of good things for clients who want to roll out apps quickly on mobile devices."
Your organization's mobile app portfolio could be exposing your network to outside threats. Make sure your developers are aware of those threats and how to address them, and if you're unsure of your dev team's capability to do so, consider getting outside help. The increased security of your network may be well worth the investment.
Jude Chao is Executive Editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Follow her on Twitter @judechao.