Sophos Mobile Control Cuts Risk of Bring Your Own Device
By Barry Levine / CIO Today. Updated August 13, 2012.
Security firm Sophos is offering enhancements to its mobile device management (MDM) suite to further support the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend. It has released version 2.5 of Mobile Control, which, the company said, helps companies "say yes" to BYOD.
The new features include the ability to set up users more quickly, using the groups already in Active Directory. As an example, Sophos said, IT can automatically assign newly registered devices and have the appropriate policies applied to them.
Hosted Service Coming
The company also said that 2.5 includes improved workflows that reduce the time it takes to manage devices, and provides data visualized as pie charts so that the current status can be examined at a glance.
A newly revised compliance check runs more tests than before, and allows IT to determine how rigorously to apply compliance standards. Additionally, management can set compliance violations to either inform the user or to automatically apply risk mitigation actions as established by the company.
Mobile Control 2.5 now supports iOS managed apps, so IT can push them, from the app store or from in-house developers, directly to the users. If a device leaves the company's control, or if it becomes less than compliant, Mobile Control allows the apps to be remotely removed.
The company also announced that it will soon be offering Sophos Mobile Control as a hosted service.
Sophos Mobile Control, originally released in version 2.0 in December, allows companies to respond to the BYOD trend, manage apps, enforce security, and conform devices to compliance procedures. It utilizes built-in security features of iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices, including iOS encryption and password protection.
Enterprise App Store
The Sophos platform also allows companies to ensure that only devices that meet standards -- such as being registered and not being jailbroken -- can get access to corporate data, while all others are blocked. From the Web-based admin console, devices can be located, locked, or wiped, and a security dashboard provides a quick-glance overview of the status of devices.
Security polices can be implemented remotely, without a physical visit to a Help Desk, and devices' specs are tracked and reported, including configuration settings, serial numbers, model numbers, hardware details, installed apps and other data.
An accompanying Enterprise App Store prevents apps from being used that could be risky or that policy otherwise prohibits, and it allows for the distribution of company-approved apps.
As employees increasingly use their own mobile devices for work, the mobile device management (MDM) market is heating up, with products from Symantec, Cisco, Trend Micro, Research in Motion and others, as well as pure-play MDM providers like Tarmac, Zeneprise, and BoxTone.
Sophos said it has over 1500 customers, which are using its products to manage more than half a million devices. In April, Sophos purchased DIALOGS, a German MDM vendor.