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BYOD 2.0 – Moving Beyond MDM with F5 Mobile App Manager

BYOD 1.0 is the industry’s first attempt at solving problems related to personally owned devices in the workplace

BYOD has quickly transformed IT, offering a revolutionary way to support the mobile workforce. The first wave of BYOD featured MDM solutions that controlled the entire device. In the next wave, BYOD 2.0, control applies only to those apps necessary for business, enforcing corporate policy while maintaining personal privacy. The #F5 Mobile App Manager is a complete mobile application management platform built for BYOD 2.0.

As more smartphones, tablets, and other types of mobile devices make their way into employees’ hands, requests for corporate access from those devices are increasing, which represents a huge challenge for IT departments. Not only has IT lost the ability to fully control and manage these devices, but employees are now demanding that they be able to conduct company business from multiple personal devices. Initially resistant to the idea due to security concerns, IT teams are slowly adopting the concept, but hesitantly, still concerned about the inherent risks of allowing personal devices to access and store sensitive corporate information.

People have become very attached to their mobile devices. They customize them, surf the web, play games, watch movies, shop, and often simply manage life with these always-connected devices. The flipside of the convenience and flexibility of BYOD are the many concerns about the risks introduced to the corporate infrastructure when allowing unmanaged and potentially unsecured personal devices access to sensitive, proprietary information.  Organizations need dynamic policy enforcement to govern the way they now lock down data and applications. As with laptops, if an employee logs in to the corporate data center from a compromised mobile device, then that employee becomes as much of a risk as a hacker with direct access to the corporate data center.

Enter BYOD 1.0.

BYOD 1.0 is the industry’s first attempt at solving problems related to personally owned devices in the workplace. BYOD 1.0 consists of two primary components—mobile device management (MDM) and device-level, layer 3 VPNs. The primary goal of MDM is to manage and secure the endpoint device itself, including varying amounts of protection for data at rest on the device (which is typically limited to enabling native device encryption via configuration). The primary aim of the layer 3 VPN is to connect the device back into the corporate network, providing data-in-transit security for corporate traffic.

Both of these BYOD 1.0 components have a drawback—they are umbrellas that protect and manage the entire device, rather than zeroing in on just the enterprise data and applications on that device. Since these are usually dual-purpose (work/personal) devices, this device-wide approach causes issues for both workers and for IT.  Employees don’t like that BYOD 1.0 imposes enterprise controls over their personal devices, applications, and information. One of the most commonly cited examples is that of the employee who leaves a company and has his device wiped by the organization, losing photos of his family along with the enterprise data and applications. People are also concerned with the privacy of their personal data under a BYOD 1.0 scheme.

From an IT perspective, organizations agree—they don’t want to have to concern themselves with personal data or applications. As soon as they manage the entire device or simply connect that device to the corporate network via VPN, that personal traffic also becomes an IT problem. While BYOD 1.0 helps to enable the use of personally owned devices in the enterprise, the device-level approach certainly has its challenges. BYOD 2.0 seeks to solve these shortcomings. The shift from BYOD 1.0 to BYOD 2.0 builds on many of the concepts developed during BYOD 1.0, adding a new set of frameworks that enable IT organizations to wrap enterprise applications in a security layer.

Throughout BYOD 1.0, F5 has provided connectivity for mobile devices into enterprise networks with VPN functionality, most commonly through iOS and Android versions of the F5 BIG-IP Edge Client. This layer provides management capabilities as well as functionality such as authentication and authorization, data-at-rest security, and data-in-transit security, among others.

BYOD 2.0 builds on the BYOD 1.0 foundation but makes a substantial shift from a device-level focus to an application-level focus. BYOD 2.0 seeks to ensure that the enterprise footprint on a personally owned device is limited to the enterprise data and applications and nothing more. This means that mobile device management is supplanted by mobile application management (MAM), and device-level VPNs are replaced by application-specific VPNs. These application-specific VPNs include technology such as BIG-IP APM AppTunnels, a single secure, encrypted connection to a specific service such as Microsoft Exchange.

With this approach, workers are happier than with BYOD 1.0 because the enterprise manages and sees only the enterprise subset of the overall data and applications on the device, leaving the management of the device itself, and of personal data and applications, to the device’s owner. IT staff prefer the BYOD 2.0 approach for the same reasons—it allows them to concern themselves only with the enterprise data
and applications they need to secure, manage, and control.

BYOD 2.0 and the aforementioned application wrapping frameworks are changing the dynamic in the mobile space. By combining mobile management functionality and access functionality into a single offering, these wrappers give enterprises a mobile IT solution that extends from data and applications on the endpoint into the cloud and data center.

Introducing F5 Mobile App Manager

mam F5 Mobile App Manager (MAM) is a mobile application management and access solution that securely extends the enterprise to personal mobile devices. It manages applications and secures data while satisfying the needs of employees and enterprise IT departments. For IT, it limits the burden associated with securing and controlling personal data and mobile use. For employees, it safely separates personal data and use from corporate oversight. F5 MAM is a complete mobile application management platform offering security, management, and compliance for BYOD deployments. It is a true enterprise device, data, and information management solution that fits the needs of the mobile enterprise better than MDM solutions.  F5 MAM includes a suite of business productivity applications and capabilities to separate and secure enterprise mobile applications while providing end-to-end security.

F5 MAM Workspace
Organizations and employees both want the ability to segregate professional and personal information. F5 MAM Workspace is an innovative solution allowing enterprises to truly create a virtual enterprise workspace on a wide variety of mobile devices. With MAM Workspace, individuals can have separate sectors and associated policies for their personal and enterprise uses of a device. This enables IT to control how employees access key corporate information while ensuring that employees maintain the freedom to take full advantage of their mobile devices.  The secure MAM Workspace can be protected by a password or PIN that is independent of the device password. IT can also reset a user’s MAM Workspace password, lock down a user’s MAM Workspace, or wipe the Workspace in the event of a policy violation.

F5 MAM App Wrapper
Organizations can also add their own applications to the secure workspace. Organizations have the ability to add any application to the secure, IT-controlled environment. In addition, there is zero need to recompile to create a secure application. F5 MAM App Wrapper scans the existing code in third-party apps, identifies any security vulnerabilities, and injects new proprietary code. This wraps and secures the app for manageability and deployment.

F5 MAM Connect
Email is one of the most critical communication tools for organizations and employees alike. No email, no work.  F5 MAM Connect is a secure, wrapped personal information manager (PIM) client that integrates with Microsoft Exchange and delivers enterprise email, calendar, contacts, tasks, and notes to the employee. MAM Connect offers EAS synchronization, global address list integration, secure storage, and networking
and is fully managed via the MAM management console.

F5 MAM Browser
The F5 MAM Browser is a secure and managed browser delivered within MAM. It provides employees with a full-featured browser, separate from their personal browsers, with the control IT needs for secure browser access. It facilitates integrated blocked and safe lists without reliance on proxies, provides controls for enterprise proxy configuration, and allows administrators to push configuration via the web-based MAM portal.

Whether organizations are prepared or not, BYOD is here, and it is transforming enterprise IT. It can potentially provide organizations a significant cost savings and productivity boost, but it is not without risk. F5 provides strategic control points for mobile applications from the endpoint to the data center and to the cloud, enabling unparalleled security, performance, and agility. F5 Mobile App Manager helps organizations make the leap to BYOD or transition from controlling the entire device to simply managing corporate applications and data on the device, solving the work/personal dilemma.

With F5 Mobile App Manager, BYOD 2.0 is now a reality.

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More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter Silva covers security for F5’s Technical Marketing Team. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Bringing the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together, he covers training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5’s security line. He's also produced over 200 F5 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. Prior to joining F5, he was the Business Development Manager with Pacific Wireless Communications. He’s also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others. He earned his B.S. from Marquette University, and is a certified instructor in the Wisconsin System of Vocational, Technical & Adult Education.