Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Anders Wallgren, Liz McMillan, Jason Bloomberg, Martin Etmajer

Related Topics: Cloud Security, Mobile IoT, Microservices Expo, IoT User Interface, Agile Computing, Wearables

Cloud Security: Article

How to Re-imagine Your Business for a Mobile World

And keep your data safe while doing it

There is little argument at this point that the mass adoption of mobile technology and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategies by enterprises is a true business technology revolution. At the core, the catalysts driving this revolution are the vast array of mobile devices leveraging soaring bandwidth - 4G - and super-fast internals - quad-core processors - which have become commonplace.

With this high-bandwidth, ultra-capable combination, end users see the productivity and convenience possible by running the newest, most sophisticated business applications on their own personal mobile devices.

And it's not just end users who can benefit. A recent Symantec survey found that innovative companies - early technology adopters, especially of mobile technology - are seeing significantly higher revenue growth and higher profits than traditional organizations; in fact, by nearly 50 percent.

The question facing every enterprise is, "Are we re-imagining our business with mobility as a central component?" Here are some suggestions on how to accomplish this, while keeping sensitive business data secure.

Evaluate App and Data Needs
The previously mentioned Symantec survey found that 84 percent of those successful, innovative companies are proactively adapting their businesses based on business drivers rather than simply reacting to user demand. So, companies need to evaluate. Thus, the first step in re-imagining business in a mobile world is to determine the apps and data end users could utilize - beyond email - to get their jobs done more efficiently.

App Type
Apps for CRM, e-Health and ERP are just a few good examples of line-of-business apps companies in different industries can leverage to improve productivity through mobility. Add to this list cloud-based file storage apps that give users access to their data across computing platforms.

Data Access
Beyond app type, companies must take a closer look at target user groups to determine each segment's specific data access needs. Some users might need resident data on their devices, while others who are likely to have connectivity all the time can manage with cloud-based data. Understanding each group's specific needs will help determine the type of technology approaches possible.

App Procurement
Once app type and data access requirements are well understood, companies need to explore app procurement. For some, the only way to get exactly what is needed is to build a custom app or have one built for them. However, hundreds of thousands of apps are already available for the most popular mobile operating systems and, in many instances, the perfect app likely already exists.

Keep App and Data Security Top of Mind
The Symantec survey referenced earlier also found that the innovative companies who are leading the way in mobility adoption also experience about twice as many mobile security-related incidents, such as loss of corporate data. This leads to a second question enterprises must ask, "How do we keep our sensitive data safe in a mobile world?"

From a high level, there are really two approaches to keeping business data on mobile devices secure. The first is protecting data at the device level and the second is protecting it at the app level.

Device Level Data Protection
Data protection on mobile devices at the device level largely involves mobile device management (MDM) software. MDM provides business IT with control over complete devices and, as such, policies can ensure devices are password-protected and also provide the ability to remotely lock or wipe devices in the event of a loss or theft and even prevent the forwarding of emails.

However, MDM cannot address other data loss-related concerns such as copy and pasting of sensitive information or, more important, protecting corporate data in applications beyond the email client.

Thus, the device level approach creates an environment where it becomes far too easy for sensitive data to mingle with personal apps and leak out through, for example, a web-based email account, social networking application or personal cloud storage. This can all occur without IT ever knowing.

App Level Data Protection
The next logical area where enterprises can implement and enforce policies to keep data on mobile devices secure is at the app level. The previous iterations of this approach involved sandboxing technologies, where corporate data on mobile devices is held in an established digital container on devices, and data flow from the sandbox or container is controlled. This approach prevents the confluence of personal and corporate data, the ability to copy and paste data accessed from within the sandbox to other areas on the device, and unauthorized email forwards from within the sandbox.

This sandbox approach worked well when email was the only app businesses wanted to mobilize. However, as companies re-imagine their businesses with a focus on mobility, this approach falls short. Any corporate app that needs protection has to be built in or modified to fit into the sandbox. With the diversity of apps available, this approach is very limiting and even the early proponents of this technology are moving on to other strategies.

One of these strategies is mobile application management (MAM), which addresses the limitations of sandboxes while still meeting corporate security needs. MAM technology allows companies to wrap their corporate apps and the data tied to them in their own security and management layers. This gives enterprises complete control of their apps and data while leaving user-owned information untouched. In contrast to the legacy sandboxing approach, it does this without any additional overhead, either from affecting device usage or source code modifications.

With MAM, controls such as authentication, encryption, data loss prevention and expiration - apps and data can be manually expired or set to automatically remove themselves from devices based on perimeters established by administrators - can all be applied to corporate apps and other resources on otherwise unmanaged, user-owned devices. In this way, complete end-to-end visibility and control over where sensitive data is flowing - regardless of what mobile application or service is being used to traffic the data - can be achieved and, just as important, maintained.

In addition, MAM allows multiple corporate apps to securely communicate with each other and for data traffic segregation, so all traffic from corporate apps can be routed through the corporate network while the personal traffic is left unmonitored.

It is important to note, however, that MAM as a term is being used loosely within the industry. Different technology vendors use it to describe different things. Some refer to app distribution functionality as MAM and still others refer to simple app blocking as MAM.

From an enterprise perspective, however, MAM should be more than that. More than simply distributing the right apps and blocking the wrong ones, MAM is about protecting the corporate apps and data on mobile devices by taking management from a device level to an application level. It is the most effective tool for separating corporate data from personal data to make safe, effective BYOD policies possible.

Re-imagining business for a mobile world, while not without its growing pains, can be a fairly straightforward process. However, to re-imagine business for a mobile world confidently, MAM should be a part of every discussion.

More Stories By Swarna Podila

Swarna Podila serves as a senior manager with the Enterprise Mobility Group at Symantec, responsible for the messaging, positioning, go-to-market strategy and overall evangelism of mobile security and management products and services. In her role, she focuses on the enterprise routes to market, messaging the solutions for on-premise and cloud deployments. At Symantec, Podila has promoted the idea of user-centric and information-centric view and anytime, anywhere productivity.

Prior to Symantec, Podila served a product marketing consultant at Citrix. There she was responsible for the messaging and launching of the company’s networking products. Prior to Citrix, she worked at a software startup and was responsible for their transition from stealth mode to a mid-sized company. She was responsible for product messaging, identifying routes to market and sales enablement. With over 10 years experience in the IT industry, Podila has held a number of roles in product strategy, marketing and engineering. She has an undergraduate degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, will discuss how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved effi...
How is your DevOps transformation coming along? How do you measure Agility? Reliability? Efficiency? Quality? Success?! How do you optimize your processes? This morning on #c9d9 we talked about some of the metrics that matter for the different stakeholders throughout the software delivery pipeline. Our panelists shared their best practices.
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Father business cycles and digital consumers are forcing enterprises to respond faster to customer needs and competitive demands. Successful integration of DevOps and Agile development will be key for business success in today’s digital economy. In his session at DevOps Summit, Pradeep Prabhu, Co-Founder & CEO of Cloudmunch, covered the critical practices that enterprises should consider to seamlessly integrate Agile and DevOps processes, barriers to implementing this in the enterprise, and pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
If we look at slow, traditional IT and jump to the conclusion that just because we found its issues intractable before, that necessarily means we will again, then it’s time for a rethink. As a matter of fact, the world of IT has changed over the last ten years or so. We’ve been experiencing unprecedented innovation across the board – innovation in technology as well as in how people organize and accomplish tasks. Let’s take a look at three differences between today’s modern, digital context...
Sensors and effectors of IoT are solving problems in new ways, but small businesses have been slow to join the quantified world. They’ll need information from IoT using applications as varied as the businesses themselves. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Meike, Distinguished Engineer, Director of Technology Innovation at Intuit, showed how IoT manufacturers can use open standards, public APIs and custom apps to enable the Quantified Small Business. He used a Raspberry Pi to connect sensors...
The principles behind DevOps are not new - for decades people have been automating system administration and decreasing the time to deploy apps and perform other management tasks. However, only recently did we see the tools and the will necessary to share the benefits and power of automation with a wider circle of people. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bernard Sanders, Chief Technology Officer at CloudBolt Software, explored the latest tools including Puppet, Chef, Docker, and CMPs needed to...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
In a previous article, I demonstrated how to effectively and efficiently install the Dynatrace Application Monitoring solution using Ansible. In this post, I am going to explain how to achieve the same results using Chef with our official dynatrace cookbook available on GitHub and on the Chef Supermarket. In the following hands-on tutorial, we’ll also apply what we see as good practice on working with and extending our deployment automation blueprints to suit your needs.
Data-as-a-Service is the complete package for the transformation of raw data into meaningful data assets and the delivery of those data assets. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lakshmi Randall, an industry expert, analyst and strategist, will address: What is DaaS (Data-as-a-Service)? Challenges addressed by DaaS Vendors that are enabling DaaS Architecture options for DaaS
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
The (re?)emergence of Microservices was especially prominent in this week’s news. What are they good for? do they make sense for your application? should you take the plunge? and what do Microservices mean for your DevOps and Continuous Delivery efforts? Continue reading for more on Microservices, containers, DevOps culture, and more top news from the past week. As always, stay tuned to all the news coming from@ElectricCloud on DevOps and Continuous Delivery throughout the week and retweet/favo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...