Jan 19, 2019

Mobile App Management is Being Driven by Unmanaged Devices

 Mobile App Management is Being Driven by Unmanaged Devices

I work for a software company, where I am tasked with writing elaborate lines of code on a daily basis. Most of this work has to be conducted in secret. Because if my firm’s on-going assignments were to fall into our competitors’ hands, we’d be faced with a loss of our intellectual property. Something which is really unacceptable. And in my country, we can’t generally sue for such thefts. 

At the very beginning of my coding career, I worked on a Cox Internet Plans project. And it was while I was sweating over this assignment that my firm had to deal with its first episode of theft. 10 years have passed since our software blueprints for this project got stolen. We still haven’t been able to catch the culprit responsible. He later turned out to be one of our very own colleagues, no less!

‘A snake hiding silently among the reeds’, as our CEO later put it.

A Word on Common Office Security Protocols

Just like the software trade, there are many other professions in which work assignments have to be kept undercover. And strictly so, otherwise the companies involved could be looking at some major monetary losses. One of the most common ways to keep security tight is for organizations to keep their employees from taking their digital equipment home. Or from bringing their personal devices to the workplace.

But this method can prove to be too restrictive. Especially in the case of professionals who have to work on-the-go. For this purpose, they obviously need their official devices with them at all times. And so in such cases, many companies are increasingly making use of Mobile App Management (MAM) software solutions. In the hopes of resolving this problem.

Mobile App Management Solutions: A Very Basic Intro

In a nutshell, all the tools that fall under this software category can be used to ‘lock’ important office applications. And on different levels; by either freezing the complete app or simply restricting some of its features/facilities. This allows employees to take their office devices with them outside the company premises, and manage their work remotely. At the same time, these tools provide some much-needed peace-of-mind to the organizations’ management officials.

Holistically, it can be said that unmanaged devices are driving the need for MAM solutions. And with time, their use is only expected to grow – as organizations tackle with ever-more-complex security issues.

Traditionally, mobile app management tools came as part of comprehensive EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) suites. But these tend to be pretty pricey, even today. And their cost-per-employee figures are high, so it’s difficult to gain adequate budget-approvals for them. A simpler, and more cost-effective, answer to this problem lies in purchasing standalone MAM application licenses.

Some popular MAM tools in common use nowadays are listed as follows:
1.     Oracle
2.     App47
3.     Pulse Secure
4.     Apperian
5.     Appaloosa

Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs): A Similar Ballgame

For organizations that manage a lot of their work in the cloud (the web), Cloud Access Security Broker software offers the same advantage. Additionally, tools from this software category can be partnered with existing MAM applications to provide full-proof data encryption. This provides organizations, which invest in both cloud and offline platforms for their work, with an amazing level of security.

Most CASB applications are pretty easy to understand and make use of.

Some I.T security analysts predict that by 2025, at least one-half of all mobile devices will come equipped with default MAM applications. A 2018 Gartner survey has estimated that over 10% of office-based devices in the U.S use some kind of ‘App Locking’ security interface. Investors in security software companies, however, are more hopeful about the future of CASBs. Because they reckon that their future dividends lie securely with them.

But ‘Who Guards the Guards’?

A very real concern being raised in some MAM circles, however, has to do with the question of ethics. The software coders who design these tools are also the ones most favorably disposed to exploit their weaknesses.
This, unfortunately, is the issue faced by all software applications – and is hardly unique to anyone in particular.

Some experts have suggested that the source code of these applications should be designed by multiple ‘compartmentalized’ engineers. In this way, no one designer will have a lot of insight into the work of the other. Others have recommended the use of ‘Blockchain’ to be incorporated into the applications’ backend interface. Still, others have advised the use of complete EMM suites instead of standalone applications.

The debate, for better or for worse, continues.

A Recent MAM Application Experience

Recently, I was charged with improving a call-waiting application tethered to the Cox customer service number. The company wanted me to fine-tune the time-lapse that occurred when subscribers dialed its sales team. This delay prevented these officials from getting through to customers on time; with the result that the callers eventually hung up in frustration. But the company didn’t want to give complete software access to their staff; for which reason I had to hook them up with a MAM application. And last I heard from them, their issue had been completely resolved. As if it never existed in the first place! 

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Hey! I’m Muhammad Abba Gana, popularly known as AbbaGana, a blog Scientist by mind and a passionate blogger by heart fountainhead of Guidetricks, Duniyan Fasaha, Duniyar Yau, Hanyantsirah, Gidan Novels, Abba Gana Novels and Be With Me Technology, I am twenty something year old guy from Jimeta, Adamawa State, Nigeria. I’m a Freelance writer, Information marketer, professional blogger, Web designer, Internet speaker, software Developer and also an author. I make living with my laptop and can work from anywhere I find myself (as long as there is a power supply and a reliable internet connection).


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