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Jul 02, 2013

BYOD Done Right with App Wrapping

The bring your own device (BYOD) movement has created a tug-of-war of sorts between the need for corporations to secure proprietary, sensitive information (financial, customer) and the importance of respecting the freedom of individual users along with their apps, data and devices. This tension has the potential to intensify as additional employees being using their personal devices at work. In fact, according to Gartner, 70 percent of mobile workers will do work on their personal smart devices by 2018. There are different approaches to these challenges but there are shortcomings to some of them.

For instance, mobile device management (MDM) involves managing and controlling devices that ultimately belong to the end user. In addition to the inherent conflicts associated with trying to manage devices that belong to employees and not the enterprise, MDM is focused on device-level security in an age where companies are fueled by the apps and data that they use. Containerizing enterprise apps and data at the device level also has its drawbacks. Most approaches to containerizing apps often compromise the user experience. A more effective and user-friendly approach is mobile application management (MAM), which can be used to wrap corporate apps and data at the application level instead of the device level without being applied to an employee’s personal apps such as Facebook or Skype. There are multiple benefits to app wrapping. In addition to providing IT exceptional administrative control over corporate apps and data, companies are able to “wrap” an existing app without the need to re-compile or change software code.

As a result, enterprise mobile apps can be managed centrally using an effective MAM solution. The basic components to app wrapping involve the ability to control certain aspects of enterprise apps, primarily for security purposes. For instance; apps can be set up in a company’s enterprise app store so that user authentication is required prior to download to ensure that apps are provisioned based on a person’s role within the enterprise. For other types of applications, such as a sales force automation app, the app can be set up so that users are required to authenticate themselves by using a virtual private network (VPN).

Meanwhile, app wrapping that’s done using a mobile application management solution is able to secure enterprise apps and data – including sensitive customer information that’s often under strict regulatory controls – while respecting the integrity of an employee’s personal apps and data. Employees are leery about having their personal devices managed and controlled by the companies they work for. A better – and more contemporary approach to operating in a data-driven business environment – is the use of app wrapping that places a security shield around susceptible corporate apps and data.


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