IBM Moves to Secure Mobile devices with New Endpoint Manager Suite, Announces Aquisition of Mobile Software Firm Worklight
IBM, on Tuesday, announced a new endpoint management suite aimed at mobile devices, in addition to hinting at further R&D in the segment thanks to a recent acquisition. The new software is one of the first to leverage the technology portfolio obtained after Big Blue purchased BigFix software in 2010.
IBM’s Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices, covers tablets and smartphones running iOS, Android, Nokia Symbian, Windows Mobile, or Windows Phone. Essentially, if a mobile device is on your network, and IBM can work to protect it and the data it stores. The mobile-centric suite from IBM also works hand-in-hand with their other Endpoint Management offerings.
IBM’s solution is somewhat standard and offers similar features as other mobile device management solutions. Endpoint Management for Mobile Devices will allow for selective remote wipe, should the device be lost or stolen, password enforcement policies, encryption, and VPN. In addition, it includes NAC abilities, which will force devices not in compliance with a given policy or rule to align as expected, or be denied access to things such as email or network resources.It seems that IBM is going for unification, given that the technology from BigFix software will allow them to integrate all of the Endpoint Management offerings under one roof, offering Enterprise customers the ability to manage everything from desktop systems and servers, to the phone in your pocket.
When it comes to the future of IBM’s Endpoint Manager, particularly in the mobile environment, Big Blue offered a hint with the announcement that they’ve purchased a privately held Israeli-based provider of mobile software.
The Worklight acquisition will enable IBM customers and their own engineers with the ability to create and run hybrid and native applications for mobile devices. If done right, then IBM can use the acquired extensible integrated development environment (IDE), mobile middleware, and management and analytics technologies, to grow right alongside the market as it expands in the coming years.
At the end of 2011, almost half of mobile devices used in the workplace were employee owned according to IDC. This “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) trend raises additional concerns about managing security risks, IBM said.
“As the BYOD movement accelerates, it presents new opportunities and challenges for organizations. In order for them to take advantage of this trend, it is important that organizations have mobile security and management policies in place,” said Bob Sutor, vice president, IBM Mobile Platform.