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Blue Coat introduces mobile device security

Blue Coat introduces mobile device security

Blue Coat introduces mobile device security
The new service is designed to cover mobile browser applications and Web-based threats.

Web security and WAN optimisation specialist Blue Coat Systems Inc today introduced its Mobile Device Security (MDS) service, which it said would "enable businesses to extend the boundaries of the security perimeter to iOS devices in any location, on any network".

The new security-as-a-service is intended to close the security gap that leaves businesses without a control point over mobile browser applications and exposed to Web-based threats.

Businesses are increasingly invested in allowing mobile devices access to the network through corporate mobile initiatives that improve workforce productivity; bring your own device initiatives to give employees greater flexibility; or guest device initiatives to enable a closer working relationship with partners, customers and other constituencies. 

Blue Coat argued that as businesses move to fully embrace mobile devices in their extended corporate environment, they need to overcome three real risks: exposure to Web-based threats, inadvertent data loss via native mobile and mobile browser applications, and employees circumventing corporate security policies.

The Blue Coat MDS service operates at the network level, rather than the device level, to "extend the same protection and control that is available in corporate headquarters to mobile devices in any location".  This approach, Blue Coat believes, allows businesses to embrace mobile devices in the corporate environment by delivering three key features.

First, the Blue Coat MDS service is powered by WebPulse and what the company claims is "the industry's only negative day defence" to protect against device-agnostic threats that indiscriminately target users on laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets.

Second, Blue Coat seeks to deliver "granular application and operation controls. Unlike mobile device-level solutions that block entire mobile applications and offer no control over mobile browser applications, the MDS service provides finer control across both types of applications - native mobile and mobile browser.  This allows organisations to set flexible IT policies that prevent inadvertent data loss and ensure consistent enforcement across the extended environment, said Blue Coat.  

Lastly, contextual policies provide a framework that "intelligently applies policies based on user, device, location and content".  This flexibility, Blue Coat argues, allows businesses to create policies that can accommodate both personal and business usage without compromising security.

"The new enterprise exists beyond the office, in airports and coffee shops, wherever employees are, and successfully leveraging this new mobility requires enterprises to fully integrate mobile devices into their corporate environment by extending protection and policies to them, wherever they are," said Christian Christiansen, programme vice president, security at IDC. 

"A network-based approach to this challenge removes IT from the business of managing hundreds or thousands of new end points while providing a more comprehensive and flexible security for those devices."

The Blue Coat MDS service will be available on 10 December through the Blue Coat Cloud Service, an enterprise-grade global infrastructure that delivers performance and scale with a 99.999% service level guarantee.

"Mobile devices are game-changing for the enterprise, but today, users on those devices are almost completely unprotected against Web-based threats and inadvertent data loss from unmanaged mobile browser applications," said Steve Schoenfeld, vice president of product management at Blue Coat Systems.  "The Blue Coat Mobile Device Security service seamlessly extends the industry's leading threat protection and policy controls from the corporate network to mobile devices, to give businesses the confidence that their users and data are protected."

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