Last we talked about Zenprise, it was teaching us how to best manage our mobile devices in the face of extraordinary mobile growth, in and outside the enterprise. Today, it moved beyond white papers to bring us the first of many quarterly reports, which aims to measure aggregate device enrollments by OS, policy deployment and application blacklisting and whitelisting to ascertain trends and share best practices.
iOS, Android Dominate
In its first Mobile Device Management Cloud Report (4Q 2011), Zenprise surveyed its customers to see how they are managing their company’s mobile devices, what security policies are governing them and what applications they have on their naughty and nice lists.
While it seems that it wasn’t too long ago that most companies swore by their Blackberries and bemoaned the mere presence of Apple devices, today nearly 60% of devices in Zencloud (its enterprise-grade, mobile cloud device management solution) are iOS, and a third Android. According to Ahmed Datoo, Zenprise chief marketing officer, this is a trend that will continue to grow as both employees and IT become more familiar with them.
As consumers and employees alike become more familiar with iOS and Android, the apps they download factor into an organization’s mobile security policy. As a result, the report reveals a number of mobile applications that have been blacklisted and whitelisted. While there was no significant trend among which apps were more likely to be blacklisted or whitelisted, it’s no surprise that what is deemed acceptable and not are productivity-related (we're looking at you, Angry Birds and Facebook). Whitelisted apps included Citrix, Xora and Adobe.
Security Policies Accomodate Global Workforce
But how do companies go about securing apps for use and non-use? Datoo says that some companies employ a Trust and Verify system, where employees can download any app, but must agree to specific terms and conditions and send notifications of their actions to IT. Others are more comfortable using a Trust and Enforce model, allowing users to download, but immediately block them from using an app during specific hours. And there are some organizations that prevent users from downloading certain apps altogether. Each of these options are available by Zenprise.
When it comes to policies designed to manage mobile devices, basic policies such as passcode and VPN are the most commonly deployed, followed by device resource and app restrictions. But with so many variables to account for, companies are definitely varied in their approach. As we know, it’s a global workforce and regular 9-5 office hours no longer apply. So how do you secure access when work is after office hours (whatever that is) or off-premise? Thankfully, Zenprise offers a variety of security options that can comfortably provide companies with alternative ways to protect access and information, no matter what time it is or where a mobile device resides.
Measuring MDM Quarter By Quarter
This is the first report of its kind by Zenprise, but it plans to release one each quarter. By reporting on growing trends by its customers each quarter, it will be able to better track and serve its management needs. We’re definitely eager to see how mobile device management evolves. Until next quarter...