Blue Coat Closes Mobile App Security Gap

Blue Coat Systems, Inc., a market and technology leader of Web security and WAN optimization solutions, today introduced mobile application controls that close the security gap created by unsanctioned mobile applications on the corporate network. As employees increasingly bring their own mobile devices to work, the mobile app security gap has widened. With its mobile application controls, Blue Coat uniquely gives IT the ability to manage the use of unsanctioned applications and consistently enforce policies across all devices on the network.

The growth in bring your own device initiatives has driven an increase in mobile devices and unmanaged, untrusted applications on the corporate network. According to Forrester Research, Inc., 57 percent of employees chose and purchased their own smartphone without any direction or guidance from their company. According to mobile application measurement company Flurry, each smartphone has, on average, 65 mobile apps installed. With 350 million employees expected to use smartphones at work by 2016, the number of mobile applications using the corporate network will continue to skyrocket.

The increase in mobile devices on the corporate network creates two distinct risks that lead to undesired or unpredictable network impacts. First, it contributes to the growing problem of unsanctioned applications on the corporate network. Second, corporate policies cannot be consistently enforced across all devices.

Like web-based applications, the use of mobile applications is dramatically eroding IT control of the network. Unlike browser-based web applications, however, mobile applications and their corresponding operations are typically self-contained and fall outside the control of traditional web security solutions.

To prevent unauthorized or undesired use of the corporate network, Blue Coat mobile application controls uniquely extend to mobile applications the same granular operational controls the company provides for web-based applications. With these operational controls, businesses can set policies around specific functions within both web-based and mobile applications. This enables businesses to consistently enforce policy across all devices and allows them to regain control over the applications on their network.

For example, a business that wants to mitigate unintentional leaks of confidential or secure location information could set a policy for Twitter that prevents employees from sending tweets but allows full reading or monitoring access. Blue Coat mobile application controls extend that web-based application policy to the Twitter mobile application, allowing read-only access across all devices on the network.

“The growth of BYOD initiatives has created a situation where IT security managers are facing a deluge of untrusted, unmanaged devices and applications on the corporate network,” said Steve Daheb, chief marketing officer at Blue Coat Systems. “Blue Coat mobile application controls give administrators the ability, for the first time, to not only determine which applications are allowed on the network but also to what extent mobile device users are able to interact with those applications.”

The new mobile application controls are integrated into the Blue Coat® ProxySG® appliances and the Blue Coat Cloud Service. Blue Coat adds new applications and operations to its mobile application controls on a monthly basis to continually enhance the value delivered to customers and ensure they have the most relevant controls to manage the applications on their network. The mobile application controls are automatically updated through the Blue Coat WebPulse™ collaborative defense and immediately available to customers with current support contracts. View a full list of supported mobile applications here.