THE BLOG

Why You Need to Manage Mobile Apps

08/22/2013 02:53 pm ET | Updated Oct 22, 2013

If you've heard that Android apps were infested with malware, get this: about 1 million malicious Android apps will be introduced into the market this year, according to Infonetics Research's mobile security report.

It's reported that Android malware threats exceed those of PCs. Gone are the days when hackers attacked laptops; instead, mobile devices are the target and, ironically, are less protected than their counterparts.

Although "69 percent of enterprise data breaches and 95 percent of stolen data in 2011 were caused by malware," about "one-third of enterprises currently allow the use of employee-owned devices... on their networks, according to the Infonetics survey," reports FierceMobileIt.

Let me restate that... 95 percent of stolen data was caused by malware which most likely came from malicious apps.

In a survey of IT professionals, more than half have 25 or more malware attacks per month.

Why would an organization allow so many potentially harmful devices to enter the network and expect them to leave the system unscathed?

Whatever your approach to mobile security, act now. Allowing employees to take devices in and out of the office without protection is putting your company at risk for data loss and leakage.

Start by establishing a BYOD (bring you own device) policy and use a mobile app manager.

What is a mobile application manager?

Mobile app management refers to the delivery and administration of software on an employee's company and/or personal smartphone and/or tablet.

In contrast, a mobile device management system (MDM) focuses on device activation, enrollment and provisioning. A mobile app manager focuses on software delivery, configuration, licensing, usage tracking, maintenance and policy enforcement.

To set-up a new employee's mobile device, you can use an MDM to configure the device, network settings, passwords, and other access. Then, you would use a mobile app manager to track, maintain, and control the apps placed on the device.

A mobile app manager can facilitate point-of-sale payments, provide additional app store functionality, compare mobile device types or user, to enforce policies, assist with configuring app settings or supplying app profiles and credentials.

Most mobile application managers help IT determine which users have installed which apps. Some mobile app managers proactively apply and enforce policies for apps, such as an app black list or white list. Others can monitor business app usage and play a vital role in uninstalling apps and deactivating devices.

Most companies experience multiple, if not more, malicious attacks via apps. Don't let your company's data be exposed any longer.