One of the challenges facing today's IT departments is providing secure access to corporate systems. These might be locally hosted applications or cloud services that the business needs to access from smartphones and tablets.
For IT departments, managing all the different user log-ins and making the connection process as smooth as possible through Single Sign On remains part of an operational nirvana. In particular, there are granular access controls for different applications that can be difficult to administer.
Ian Yip, a Security Specialist with NetIQ, says that their new MobileAccess product is a way "to address the mobile worker and BYOD issues faced by businesses".
NetIQ is a part of the Attachmate group of companies. They inherited the identity management suite from their stable mate Novell.
MobileAccess is a virtual appliance that enables secure access via a single touch from iOS or Android mobile devices to business-critical corporate services and data.
Installed as an app on iOS devices – Yip told us that the Android version would be available "soon" – it provides access to NetIQ's Cloud Access which acts as a "broker" between the mobile device and corporate and cloud applications.
When a user logs in through MobileAccess, the user is authenticated through to other applications as the Cloud Access server securely holds those log in details. For example, if a user has access to an on-premise instance of SAP and an account with Office 365, log in with a single sign on to Mobile Access will authenticate users to those services.
Authentication to MobileAccess can use Active Directory – an approach favoured by many clients according to Yip – or NetIQ's own e-Directory service.
Yip told us that this approach allowed NetIQ to "make ID management an extension of the existing security infrastructure".
"It's not just about MDM," said Yip. "We took a step back and took an ID management and data point of view and addressed this through the lens of the user rather than the device".
An advantage of this approach is that it avoids the need to store corporate credentials locally on the device, which limits risk and corporate exposure when devices are lost or stolen.
With 15% of employees are accessing sensitive data such as customer information, non-public financial data, intellectual property, and corporate strategy from devices other than work laptops and desktops, according to a report from Forrester Research, placing tight controls on where credentials are stored can form part of a more rigorous identity management strategy.
For users, it also eliminates the need to navigate Intranet sites through a mobile browser. This can be a cost saving for businesses, as they don’t need to redevelop internal sites to make them mobile friendly.
NetIQ MobileAccess pricing starts at $8.50 per user (including first-year maintenance) and is available worldwide.
This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.