Good steps up mobile security push with Fixmo acquisition, new tools

The company is hoping to convince enterprises that are still faithful to BlackBerry to jump ship, said analyst

Mobile device management company Good Technology is stepping up its efforts to attract organizations that want to leave BlackBerry behind by acquiring assets from Fixmo and launching a new secure mobile collaboration app.

BlackBerry's competitors see the company's struggles as a chance to steal customers, but convincing CIOs to switch isn't always easy.

"Many customers are still a bit frustrated over having to leave BlackBerry and what they see as a very high level of security. It hasn't been obvious where they can go and get a level that can match BlackBerry 7. It's these companies Good is now going after," said Leif-Olof Wallin, research vice president at Gartner.

To appease this group, Good has acquired the security business of mobile management company Fixmo. Good will integrate Fixmo Sentinel Integrity Services and other key products with its platform, it said on Tuesday.

Sentinel lets IT organizations monitor mobile devices to ensure that only trusted and approved applications are running on them. It can detect jailbroken or rooted operating systems, unsafe Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connections, tampering with MDM policy files and device configurations before they result in a security breach, according to Fixmo.

The companies didn't announce any financial details of the deal, but Good said it will end a patent infringement lawsuit between the two companies.

Good isn't just relying on acquisitions to improve security: In-house developments and third party collaborations are equally important.

The company's new secure mobile collaboration app includes secure email, messaging, contacts, calendar, document management and browsing. The app has integrated mobile presence, pulling in current status information from it own Connect platform or Microsoft's Lync.

It can be cloud-based, run in an enterprise's datacenter or a mixture of the two. A beta version will be available beginning June 30, Good said.

To offer enterprises more choice in how users are authenticated, Good has announced the Trusted Authentication Framework. It consists of a set of APIs that can be used with two-factor, one-time password, smart card and biometric authentication methods. Early access partners include Biometrics Associates, EyeVerify, Intercede, Mi-Token and Precise Biometrics.

All these security measures are only useful if there are apps that can run in the container they protect. On Tuesday, Good also announced a version of the Salesforce1 mobile CRM app that can run in the company's container.

"Good is now making a real push by addressing a number of weaknesses. It seems like [CEO] Christy Wyatt has finally started to paddle a little faster," Wallin said.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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