​Global Citrix execs oversaw rewriting of mobile apps to secure Australian PROTECTED-level email tick

It took nine months of back-and-forth with the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), extensive code changes and a new approach to sensitive-application certification, but the world-first Australian approval of the Citrix Worx Mobile Apps – allowing them to carry PROTECTED-level government information – will set the pace for similar efforts in other countries, according to the company's government-market head.

Australia was chosen as the first country in the world to pursue certification of the secure mail, Web and file-sync tools, which are positioned as productivity tools alongside the company's ubiquitous remote-desktop and related tools.

Yet securing that leadership role wasn't without its challenges: the company's government-focused executives needed to complete an internal business case, Citrix government manager Mark Hazell told CSO Australia, “to justify the kind of expenditure necessary, to prove there's a market there and to get funds committed and programmers developing.”

Guided by the ASD, those developers ended up making a broad range of changes to the platform's code to ensure that not only were the apps secure – but that their interactions with the underlying mobile operating system were also secure.

“The ASD have realised that, due to the large number of apps that can be delivered to mobiles, that they need to look at the integrity of the OS” in evaluating security certifications,” Hazell explained.

“Their view is on getting an integrity level of the OS and having products interact with that OS correctly and securely. They gave us a bunch of guidelines, and we had to redo our application to sit against certain API calls, so as to interact with the OS securely and to the standard that they accept.”

The end result – certification of the platform to carry PROTECTED level government information – is seen as a feather in the cap of Citrix worldwide and has already led to “strong interest from certain government departments that have that requirement,” Hazell said, noting that numerous government departments already use Worx Mobile Apps to handle UNCLASSIFIED-level data.

The successful ASD certification has paved the way for similar work in the US, UK, Canada and similar markets that “all felt they were going to need this eventually,” senior product sales specialist for enterprise mobility Ian Curnow added.

“It opens up new markets and, with the likes of the Department of Defence [DoD], opens up a whole new area for us.”

ASD certification has long been recognised as a key hurdle to overcome in the fight to get new products into sensitive parts of the government market. Citrix's desktop products have achieved a string of certifications dating back more than 10 years, joining other vendors – such as Microsoft with the http://www.cso.com.au/article/556776/asd-security-certification-boost-azure-australian-cloud-ms/" target="_blank">Australian certification of its Azure cloud service, and Samsung with its US DoD-driven http://www.cso.com.au/article/549884/_security_approval_gives_samsung_access_australian_government_market/" target="_blank">Mobile Device Fundamentals Protection Profile (MDFPP) certification – in getting their key products certified for broad government usage.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Citrix execsustralian PROTECTED-level emailMark HazellCitrixAustralian Signals Directorate (ASD)CSO Australiamobile apps

More about CitrixCSODepartment of DefenceMicrosoftmobilesSamsungWorx

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by David Braue

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts