I've seen that "stale" or "dead" apps, as well as devices that run on outdated operating systems, are emerging...
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
as an enterprise mobile security concern. What are the issues caused by outdated apps and old OSes, what is the best way to deal with them, and how can enterprises detect when users have dead apps on their mobile devices?
Outdated apps or OSes have been an issue since the first applications were deployed on computers. One of the benefits of mainframes was that only the single mainframe itself needed to be updated. But in the current scenario today, all client systems and some servers need to be updated, along with the software on those systems. The difficulty in keeping an accurate inventory of systems and applications is that keeping the applications updated -- or even uninstalling an app -- contributes to dead apps staying on a device or system much longer than desired. Enterprises have tried to manage PCs -- and to some extent, Macs -- using centralized management tools like Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager, Dell KACE, IBM's BigFix and others that push software updates for applications or new OSes. Enterprises try to keep up with security patches and new functionality and stay in licensing compliance by using these tools. Virtually every security standard or best practice recommends, for good reasons, that all enterprise apps have current security patches in place.
Mobile devices have the same challenges; they have a different model and typically use an app store provided by the OS developer or device manufacturer, but there are similar enterprise mobile device management products like AirWatch, Good, MobileIron and others that fill in the gaps from app stores. Enterprises can use these tools to centrally detect when users have outdated apps or dead applications on their mobile devices, but this typically requires the end user or IT department to manually install the management tool on the device. Once the MDM is installed, the devices can be secured to meet the enterprise's security policy.
Ask the Expert:
Have a question about enterprise threats? Send it via email today. (All questions are anonymous.)
Discover why enterprises should update their applications and security policies after Heartbleed
Read more on why security updates can be difficult to manage
Find out if state-sponsored malware attacks on mobile devices can be traced
Dig Deeper on Security patch management and Windows Patch Tuesday news
Related Q&A from Nick Lewis
Locky ransomware has, again, changed tactics by moving to using LNK files for distribution. Expert Nick Lewis explains how enterprises can adjust ...continue reading
Hajime malware was discovered to have links to the Mirai botnet that launched powerful DDoS attacks last year. Expert Nick Lewis explains how Hajime ...continue reading
Drammer, or a deterministic Rowhammer attack, was found to be more effective on ARM-based mobile devices. Expert Nick Lewis explains the issue with ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.