Best of mobile data security 2013

Brandan Blevins, Assistant Site Editor

Gold: McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management, McAfee Inc.

McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) wins the gold medal in the newly reinstated category of mobile data security. EMM supports both corporate- and employee-owned devices, enabling a variety of BYOD scenarios. Organizations are able to handle iOS and Android devices differently, with iOS devices largely retaining the encryption features already inherent in the platform while Android devices are provided a secure container to divide a device between work and personal content. Both commercial and enterprise apps can be hosted and distributed, which allows administrators to control which apps find their way onto each mobile device.

Information Security readers generally rated EMM as "excellent." McAfee stood out, according to voters, for its data and malware protection, central management capabilities (including key management for encryption), granular and flexible policy controls and the ease of installation and configuration for administrators.

Among the granular policy controls that were a hit with readers are options to filter by user, group, device and operating system, with administrators able to identify and block potentially malicious devices. McAfee also provides a variety of standard and customizable dashboards, views and reports.

Expert market reflection on category dynamics:

"With enterprises chartering new ground in the BYOD age, the mobile data security market is saturated with apps focused on protecting Android users from mobile malware. To adequately protect against prominent threats, the market must rapidly evolve its detection technology beyond signatures and keep pace as mobile malware continues to proliferate."

Jack Walsh, mobility program manager, ICSA Labs

Silver winner:  AirWatch MDM, AirWatch LLC

Readers awarded the silver medal in this category to AirWatch MDM, with particularly strong marks given to the product's granular and flexible policy controls. Other strong areas for AirWatch MDM include the range and type of mobile device coverage, central management capabilities and the service and support provided by the vendor.

AirWatch MDM provides a single console from which administrators can monitor all enrolled devices (corporate- or employee-owned), and mobile devices can be gathered into groups for more efficient management. Device enrollment and user authentication are also simplified via an auto-detect agent.

Bronze winner:  Check Point Mobile Access Software Blade, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.

Check Point Mobile Access Software Blade won the bronze with a strong nod for its central management capabilities, though readers seemed to struggle with the product's installation, configuration and administration.

According to Check Point, the product enables secure remote access via Layer-3 VPN and SSL VPN, easing the onus on remote users to connect safely whether they're using approved or unapproved mobile devices. Administrators can authorize users via two-factor authentication and user-device pairing, or they can notify users via a preconfigured email template to download the mobile client, even dictating which client is available to each user.

View the next item in this Essential Guide: Best of network access control 2013 or view the full guide: Security Readers' Choice Awards 2013

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