News from MobileIron's Mobile First: featuring security updates, Android for Work, and Windows 10

MobileIron is holding their annual user conference in San Francisco this week, and this year for the first time they had a media day. They presented a keynote yesterday morning with announcements regarding security, Android for Work, and Windows 10.

MobileIron is holding their annual user conference in San Francisco this week, and this year for the first time they had a media day. They presented a keynote yesterday morning with announcements regarding security, Android for Work, and Windows 10. Their main theme, however, was that we're entering a new world in the enterprise (the mobile and cloud world, obviously) and that EMM is the way to do security for that world.

Security announcements

MobileIron Visual Privacy is designed to show employees exactly what data their IT department can see on their devices and what actions they can take.

MobileIron Tunnel has been expanded to work with Android for Work and Windows Phone. Tunnel is MobileIron's per-app VPN that connects device-level MAM frameworks to Sentry, their mobile gateway. Previously, Tunnel only supported the MAM frameworks built into iOS. (Tunnel is not to be confused with AppTunnel, the per-app VPN that connects AppConnect-enabled apps to Sentry. Both are per-app VPNs, it's just that Tunnel uses device-level MAM frameworks, and AppConnect/AppTunnel uses app-level MAM frameworks.)

The new MobileIron Key Manager allows companies to manage the keys for MobileIron Content Security Service using their own hardware security modules.

Speaking of the Content Security Service, they didn't mention anything about the upcoming third stage, but they are hard at work on it. What is the Content Security Service? In short, it uses a mobile information management concept to apply security and management policies directly to files, no matter where those files go. MobileIron already rolled out the first stage (allowing users to connect the Docs@Work EFSS app to consumer cloud storage) and the second stage (applying the file-level security features). The third stage will involve enabling an ecosystem of partners, which will allow users to access protected files from different apps. (Microsoft's Azure RMS Document Tracking feature operates on a similar principle.)

MobileIron emphasized their relationship with Splunk, and called attention to new pre-compiled Splunk visualizations designed to monitor compliance. MobileIron also announced integration with ServiceNow.

MobileIron launched new community and developer resources and as well as a new marketplace featuring ISVs that integrate with the MobileIron platform.

Android for Work with AppConnect

Besides mentioning their support of Android for Work, MobileIron gave new details about how they'll support the Android for Work App.

Remember that Android for Work is the device-based MAM framework on new Android 5.0 and higher devices, whereas the Android for Work App is an app-based MAM framework, that can run on existing Android 4.0 to 4.4 devices. The Android for Work App is different from other app-based MAM products because it comes from the OS provider, not from a third-party EMM vendor.

MobileIron is ensuring that their AppConnect-enabled apps can work securely with the Android for Work App.

Windows 10

MobileIron also announced a preview of their support for Windows 10.

Currently, MobileIron supports the MDM and device-based MAM frameworks that are available in Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1.

Windows 10 (which will run on both phones and tablets and laptops and PCs) will also have many MDM APIs and device-based MAM frameworks (called Windows 10 Enterprise Data Protection). MobileIron will support these APIs and frameworks.

With Windows 10 working and behaving much more like a mobile OS than a traditional desktop OS, MobileIron is anticipating that soon many laptops will be managed with EMM platforms instead of traditional group policy. (In this case, you can use Project Centennial or remote desktops to deliver legacy desktops. If that's not your bag, though, Windows 10 will still support traditional desktop management, too.)

Conclusion

We've been following MobileIron for years, but it was great to finally have a chance to see how they convey their worldview in a keynote setting. Their messaging was on point and powerful. Distilling it down, here are the main points they made:

  • Modern mobile management and security is very different than legacy management and security.
  • They don't have any legacy to protect.
  • So this is how you do security in the new era—with EMM.

(Also, I like how they talked about security without introducing any FUD.)

Partnerships and integration were another big point of the day, and MobileIron had representatives from Google, Microsoft, Samsung, AT&T, Aruba Networks, and Uber onstage. (A few things to note here: Samsung confirmed that the Galaxy S6 will support Android for Work, a point that up until yesterday had not been clarified. Also Uber was just announced as a customer—they use MobileIron to manage hundreds of thousands(!) of phones that they provide to drivers.)

Is everybody going to be ready for this future world? No. Does MobileIron have an excellent grasp on how to get people there? Yes.

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