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AirWatch Adds App Scanning to MDM Toolkit

The enterprise mobile management startup launches a new tool that sheds light on suspect apps.

Atlanta-based AirWatch, an enterprise mobility management startup, is on the lookout for dangerous apps that put corporate data at risk.

The company, a favorite among tech VCs, has launched a new tool called AirWatch App Reputation Scanning that allows businesses to identify Android apps that endanger critical data and block them, if necessary. iOS support is coming soon, according to the company.

App Reputation Scanning integrates with AirWatch's mobile device management (MDM) platform, allowing organizations to supplement their app distribution and management capabilities with visibility into how securely their apps handle files and other business information.

The software module helps complete the MDM puzzle, turning the company's platform into "a one stop shop for IT administrators," according to AirWatch CEO John Marshall. In a statement, he said that "all AirWatch customers can easily take advantage of this new module to perform basic analysis of their corporate applications."

App Reputation Scanning examines both private and public apps; determines what weaknesses, if any, they contain; and ranks them according to risk level (high, medium and low). IT administrators can then make a determination on whether to allow users to keep them on their mobile devices or blacklist suspect apps.

The technology will help ferret out malicious apps, but it can also identify mobile software that wasn't developed to meet enterprise security standards and may inadvertently spill private data. AirWatch's Lanier Norville explained in a blog post that while most apps don't contain malware, "many are built without the appropriate security features and APIs that make them safe for enterprise use."

"AirWatch App Reputation Scanning determines whether apps have design flaws or access to data that could lead to a security breach. The tool will alert IT administrators to apps that pose security risks by flagging risk areas," wrote Norville.

Recommendations are based on factors that include an app's GPS-based location features, network connections and access to contacts and personal information. Results are delivered via a color-coded App Analysis within the AirWatch dashboard.

Organizations that want to delve even deeper can leverage the platform's extensibility. "Enterprises that seek more advanced scanning or already use third party solutions can leverage the AirWatch APIs to integrate with solutions from our partner marketplace," stated Marshall.

AirWatch partnered with Veracode in September to include the latter's Mobile Application Reputation Service (MARS) into the AirWatch MDM platform. Veracode inked a similar deal with MobileIron in May.

AirWatch App Reputation Scanning Module is available now. Pricing options include a $0.50 per device per month subscription or a one-time, per-device fee of $10.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.




Tags: apps, mobile device management, MDM, mobile secuirty


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