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AirWatch, the mobile device management (MDM) specialist acquired by VMware last year for $1.5 billion, has joined forces with Palo Alto Networks to prevent mobile devices from poking holes in an enterprise's network defenses.
The companies this week announced they were integrating AirWatch by VMware Enterprise Mobility Management product with Palo Alto Networks' WildFire and GlobalProtect technologies and the company's firewalls. WildFire is a proactive threat detection and prevention platform that helps keep unknown malware at bay. GlobalProtect provides mobile device configuration and secure network access management.
Together, the companies feel they can address the often conflicting IT priorities of mobilizing their workforces while maintaining data security and confidentiality. VMware and Palo Alto Networks are characterizing the partnership as an extension of a software-defined data center reseller agreement they inked last year at the RSA Conference.
"Employees love the flexibility that using their mobile devices for business provides them, but IT teams often struggle to enforce security policies without compromising usability," noted Lee Klarich, senior vice president of product management for Palo Alto Networks, in a statement. "Integrating our Next-Generation Firewall, WildFire and GlobalProtect technologies with the AirWatch platform addresses the concerns of both parties, giving users a positive mobile experience while existing security policies are enforced."
Combined, the companies' solution can deliver automated mobile malware detection and containment, enabling join customers to blacklist apps that can potentially leak sensitive data and boot infected devices off their networks. Businesses can further bulk up their defenses with device- or application-level virtual private networking (VPN), courtesy of Palo Alto's advanced firewall technology.
Organizations can keep rogue smartphones and tablets off their corporate networks with Palo Alto Networks' GlobalProtect Host Information Profile (HIP) technology, which can be used to limit access to applications and data to approved devices.
"In a world of rising mobile threats, Palo Alto Networks and VMware are building upon the comprehensive AirWatch mobility platform to provide another layer of security, automation and ease of management for customers around the globe," stated Noah Wasmer, vice president of End-User Computing at VMware in prepared remarks.
Earlier this month Veracode, a mobile application security services company, released a study that spells bad news for big businesses. The typical large enterprise is teeming with 2,400 unsafe mobile apps, including software that exposes SIM card contents, accesses contacts or leaves devices susceptible to malware.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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