Good Technology has launched the Good Mobile Access (GMA) app for Android, which allows businesses to embrace the bring-your-own device (BYOD) philosophy without increasing security risks. With BYOD, employees get to use their own mobile devices all the time, for both personal and business related activities, without compromising privacy. Traditionally, personal mobile devices aren’t granted access to corporate networks as they are “unknown” entities that are impossible to audit and manage. Which IT manager can vouch for all the apps and games you have on your Android phone or tablet?
BYOD is becoming increasingly popular as it lets employees choose and use the smartphone or mobile device they prefer. It also means they only need one device rather than a work mobile and a personal mobile. It is also supposed that BYOD increases employee loyalty, acceptance, and morale, by allowing them to use devices they are familiar with. Of course it also reduces the number of mobile devices owned and maintained by the business, which saves money!
Good Technology’s solution to the BYOD problem removes the security risk by only allowing access to enterprise resources through the Good Mobile Access app. By limiting access to just the GMA app, any other malicious apps which happen to be on the Android device are denied access to the corporate environment, thus protecting it from malware infection, denial-of-service, phishing, and other attacks.
The idea works like this: When a worker, who is using their own device along with GMA, receives an email containing a link to documents on the corporate Intranet, clicking that link will launch the GMA browser, enabling the worker to view or download the information securely. When using GMA, the link to the enterprise network is encrypted, from end to end, with AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), the same system used by the U.S. government.
“Supporting BYOD means supporting Android devices, and we want to make sure our customers can confidently embrace this trend, increase employee productivity, and not have to compromise on security or compliance,” said John Herrema, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Good Technology.
On the Android device itself, GMA also encrypts browser cache, cookies, bookmarks, and history within a secure sandbox. There are also controls that allow IT managers to decide if content and documents can be copied to or opened in other Android apps.
Talk of secure encrypted browsing for Android sounds great, but for all this to work, Good for Enterprise needs to be installed on the corporate network. This requirement limits GMA to a “business only” product. Once installed on the network, Good for Enterprise integrates with Windows Server, SQL Server, Exchange, and Lotus Domino to provide remote, mobile access to corporate resources.