Applications & Apps Business

Apple Buys into Mobile Security

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Apple makes a rare big purchase-- AuthenTec, buying the mobile security firm for $365 million.

AuthentecThe news comes from an 8K document from AuthenTec, one which at one point (perhaps unsurprisingly) remarks "Authentec cannot comment on Apple's intentions."

Authentec makes fingerprint recognition and NFC chips for mobile device and PC use. It also makes security software-- and recently signed a big contract with Samsung for the use AuthenTecs' QuickSec Mobile VPN Client in new Android devices. 

Other AuthenTec customers include Lenovo, Fujitsu and Dell. 

What will Apple do with a mobile security firm? Authentec owns around 200 patents covering fingerprint sensors, sensor packaging and software. Not to mention issues involving the security of personal info stored on iDevices and tightening of iTunes and App Store security. 

The purchase does raise a simple question-- will Apple follow Google and create its own NFC-based mobile payments system now that it has the means?

Go AuthenTek Apple Purchase 8K

Go AuthenTec Shares Up on Samsung Contract (Reuters)

The Enterprise Mobility Opportunity

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Mobility and the bring-your-own-device trend add complexity to the enterprise IT market-- but also add opportunities across sectors as varied as security, unified communications and WLANs, Canalys says.

mobilesFor example, businesses demand education on mobile device security. To enable a mobile workforce, customers need network monitoring and control, not to mention context-based data access policies. The market lacks a single solution covering protection and control on all fronts, meaning channel partners have a role in advising the best products suiting the needs of individual customers. 

Mobility also affects the WLAN market-- as more employees connect mobile devices to wireless corporate networks, the need for secure WLANs able to handle bandwidth-hungry applications drives the market for "significant" capacity upgrades.

Unified communications (UC) vendors also have to extend their offerings to cover all kinds of mobile devices, with no degradation in experience or productivity. 

In an increasingly mobile IT environment, it makes sense for channel partners to become increasingly nimble at hunting down the more lucrative opportunities. 

Go Enterprise Mobility Adds Complexity, Creating Opportunities (Canalys)

Cisco Bundles BYOD Solutions

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Cisco wants enterprises to embrace bring-your-own-device (BYOD) by using Smart Solutions-- pre-tested product and services bundles aiming to reduce the complexity of mobile enterprise. 

CiscoThe packages do not carry new products, instead combining existing products dealing with devices, OS, apps, wifi, VPNs, authentication and security into a "Cisco Unified Workspace."

Cisco currently offers 3 such bundles-- BYOD Smart Solution (provides end-to-end BYOD lifecycle management), VXI Smart Solution (combines Cisco's Data Center, Borderless Networks and Collaboration architectures) and Remote Expert Smart Solution (integrated video/audio collaboration and presence). 

The launch of the 3 bundles are the result of Cisco's latest survey on BYOD practices. The company says 95% of survey respondent organisations permit employee-owned devices on the workplace, and 76% describe BYOD as "somewhat or extremely positive."

The survey also predicts the average number of connected devices per employee is set to grow from 2.8 in 2012 to 3.3 by 2014.

Go Cisco: IT Saying Yes to BYOD

Microsoft Virtualisation on Androids

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Following the February 2012 launch of the iPad version, the CloudOn app arrives on Android devices with Box, Dropbox and Google Drive integration. 

Android CloudOnCloudOn is a free app allowing users to open, edit, share and store Microsoft Office and Adobe files. It runs on the cloud, using tablets simply as a display. 

Built-in Adobe Reader and File Viewer mean the app handles large range of file formats, including .pdf, .jpg, .png, .gif and raw Photoshop images. 

The Android version requires Android 3.1 or later, and is available for free on the Google Play app market. 

Go CloudOn

Gartner: Mobile Device Management is Essential

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As the use of tablets and smartphones within organisation grows further, mobile device management (MDM) becomes an increasingly "crucial discipline," Gartner says.

Mobile DeviceslThe analyst predicts global pure MDM revenues (excluding revenues from messaging and security) will exceed $500 million in 2012.

"With the unabated growth of consumerisation, IT leaders need to implement MDM to manage corporate- and employee-owned devices, and assign responsibilities inside IT departments for the service, application and security of all these devices," Gartner continues.

MDM demands coordination between security and operations-- with a person or group monitoring the the mobile device landscape while working in tandem with security.