Security Update: 8 Advances in End-User Computing from VMware
Employees across enterprise organizations in today’s mobile-cloud world expect simple user experiences to help them be productive. IT often runs into challenges supporting these expectations while keeping their environments secure.
Our team has focused on empowering organizations with an enterprise-secure approach and consumer-simple experience through a digital workspace. Employees can securely access any app, on any device in their own digital workspace provided by VMware Workspace ONE, powered by VMware AirWatch unified endpoint management technology.
Over the course of 2017, we’ve introduced many security capabilities across the Workspace ONE platform, which includes advancements in VMware Horizon 7 and VMware Horizon Cloud. Let’s take a closer look at those security capabilities, as well as existing security integrations and security features that elevate Workspace ONE to the digital workspace platform that organizations can trust.
1. Derived Credentials
Earlier this year, we announced our derived credentials solution as part of Workspace ONE. This was huge news for organizations mandated by certain directives, such as FIPS 201, that require use of smart cards, personal identification verification (PIV) or common access cards (CAC) for access to physical, logical and network resources.
Smart cards, PIV and CAC worked great on desktops and laptops, but the experience on mobile devices was poor and costly because special hardware was needed to read the cards. To help with this issue, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) updated FIPS 201 in 2013 and the following year released SP 800-157, with guidelines on how to generate and utilize alternative tokens, which they refer to as a derived PIV credentials, also commonly referred to as derived credentials or PIV-D. This helped provide better experience, implementation and deployment on mobile devices accessing physical, logical and network resources.
We released our derived credentials app, called VMware PIV-D Manager, that enables the use of derived credentials with native apps and profiles, VMware apps and third-party AirWatch SDK-enabled apps. PIV-D Manager even integrates with other derived credentials solution providers such as Entrust and Intercede.
2. Boxer S/MIME
VMware Boxer, one of our Workspace ONE productivity apps, is an integrated mobile email, calendar and contacts app that helps increase productivity by giving end users a great user experience. Security was a big focus on our Boxer app this year.
We started by enabling S/MIME support for sending and receiving signed and/or encrypted mail. S/MIME is a standard for public key encryption and signing of MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) data that allows for secure email exchange. Organizations have the option of signing an email for authenticity and/or encrypting email messages for an added layer of security.
3. Boxer Classification Markings
In various regulated industries, such as public sector, healthcare and financial, sensitive emails often need to be specifically marked or classified when they are sent and received. When it comes to email, messages typically get a classification appended in the subject line, top or bottom of the body, etc. For example, an email message should be marked “unclassified” or “secret” depending on the content of the email.
Earlier this year, we announced support for classification markings in the Boxer app, which integrates with the built-in Microsoft Exchange transport rules. This capability also integrates with TITUS, Boldon James and janusNET.
4. Boxer Information Rights Management
In addition to S/MIME and classification marking support, we added full support for information rights management (IRM). IRM is a form of data loss prevention (DLP), which can specify access permissions to email messages, including the ability to restrict copy-paste, restrict email forwarding, enforce email message content expiration and more. As you can tell, we put a lot of emphasis on email security through our Boxer app!
5. AirWatch & NSX Integration
AirWatch and NSX integration was introduced over a year ago, and the amount of customer interest in it hasn’t slowed down since. When apps on mobile devices have access to communicate to any resource in the data center, this represents a challenge for IT as the attack surface within the data center can be large.
The AirWatch and NSX integration aims to solve this problem by limiting each mobile app to only communicate to the server that it needs to talk to, using the tunneling capability in AirWatch and the micro-segmentation capability in NSX. Combining these two technologies vastly reduces the access footprint from the mobile device and the attack surface in the data center.
Organizations, like Vallejo Sanitation and Flood Control District, can raise their security posture from the mobile device to the data center using the AirWatch and NSX integration.This type of integration can also help organizations along their journey towards General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance, as data in transit utilizes AES-256 bit encryption.
VMworld 2017 Panel Discussion:
“Data Privacy, the GDPR & the Globalization of Compliance”
6. Horizon & NSX Integration
We know that apps on mobile devices and data center resources can be tunneled and micro-segmented for an extra layer of security. We can take that same concept and apply it towards desktop virtualization.
Integrating Horizon and NSX, customers can effectively secure east-west traffic within the data center, preventing malware from spreading across the data center if a virtual desktop is compromised because each desktop is effectively isolated from other desktops. IT can quickly and easily administer networking and security policy that dynamically follows end users’ virtual desktops and apps across infrastructure, devices and locations. This extra level of security takes desktop virtualization to a whole new level!
VMworld 2017 Breakout Session:
“Securing Your Horizon Virtualized Apps & Desktop Investments with NSX”
7. Just-in-Time Management Platform (JMP)
We introduced JMP earlier this year, our next-generation desktop and application delivery platform, which enables fust-in-time desktops and apps. Imagine a virtual desktop that is created when a user logs in and destroyed when that user logs out. IT can set up a pool of virtual desktops that fits this model, including pools that can access the internet and pools that cannot, effectively creating separation parameters for higher security. Virtual desktops in each pool only get created when a user logs into a specific pool.
With the JMP platform extending across Horizon 7 and Horizon Cloud, IT has the ability to inject apps and user environment settings into the desktop the moment a user logs in. Having pristine desktops created at every login and destroyed at every logoff eliminates malware that the user may have accidentally installed during the session.
8. Smart Policies
Smart Policies are available in Horizon 7 and Horizon Cloud for IT to provide end users with a truly contextual user experience. For example, policies dynamically change depending on the device used or the location services are being accessed from.
True single sign-on (SSO) enables end-to-end authentication from Workspace ONE to Horizon virtual desktops and apps, for a secure and simple user experience. Users aren’t prompted for multiple logins once they’ve authenticated into the Workspace ONE portal. Client policies such as enabling or disabling clipboard redirection, USB, printing and more can be set by IT using Smart Policies. Horizon is certified to meet FIPS 140-2 and Common Criteria requirements as a result of the secure policies powered by Smart Policies.
For organizations looking for even more advanced security capabilities across Workspace ONE, look no further than Workspace ONE integrations with our ecosystem of mobile security leaders in the VMware Mobile Security Alliance. Workspace ONE integrates with technologies from our Mobile Threat Defense partners, Cloud Access Security Brokers partners and more to further enable comprehensive cybersecurity across mobile devices, apps, networks and cloud services.
To learn more about the security capabilities in Workspace ONE, visit vmware.com/workspaceone.