Co-Authored by Domingo Guerra, President & Founder, Appthority
The new three-way integration between VMware, Google, and Appthority allows IT and Security Admins to solve one of their biggest mobile headaches: ensuring security and compliance for the Android apps that employees use for work.
Over the years, Google has heavily invested in the Android platform to make it more enterprise friendly. At the same time, VMware has worked closely with Google to help support customers as they enhance management and security of corporate data across mobile devices, while simultaneously protecting their employees’ privacy. For example, Google’s Android enterprise offering gives organizations the ability to create two profiles to keep the employees’ personal data separate from their work data. Employees can install any app they want on their Personal Profile, where personal data remains. Work data is separated into the Work Profile and then managed by VMware Workspace ONE, powered by VMware AirWatch unified endpoint management technology. Workspace ONE helps IT securely deliver and manage work email, contacts, calendars, and apps in their employees’ Work Profile, effectively separating personal from enterprise data and apps.
The Work Profile concept is great because it shows only whitelisted apps, instead of the millions of apps that are regularly hosted on Google Play. This app whitelisting, however, creates a new headache for IT and Security admins who have to manually evaluate apps to be whitelisted, reducing speed and creating an expense in the otherwise fast-paced enterprise mobility ecosystem. Their main concern, and for good reason, is accidentally whitelisting an app that has a vulnerability or could violate corporate compliance policies because, by definition, whitelisted apps would be available for every single employee to potentially use.
Fortunately, that’s where the powerful integration between Managed Play, Workspace ONE, and Appthority Mobile Threat Protection (MTP) comes in. Appthority is recognized as the global leader in enterprise mobile threat defense, and the solution can now automatically be used to ensure compliance with security, privacy and regulatory policies for apps deployed through managed Google Play on Android. Since 2013, Appthority has had an integration with Enterprise Mobility Management vendors like AirWatch, which is the technology that powers the Workspace ONE platform, but this integration with Android enterprise is the first of its kind to deliver deep mobile risk analysis and threat intelligence to enterprises built directly into the whitelisting workflow.
Appthority MTP brings the benefits of automation and proactive risk management to security teams setting and enforcing policies for their Android fleets. With this integration, businesses can automate the app vetting process directly in the tools used to configure managed Google Play, eliminating long bottlenecks and costly manual app security testing and approval.
This integration gives companies granular abilities to write policies and specifically define the types of app threats they want to scan for before apps are approved for employee use. Companies write their policies once and, from that point forward, Appthority automatically monitors every app in their managed Google Play deployment and ensures that the apps available to employees, as well as future versions of those apps, comply with company requirements.
Now, enterprises can easily set policies and enable Appthority MTP to automatically scan apps in managed Google Play to ensure those apps meet their compliance criteria, managing their Managed Play settings directly from the Appthority portal. This integrated solution includes features to test for a range of app risks including malware, data leakage threats or vulnerabilities, and privacy risks that might endanger compliance with regulations.
Businesses can now make smarter decisions about which apps to offer employees and can safely and efficiently whitelist apps from managed Google Play for employee use on Android, including BYOD deployments that use Android work profiles. Using Google’s powerful recommendation engine, Appthority MTP can even suggest other apps for employee use that meet the company’s security criteria. IT can then use Workspace ONE to securely deliver and manage those apps into the Work Profile.
Enterprises can also test their internally developed apps for vulnerabilities and threats. This is critical because many companies use third-party libraries and SDKs in their own apps which can inadvertently introduce vulnerabilities that put corporate data and employee privacy at risk and may cause them to run afoul of compliance regulations.
In both BYOD and COPE environments, mobile app use has skyrocketed within enterprise environments. VMware, Google, and Appthority have worked together to address enterprise mobility concerns and created an easy path to easily and securely deploy and manage BYOD and COPE Android fleets. VMware’s Workspace ONE ensures the device is securely configured and managed. Google’s security and privacy investments help protect the overall device integrity with security checks from SafetyNet and protect employees privacy by allowing employees to have free reign over their Personal Profile. Appthority Mobile Threat Protection integration into Managed Play allows Admins to write security, privacy, and compliance policies for apps to be used by all employees on their Android Work Profile, and automate the whitelisting process, freeing up time and reducing risk.