McAfee launches an enterprise app store

McAfee Inc., a security technology company based out of Santa Clara, Calif., has created an enterprise app store, included in the McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management 9.5 (McAfee EMM).

The app store is designed to help organizations select which applications will be available for workers on their smart phones and tablets. This means that they can also restrict or deny access to certain applications like games.

“Generally speaking, an app store is a good idea when done right; it facilitates discussion, exchange, discovery, and innovation among the company, its users, and third party developers,” said Amit Kaminer, an analyst working for SeaBoard Group. “If not done right, it may expose how bare the cupboard is.”

The big concern with iPad is that if executives bring them in for use in the office, they can access company data on the devices and whatever they access may not be protected, according to Doug Cooke, director of sales engineering at McAfee. It is for this reason that McAfee’s app store will also allow IT departments to decide and define areas of access. They will then be able to upload company applications onto the McAfee’s app store, ensuring the apps are secured.

The restriction of applications and ensuring the accessible ones are secured prevents employee information from getting stolen. There are so many apps in the Apple Inc. app store that they are impossible to monitor or to determine whether they are safe or not, according to Cooke. The applications could be potentially dangerous to companies especially those in financial institutions or retail, where credit card information is held and companies cannot track the devices being used. The EMM software helps track the devices being used, so unauthorized users cannot steal company information.

McAfee EMM 9.5 became available Tuesday. The software is integrated with McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO), which helps combine network, endpoints like mobile devices, and data security products.

“The end-to-end visibility and control provided by the McAfee ePO platform will help IT administrators dramatically strengthen their protection and drive down the cost and complexity of managing their risk and security,” according to a press release by McAfee.

McAfee EMM 9.5 allows for employees enterprises to use whatever mobile device they want, be it an iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Mobile or Symbian device, while ensuring secure mobile access to corporate applications. This means even when employees use their own smart phone or tablet they will be able to securely access their work documents without privacy concerns.
“These devices are new and companies are still trying to figure out how to use them, so in the future we will see more developments in security for (them),” Cooke said.

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