CA Offers Peek at Smart Phone Manager, Wireless Developments

At CA World, Computer Associates' chief technology officer Yogesh Gupta gave an exclusive look at new management software for smart phones and peer-to-peer wireless connections.

LAS VEGAS—Beyond Computer Associates International Inc.s Enterprise IT Management launch, chief technology officer Yogesh Gupta treated attendees here to a sneak peak of new management technologies under development that address managing Smart Phones.

With a nod to the importance of CAs new integration platform, which underlies the development of CAs forthcoming Smart Phone Manager, Gupta showed off the ability to manage a range of Smart Phone device types in his Tuesday morning keynote here at CA World.

Because enterprises are looking to deploy applications on such devices as the Blackberry, as well as Windows-based and Symbian Smart Phones, CA recognized the importance of being able to manage and secure those devices.

The new Smart Phone Manager Server can gather information on devices such as who owns the device, what it is, how it communicates, which network it is registered on and which department it belongs to. The server can also apply security policies to the device.

/zimages/3/28571.gifCA enhances Unicenter components. Click here to read more.

The Smart Phone Manager can operate standalone or integrate with R11 release of Unicenter Desktop and Server Manager.

With Smart Phones, "threats take on a whole new meaning. You need to enforce the policy you put on those devices every time they communicate with the server. When devices get lost, its a bad problem," said Gupta.

The demonstration showed how lost devices can be identified and associated with their proper owner and deactivated.

When someone tries to use the devices, they are locked out when a password is entered. When the device is found and returned to the proper owner, it can be activated and the password reinstated.

"If the Blackberry is not returned, we can instruct over the air to wipe the device. It has security policy and configuration management for these different devices, and they can be managed from a single environment," said Gupta.

But Gupta warned the product development is still early, and said that it has not yet entered beta testing. He would not say when CA expects to ship it.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read about how customer relationships are now tops on CAs priority list.

In his keynote, Gupta also demonstrated new capabilities in a forthcoming new release of the Unicenter wireless management offering.

The new release addresses the threat presented by peer-to-peer wireless connections.

"Through peer-to-peer, someone can connect to you, get into your file system and steal a file," he warned.

The new release can show users what their vulnerability is at any given location and warn users when its critical.

"Our agent will detect someone trying to connect to your laptop and prevent (the connection)," he described.

An agent in the wireless device detects the ad hoc peer-to-peer network and denies the connection. The wireless management offering will continued to be offered as a standalone product, but it will also integrate with other CA offerings and it will exploit the new common services platform.

Gupta offered no release date.

/zimages/3/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.