Good Technology Inc. on Monday introduced a new set of software and services designed to bolster the security of Goodlink, a mobile computing platform that competes against Research in Motion Ltd.s BlackBerry platform.
Good Mobile Defense includes several tools that help IT administrators control handheld devices in the field, especially if they are lost or stolen.
“For a while our products have had embedded security, but what they didnt offer was complete protection of a handheld device for applications that ran outside of Goodlink,” said Rick Osterloh, vice president of products at Good Technology, in Santa Clara, Calif.
Many of the features in Good Mobile Defense came to the company when it acquired the assets of J.P. Mobile Inc. in July.
Key features in the software package include:
- The ability for an IT manager to shut down a device remotely and erase all of its data after detecting several failed password attempts to get into that device
- The ability for an IT manager to prohibit employees from running certain applications on a handheld
- A variety of advanced encryption options
- The ability for an IT manager to disable hardware features on a handheld, such as data ports and cameras
For IT managers who run GoodLink servers, the new software package means they can spend less time worrying that employees are doing the wrong things with their handhelds.
For instance, several employees at Industrial Bank in Washington, D.C., use Treo 650 devices from Palm Inc. While Palm now makes a camera-less version of the Treo, the bank uses a version with a camera in it, with the understanding that employees wont use the camera for security reasons.
“We just kind of made it part of our wireless usage policy that these things were not to be used for official purposes, but thats strictly on an honor system,” said Michael Johnson, director of information systems at the bank. “This scheme that theyre proposing will give the honor system back to the technology control, where it belongs. It will make me sleep easier.”
Good Mobile Defense will be available in January, both as a standalone product and as an extension to Goods existing server software, officials said.
Separately, Good announced a partnership with antivirus software maker McAfee to allow IT managers to push McAfees VirusScan Mobile to handhelds that run on a GoodLink server.
“Ive been looking for a product to deploy antivirus software,” said Johnson, who has not had any virus problems on his Palm OS-based Treos but wants to be prepared just in case.
“I think because the Palm OS has been low profile it hasnt been a target, but that doesnt mean its invulnerable,” he said.