Sophos Mobile Control 3.0 MDM Platform Aims at Android

The release comes as BYOD initiatives raise fresh mobile security challenges to IT departments.

Mobile security specialist Sophos announced the latest version of its mobile device management (MDM) solution, Mobile Control 3.0, which integrates with the company’s Mobile Security platform to provide enhanced protection for Google Android devices.

The release comes as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives raise fresh mobile security challenges to IT departments. In combination with Mobile Control, the Mobile Security offering includes Web security, extending URL filtering capabilities to Android devices. With the Web security feature, any URL a user attempts to access is first verified against Sophos Labs’ hosted database for reputation and malware. When malicious content or phishing sites are discovered, the user is warned and redirected to a safe site.

Additionally, all apps and external media are scanned for malware, any findings are centrally reported, and mitigation actions are automatically initiated as defined in the companies’ compliance settings. Although Android's smartphone sales to end users by operating systems jumped to 72.4 percent, many organizations have had to adapt due to the lack of security controls on these devices and because the fragmented nature of the Android operating system leaves it vulnerable to and targeted by malware.

“More organizations are struggling with how to implement a BYOD policy. As Android’s market share continues its ascent, and threats targeting Android continue to appear, it’s clear that anti-malware needs to be part of that policy,” Sophos vice president of product management John Shaw said in a statement. “The latest version of Sophos Mobile Control makes it even simpler for IT teams to implement mobile device management, including built-in anti-malware, making secure BYOD possible for organizations of all sizes.”

In an effort to simplify license management for IT departments with limited resources, Mobile Control is offered as a per-user based license, and when deployed as part of Sophos’ EndUser Protection license, Mobile Control provides security for all devices on the network in a single per-user license for mobile and endpoint protection.

The latest version of the platform, offered both on-premise and as a service, also includes support for Samsung Approved For Enterprise (SAFE) devices, which provides extended manageability for Android devices and supports enterprise features, such as virtual private network (VPN), WiFi and Microsoft Exchange configuration, for SAFE devices.

Despite the security concerns, businesses need to embrace BYOD or risk being left behind, according to a recent survey by Dell Quest Software. The findings indicated 70 percent of companies believe BYOD can improve their work processes and help them work better in the future, while 59 percent said they believe they would be at a competitive disadvantage without BYOD. The two technology areas most commonly implemented first for BYOD policies are desktop virtualization and MDM, according to the report.