Marvin Was Right: it’s not paranoia for IT managers and CIOs to worry whether the smartphones and tablets in their enterprise pose massive security risks. Most do, especially ones running one of the recently-popular consumer-oriented platforms.
I’m looking at you, Google. While the version 3.0 Honeycomb of Android offers a handful of improvements aimed at enterprise IT, they are a) restricted to tablets for now; b) still inadequate for true enterprise-class security.
Phone makers are starting to take things in their own hands. Samsung announced today at Mobile World Congress that it is partnering with my employer, Sybase, to bring our market-leading Afaria software for mobile device management and security to its popular Galaxy S smartphone and the just-announced successor, the Galaxy S II, a MonsterPhone with specs (1.2-GHz dual-core processor, 2 megapixel front camera, NFC capability) that top my own iPhone 4.
Besides beauty and brains, the Samsung Galaxy S2 will be safe as a Swiss bank account due to Afaria.
Sybase Afaria Advanced Enterprise Security will let IT managers encrypt these Samsung phones, remotely lock and wipe them, enforce strong passwords, manage and deliver apps and features (i.e. Wi-Fi, camera) on the devices, configure Exchange e-mail and more.
All of this security and policy-setting can conveniently be done over-the-air through the Wi-Fi or 3G network. Afaria will be available on Samsung devices by the first half of 2011.
For IT managers overseeing Android devices from other makers, Afaria continues to get improvements that make it perhaps the most full-fledged suite for managing Android devices on the market today.