Juniper Networks’ suite of mobile security and device management tools is coming to three Samsung Electronics devices, marking the first time the company has provided its SSL VPN software for Google’s Android OS.
Juniper is making its Junos Pulse and Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite software available for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Note tablets and the Galaxy SII smartphone, the companies said Monday. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy SII are available now, and the Galaxy Note was introduced in Europe on Monday and is coming later to the U.S.
Juniper’s client software can be downloaded free of charge, and the back end to control it is a SaaS (software-as-a-service) offering that is expected to come from service providers as well as from Juniper.
Junos Pulse can be used to set up an SSL VPN (Secure Sockets Layer virtual private network) for secure access to corporate applications and content from mobile devices. Juniper claims it is the first SSL VPN system that has been offered for Android. Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite incorporates several other features for managing enterprise mobile platforms, including antivirus and anti-malware, Internet address filtering, and remote wiping of data from a lost or stolen client. Junos Pulse and the suite are already available for Apple’s iOS and for BlackBerries.
As it brings the software suite to Android, beginning with the Samsung phone and tablets, Juniper is adding the capability for the IT department to remotely remove any app from an employee’s personal or company-issued device. IT staff will also be able to revoke access to an enterprise-issued app if the employee is no longer qualified to use it. Apps can be removed or revoked without any involvement by the user, said Gajraj Singh, director of product marketing for the Junos Pulse business unit.
As consumers start to use their own mobile devices for business functions, enterprises are increasingly concerned about how those devices may affect the security and performance of corporate data and applications. There are a variety of solutions to this problem now emerging, including software “sandboxes” for enterprise applications and virtualization of the devices into separate systems for personal and work uses.
By extending its Junos Pulse suite to more mobile platforms, Juniper is helping to tackle the problem of enterprises having to use many different tools to support the various mobile OSes their employees use, said analyst Bob Egan of Sepharim Group. Sybase, MobileIron and Mocana are other players trying to fill this space, he said. Between BlackBerry, iOS, mobile Windows systems and several versions of Android, as well as downloaded apps that may affect how the employee’s phone or tablet performs, support personnel have many variables to consider when helping employees who bring their own devices, he said.
IT departments would like to have one tool to manage all mobile devices, which would lower support costs and help to ensure security, Egan said. But Juniper’s move Monday is just one step in that direction, partly because there are so many versions of Android. “I don’t see that unifying front happening any time soon,” Egan said.
Egan said Juniper’s new remove-and-revoke feature is just what many enterprises are looking for. He expects this type of capability to be a requirement in highly regulated industries such as financial services and health care within a year. It’s needed because many consumer mobile apps can “leak” sensitive enterprise information such as location and contact data, and because enterprises want to make sure their employees have the correct and current version of any business app, he said.
Juniper is offering the SaaS products to service providers that can package and resell them to small, medium and large business subscribers. The company is also selling the services directly to large enterprises, where IT can use a Web-based interface to operate them, Singh said. A typical one-year software license for a company with 1,000 employees has a list price of US$70 per user, Singh said.
Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen’s e-mail address is email@example.com