Bitglass unveils new agentless mobile security patent, takes aim at MDM


Enterprise data security provider Bitglass has secured a new patent around agentless mobile security, the company has announced.

The patent, US #9,553,867, available to view here (registration required), enables Bitglass to synchronise a lost, stolen or deprovisioned device with a null mail or calendar account. In other words, it represents an operation where no agent – a service, daemon or process – needs to run in the background of a machine. Bitglass says the new approach will differ to traditional mobile device management (MDM) solutions.

“The proliferation of sensitive corporate data outside of corporate-controlled infrastructures is becoming more widespread as IT departments allow employees to use personal computing devices to access the corporate-controlled infrastructures,” the company notes in its background statement.

Referring to MDM approaches, the company adds: “Such solutions require the corporation to install a software agent on each personal computing device. The installation and management of software agents on each computing device, whether privately owned by the employee or owned by the corporation, is a difficult and expensive process as there are a large number of different devices running different software systems.”

The filing illustrates through a dozen diagrams the use of a proxy account; the first diagram shows the proxy account (101) going to and from the server (102), the null account (103) and the user (104). The network (105) is set within the proxy, while flags between the proxy and server and proxy and null account are also shown. Bitglass also examines a series of potential use cases, from remote wiping of applications on mobile devices, to data tracking, to analytics and reporting.

“With BYOD on the rise, MDM solutions continue to see limited adoption when deployed because of the privacy implications of installing agents on a personal device,” said Nat Kausik, Bitglass CEO in a statement. “Our patented technology is uniquely capable of meeting enterprise security requirements without agents and without risking users’ personal data.”

Earlier this month, Bitglass announced it had raised $45 million (£35.8m) in series C funding, while at the back end of last year the company said it was expanding to the EMEA region.

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