Will Sophos end user solution cure BYOD ills?

Security provider Sophos has announced Sophos EndUser Protection, which aims to combine end point protection with MDM (mobile device management) in order to give a more comprehensive mobile security solution.

The product looks to flip the paradigm of traditional security software, securing per user as opposed to per device – in other words, trying to take the sting out of BYOD risks and take the complexity out of mobile device management.

Matt Fairbanks, Sophos CMO, said of the launch: “Every day I use three or four different devices for business purposes, and the consumerisation trend points to more people using even more devices.

“Our value proposition to customers and partners is complete security without complexity,” he added.

Evidently, security is a major proposition when discussing BYOD and the consumerisation of IT. James Easton of Real Status went so far as to call it ‘bring your own disaster’ back in October.

This of course leads to MDM companies joining the fray to secure mobile workforces, and given Citrix’ acquisition of MDM provider Zenprise last month, there’s plenty of money in the space.

Gary Barton of IT Connection Blogs has proclaimed 2013 as the “year of BYOD and MDM”, stating his hope for enterprises to see BYOD “as an opportunity rather than a threat”.

Yet going down the MDM route can be fraught with danger. Magic Software’s David Akka discussed the problems, noting that with approximately 50 vendors in the marketplace, each has different histories and strengths; some from security, others from application sharing, and so forth.

Josh More, senior security consultant at RJS Smart Security and a partner of Sophos, said in a statement: “Our clients are struggling to deal with the reality of BYOD, employees working from remote locations, and using multiple devices to access the business network.

“We can help make securing our customers’ mobile workforces easier and more affordable, giving us a distinct advantage over other resellers that offer security by device,” he added.

So is Sophos EndUser Protection a happy medium between the two?


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24 Jan 2013, 5:44 p.m.

Is Sophos EndUser Protection a happy medium between the two? I think it is a good start, and I also feel it is the way that many will try. MDM is good, but it has some distinct disadvantages like complexity and invasivness. For us, the doctors felt the MDM systems we looked at were too intrusive since they all wanted to use their own devices, but didn't want IT to have total control over them. Still, they wanted the ability to send HIPAA compliant patient info (mostly text messages) to admin and other doctors. We changed our stratagy and started looking for individual apps to deal with the various security issues like Tigertext which is HIPAA compliant text messaging, and installed it on all the doctors devices. This is similar to how Sophos seems to be approching the security issue, deal with the end-user and give them tools they can put on thier devices.