Mobile
News
2/13/2012
07:20 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Centrify Sets Mobile Device Management Free

Maintaining control of mobile devices in a company might be a challenge, but it's becoming a less costly one.

11 iPad Apps For Better Collaboration
Slideshow: 11 iPad Apps For Better Collaboration
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Centrify Corporation has a Valentine's Day gift for IT administrators. The security and compliance company on Tuesday plans to launch a free cloud-based mobile device management service.

Centrify Express for Mobile, available at no charge, with no device limit and no support, allows businesses to manage employee smartphones and tablets--Android and iOS devices, but not BlackBerry or Windows Phone 7--through existing Microsoft Active Directory infrastructure.

"I'm hoping this can be somewhat disruptive in the mobile device management market," said company founder and CEO Tom Kemp in a phone interview.

Support costs money. The paid version of the product, called Centrify Direct Control for Mobile, starts at $24 per device per year. That compares favorably to a similar offering from competing security company MobileIron, which charges $48 per device per year for its cloud device management service.

But Kemp suggests not everyone will need the paid version. "A lot of this capability should be commoditized," he said, adding that future features will provide more differentiation between the paid and free offerings.

[ Read our Mobile Device Management Buyer's Guide. ]

IT administrators have had their hands full dealing with the increasingly diverse devices in corporate computing environments. Thanks to the consumerization of IT, employees are bringing their own mobile phones, tablets, and laptops into the workplace and Macs are once again significant enough to be counted in enterprises.

Kemp says that IT departments are concerned about personally-supplied devices because smartphones and tablets from home don't come with support for company policies.

Centrify Express for Mobile and Direct Control for Mobile allow IT administrators to enforce mobile security policies and to ensure secure access to email, VPN, and Wi-Fi networks. The software supports self-service enrollment and automated configuration based on Active Directory settings. It can identify enrolled devices and installed apps, detect and (if necessary) block jailbroken devices, and even erase data on lost or stolen devices.

Though some organizations still maintain policies that require business-issued devices, many companies have accepted the challenge of trying to manage the full spectrum of corporate and personal devices because employee-acquired hardware doesn't have to be purchased or because they realize that resistance won't prevent people from using their favorite tools.

Kemp says that Centrify's service runs in the cloud and doesn't require a separate mobile device management console. Instead, organizations can just rely on familiar Active Directory tools. The only on-premises adjustment organizations need to make is to run a proxy server as a Windows service, to communicate with Centrify's servers.

Either the free or paid mobile service can connect with Centrify Suite 2012, the company's software for managing cross-platform desktop systems (Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows) and applications using Active Directory.

It's no longer a matter of if you get hacked, but when. In this special retrospective of news coverage, Monitoring Tools And Logs Make All The Difference, Dark Reading takes a look at ways to measure your security posture and the challenges that lie ahead with the emerging threat landscape. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.