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8/23/2012
05:23 PM
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Clutch Secures Mobile Devices With 3-Pronged Approach

Clutch Mobile's three-pronged approach to mobile security is to protect a company's devices, the apps on the devices, and the network the devices connect to. Its products offer the most complete security scheme yet for fending off mobile attacks, says the company.

Mobile security is different from PC security--and the bring-your-own-device trend makes securing mobile devices even more complicated for businesses. Mobile security startup Clutch Mobile uses a three-tier approach to mitigate the risk of data loss and security breaches within organizations. Funded by Sequoia Capital, Clutch Mobile protects data by monitoring the device, apps, and the network.

"Existing solutions typically only protect the device with policies, which is often referred to as MDM [mobile device management]," said Clutch co-founder Garrett Larsson. "This usually ensures a password is set on the device and that an admin can lock and wipe the device if it's stolen. We offer these features but take it further since mobile data is vulnerable in more ways."

Clutch offers a task-specific feature called Enterprise App Protector, which allows companies to deploy and manage specific devices by restricting access to apps and the network. It's being used for point-of-sale, at schools, and even with MDM solutions that might already be in place in the enterprise.

Another Clutch feature is NetGuard, which fends off malware by encrypting Internet connections. This helps protect employees connecting to public hotspots in coffeehouses and other places. It creates a cloud-based firewall.

"With our network security we provide a secure connection and can even filter website categories (e.g. gambling sites) for organizations that need additional controls," Larsson said. "The network is another place there is a data loss and compliance concern. Users could inadvertently connect to insecure Wi-Fi hotspots and be prone to man-in-the-middle attacks, or just general phishing sites."

Clutch is available on iOS and Android for free or through premium versions. Clutch has 1 million downloads so far. In the future, Larsson said Clutch will provide a service for enterprises to tap into Clutch's deep app intelligence to provide more insight into where their data is going.

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