By Ryan Faas
October 02, 2012 - 10:13 AM
Looking to expand its portfolio of multi-platform enterprise mobile security tools, Good Technology announced its acquisition of app management vendor AppCentral. AppCentral's "app wrapping" technology will allow Good to offer customers a broad range of enterprise app and data management/security options.
Mobile management powerhouse Good Technology announced this morning that it is acquiring AppCentral. The move will expand the already impressive range of mobile management and mobile security solutions available from Good. The move will add to the Good Dynamics app and data security platform that Good launched earlier this year and will offer significant data security options across iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices.
Good launched the Good Dynamics platform earlier this year as a way to ensure security of enterprise data on mobile devices. The platform includes an SDK that developers can use to secure business and enterprise apps. Apps designed with Good Dynamics integration can leverage a range of management and security features -- secure data storage and transmission, passcode and authentication requirements at the app level that are independent of device lock policies, the option to disable cut/copy and paste between apps, and the ability to securely exchange data with other apps designed with Good Dynamics support.
AppCentral, a major player in the mobile app management (MAM) space, offers businesses some key security features. These include a cloud-hosted enterprise app store for secure distribution of internal apps as well as a curated selection of apps from public app marketplaces. AppCentral also offers centralized app management functionality.
The big money capability that AppCentral offers, however, is an app wrapping system known as AppGuardian that bundles native apps in a secure wrapper or container.
AppCentral's secure app wrapping approach allows an organization to leverage key security features without needing to revise an app to include integration with Good Dynamics or other platform-specific security features. The approach lets organizations secure any app across platforms (iOS, Android, and BlackBerry) and can secure both native apps and HTML 5 web apps.
Using AppGuardian allows administrators to:
According to Good, AppGuardian builds on the app security framework, libraries and services available in the Good Dynamics platform. That could make for an relatively quick integration of the AppGuardian functionality into Good Dynamics.
The move is a logical step forward for Good. While Good Dynamics is a great option for many organizations, it does require updating apps around Good's SDK. Offering a simpler and code-free option like AppGuardian can help organizations secure apps quickly. The approach can serve as a complete solution or as a stop gap measure while a company is revising its app(s) to take advantage of Good Dynamics.
App wrapping will provide the enterprise data protection that companies need and it will present an effective option in its own right. That said, integrating an app with Good Dynamics will offer additional capabilities including app-specific policies (e.g., controlling file access in collaboration apps based on size, type, or other attributes) and app services that multiple apps can utilize without having to duplicate code across each enterprise app.
Neither company is disclosing the financial details of the acquisition, which closed yesterday. They do, however, note that all AppCentral staff will be kept on as Good employees.
Ryan Faas is a technology journalist and author who has been writing about Apple, business and enterprise IT topics, and the mobile industry for over a decade.
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