Uncommon Wisdom

Oct 26 2010   4:45PM GMT

Juniper suite creates network-wide mobile security ecosystem

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

Juniper announced a mobile security suite, building on its Junos Pulse agent/client software that operates across a wide variety of mobile and PC platforms. The elements of the suite (the antivirus, firewall, etc., that are common to most PC suites) are less news than the framework in which it’s being provided. Juniper is binding security as an element in a device agent, then coordinating it through central management of that agent so it’s effectively a part of a collective network- or organization-wide security program.

The newest problem facing both enterprises and operators these days comes from the fact that a single user is extended across multiple appliances and increasingly uses those appliances as facets of a virtual personality. This is true with social-driven consumers, as well as increasingly with productivity-driven enterprises. Point-solution security not only doesn’t secure the range of devices, it forces those who want security to integrate disparate policies and processes to create a secure framework. One miss destroys collective security and also risks cross-contamination of the other channels to the user.

I like the Juniper approach here, not because of its capabilities or because of Juniper’s need to validate the research it sponsored. We have security on devices, and we’ll have it on all of them eventually, and the problems of mobile device security are hardly a surprise, even without new research. What I like is that Junos Pulse extends “the network” to the device itself and makes it an agent of network policy and services. It seems the only long-term solution to both security issues and creating service value-add. Plus the multiple device faces of the user are going to pop up in a lot of future service missions, and they will be problematic to those without a device-integrated approach.

It’s hard to pull this story out of the Juniper talk, in part because it’s focused so much on security needs and the point-solution remedy, but the real story is the ecosystem.

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