Securing the iPad with an iPad

Start-up's app makes iPad a command center for mobile IT managers

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Mobility management start-up MobileIron recently announced MobileIron Sentry App, a mobile security application that manages Apple iPads and other mobile devices from -- you guessed it! -- the Apple iPad itself. The new Apple tablet is another device that must be secured and managed within the enterprise, and now it can also potentially serve as the security and management console for IT personnel on the go.

MobileIron Sentry App is available at the Apple App Store.

Screenshots from the iPad

Ojas Rege, the company's vice president of products and marketing, says that the application isn't just a re-purposed version of its MobileIron ActiveSync Sentry product that works on the iPhone (as well as on other phones supporting the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol). He says it was built specifically to take advantage of the iPad's generous visual space and rich interface.

A key MobileIron feature is monitoring ActiveSync-enabled devices attempting to connect to corporate Microsoft Exchange servers through employees' ActiveSync passwords. Microsoft system administrators tend to give users a corporate Exchange account that is tied to the user, not the device. That, in turn, can lead to users connecting via any number of devices they might have on hand, whether or not they are supported and managed by the company, Rege explains.

The problem? Corporate e-mail sent to and from an Exchange-connected e-mail is sensitive information; so is any data potentially stored on the device's hard drive. When an employee brings a device into the enterprise that isn't officially supported and secured, usage and security profiles and policies can't be enforced on that device, he explains.

For example, remote lock and wipe wouldn't be possible on an unmanaged device, which could put the company out of compliance with a number of regulatory mandates.

With the MobileIron Sentry App for iPad, by contrast, mobile IT personnel can identify unauthorized devices, potentially block their access and enforce other policies.

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