'Mobile security' is not an oxymoron

* Fiberlink Communications announces enhancements to its Extend360 Mobile Platform

This week, Fiberlink Communications announces enhancements to its Extend360 Mobile Platform that make it even easier to manage users and devices that are on the move. Best of all, it's all offered as a service, so there's no infrastructure investment on your part.

Virtual reality. Military intelligence. Advanced BASIC. Mobile security. All of these phrases are popular examples of oxymorons, where the two words of each phrase are contradictory to each other.

Ok, so the folks at Fiberlink Communications Corporation challenge my assertion about “mobile security.” Fiberlink offers software and services to help you connect, control and secure your mobile PCs. The company’s philosophy is “the Internet is the corporate network” for all workers, as nearly everyone is mobile today.

What I like best about this company’s approach is that there’s no infrastructure or anything for you to maintain. Fiberlink maintains the infrastructure, and your company subscribes to the services you need or want. So, if your company has a fleet of mobile workers – even if they simply carry their laptops around the office – it’s worth your while to read on and see how this solution can lessen your mobile security headaches.

Fiberlink’s flagship product is called the Extend360 Mobility Platform, which consists of an agent for your mobile devices and a Web-based management console. With these two components, you have everything you need to manage all your mobile PCs and PDAs as well as your remote desktops. Extend360 deploys, installs, monitors, updates and remediates security and connectivity software, enforces corporate security and connectivity policies, and makes it easier to demonstrate compliance with security regulations. (Compare Network Auditing and Compliance products)

The Extend360 Agent runs on your mobile devices and includes two components. An Endpoint Services Manager is used to install, monitor, update and remediate up to 13 different endpoint security applications. A Connectivity Manager allows your end users to access the Internet using any available connection type, including dial-up, ISDN, broadband, Wi-Fi and wide area wireless.

The Endpoint Services Manager performs a wide variety of security operations and incorporates best-of-breed software applications from other vendors. For example, the intelligent encryption application is provided by Credant. Using this application, you can enforce encryption on data associated with specified volumes, file types, applications and users.

The Endpoint Services Manager also includes an “always on” policy enforcement module and continuously assesses the status of remote computers. The software performs application monitoring; virus signature, DAT and configuration file updates; and compliance enforcement and remedial action if needed. The software can determine if:Patch and Vulnerability Management products)

* Windows patch levels are up-to-date.

* Firewall, antivirus, antispyware, intrusion protection and other security applications are installed and running.

* Virus and other threat signatures are up-to-date. (Compare

* VPN credentials and connection policies are up-to-date.

If you detect a problem computer, you can lock it out of your network and perform various remediation actions until you are satisfied that the device is in compliance again.

As for connectivity, the Extend360 Agent has a universal connectivity interface. This simplifies the process for the end user to establish a secure connection using the best available means that is in compliance with your enterprise security policies. Mobile workers have a consistent login experience and a single set of authentication credentials to remember. The software takes the guess work out of how to connect from mobile or remote locations.

And this week, Fiberlink is enhancing its platform to include internal corporate WLAN connectivity and security. That means you can now use the platform to manage the devices your users carry around within the premises as well as those that are on the road.

The management console is undergoing a major update this week as well. The Extend360 Management Center is a hosted management platform that runs in Fiberlink’s operations center. It includes three primary components for managing security and connectivity policies, for managing user groups, and for viewing reports. With this Web-based console you can:

* Manage policy and configuration settings for security and connectivity services on laptops and remote PCs.

* Administer user groups and assign policy profiles to them.

* Manage your Fiberlink-provided services, control administrative activities, view operational and billing information, and access a wide variety of security and connectivity reports.

In essence, Fiberlink provides everything you need to manage and protect the devices that are traditionally hard to control – those that are highly mobile. Best of all, it’s simply done as a service. This gives you the option to offload some or all of the connectivity and security issues you face daily without making a big investment in a management infrastructure.

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