Consumerization of IT: Moving Beyond Security Concerns for IT Organizations, Part II

Security4 minutes readOct 19th, 2011

Understanding application modernization scenarios – if your enterprise has been around for more than a few years, inevitably you find that some of the applications reside on older mainframes or servers that were never designed for mobile access.  In this area you will want to document proposed modernization scenarios for the applications, based on priority of access.  Some areas to consider are:

  • If using a COTS product does the vendor offer mobile access?
  • Does your system vendor provide tools for assisting in the modernization of older apps through portals (like Clearpath portals).
  • Can the application be replaced by a COTS product that has mobile access?
  • Is it possible to use tools that help you create a SOA based environment where modernized apps can access the older applications as web services (like Unisys AMPS).
  • Can you create a mobile web based version of the UI?  Many web sites are difficult to use on smartphones because of screen size.  You must consider how users of smaller screens will interact with the application.
  • Can HTML5 provide all the capabilities you need in a mobile application so you only need a secure web browser?
  • Are there specific device attributes that you are considering that would require a native app?  The camera, microphone, or NFC (near field communication) are devices you need to consider.
  • Are you going to support multiple device types and Operating Systems?  Should you consider a MEAP product to build for multiple platforms?  Does the MEAP give you access to the device capabilities that you want to exploit or do you need a native app?

Understanding the infrastructure considerations – when you start allowing mobile device access to applications and data, what are the infrastructure impacts that should be considered?  In many cases legacy mainframes and server environments were not built with the security of systems today.  You need to carefully decide what applications will be made available, and how you will secure them.

  • Will all remote access be through Secure Gateways or other VPN type connections?  Will you need to allow some mobile capabilities to access server applications directly opening ports into your network?  Does your remote access capability have the capacity to support the number of new mobile users?  If your internet connection is too slow, users will have difficulty using the application remotely.  You also need consider multiple providers for remote availability of the infrastructure.
  • What services in the data center are leveraged by mobile users and platforms today and what changes are planned?  Based on your application architecture, will you implement Virtual Desktop Integration (VDI), Remote Desktop Services, Citrix Receiver, or Virtual Network Client (VNC) access to your infrastructure?
  • What types of devices do you need to support for remote access?  When examining user types and the application they need to access, what device best meets their need?  Some users are sufficient to have an older laptop with something like Windows Thin Client, while others need the complete mobility provided by today’s smartphones.  Also consider teleworkers that could benefit from the capability of Secure Stealth Virtual Terminal (SSVT).  This provides a less expensive but highly secure capability of mobile access from user owned systems.
  • Will you be providing your own mobile app store?
  • When using wireless device near or within your facility, will you implement a wireless intrusion detection system?  You need to protect your environment from intruders as well as protect your wireless users from connecting to rogue access points.
  • With more mobile users and devices dependent on the data center, are your Disaster Recovery (DR/COOP) capabilities ready to support them?


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Tags-   Consumerization Security