Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Delivering applications with maximum security

November 6, 2013, Kuala Lumpur - As the business world increasingly becomes interconnected, several computing trends and factors in the environment have made addressing IT security more complex. Organizations are finding it harder to maintain and manage enterprise security in terms of sensitive code and corporate data, especially with the increasing usage of virtual applications in the workplace.

The traditional distributed approach to application deployment and management which entails installing, maintaining and supporting applications on individual endpoints, is becoming complex and expensive, especially with the proliferation of applications and devices.

Application virtualization improves the security, manageability and compatibility of applications by isolating them from the underlying operating system and other applications. With application virtualization, applications are installed via an integrated application streaming from a centralized location on the target device where they will execute.

The delivery of virtual desktops and apps on demand is also possible, thus providing self-service access for users and simplified management for IT.  Now, app selections can be instant and hassle-free, with users being able to choose apps from an easy-to-use app store that is securely accessible from any device, including tablets, smartphones and thin clients.

With such solutions, businesses can reduce computing costs, secure apps that are fast over mobile networks, and also enable mobile workstyles to increase workforce productivity and drive innovation.

Mark Micallef, Area Vice President of Citrix ASEAN, provides tips for businesses seeking to deliver applications with maximum security at the workplace.

1. Centralize
Applications should run on centralized servers, as this enables users to view and interact with real-time updates, but at the same time, fully protects information preventing any leakage from the datacenters. As the applications are managed and maintained centrally, any glitches with the software can be rectified in an efficient manner. Consistent user experiences across all devices are maintained, while protecting intellectual property.

2. Secure access, delivery and containment
Organizations should be prepared for employees to access data offline and should opt for a technological feature that supplements data protection and supports offline access for users. The solution should allow the encryption of a workspace, making it a safe zone, such that stored data is automatically wiped clean after an administrator-specified expiration date.  Complementing this with a remote kill functionality also mitigates risk in the event an endpoint is lost or stolen, whereby all confidential corporate data will be deleted automatically.

3. Implement fine-grained access and usage controls
To further strengthen enterprise security, organizations should also consider implementing fine-grained customized policies according to users’ identities. Considerations such as the type, duration and location of access should be determined before configured policies are implemented. This helps to build and enforce a tightly controlled environment.

4. Monitor closely
Organizations should also contemplate having a comprehensive monitoring system in place. For example, session shadowing enables a user’s session to be duplicated and displayed in real-time on an administrator’s workstation. This is helpful for administrators to identify and react to misuse based on malicious intentions, undetected compromises, policy gaps or errors. In addition, this functionality also provides extensive support for compliance with corporate policies, security and privacy regulations, and troubleshooting.

The management and protection of data is a key cornerstone of enterprise mobility. An integrated approach is required to enable IT to seamlessly and safely address business-driven challenges and extend application access to an increasingly mobile workforce.

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