EBF Blog

WNCRY ransomware demonstrates dangers of homogeneous, unpatched networks

WNCRY ransomware demonstrates dangers of homogeneous, unpatched networks

Internet of Things
Mobile Security
May 17, 2017

WannaCry

Whenever history seemed to repeat itself, my Granny used to quip, “same song, different verse.” As the WannaCry (WNCRY) ransomware spread like wildfire in a dry forest, I heard the familiar refrain and discordant notes of previous worms: Blaster (2003), Welchia “Nachi” (2003), and Conflicker (2008). Each of these worms spread via well known flaws in Microsoft Windows for which patches were already available. Why then, after a decade and a half, are we still seeing worms spreading via known flaws? I believe there are three root causes:

  1. Upgrading is hard and expensive
  2. Patching seems risky
  3. Homogeneous environments are really vulnerable to worms

Our CEO Barry Mainz noted, “Every company is going through an evolution in enterprise computing, from legacy to modern.” This category of modern operating systems includes mobile OSes Android and iOS, as well as Windows 10. In this new world, IT organizations will need to adapt to a different and much faster way of handling upgrades and patches – and to the new reality of a heterogeneous environment.

Upgrading is hard and expensive

So many organizations are still running obsolete operating systems that Microsoft issued a patch for Windows XP, which the company had officially stopped supporting over three years ago!

Why were these organizations still running an unsupported version of Windows? The answer is that upgrading is hard and expensive. Upgrading can mean having to buy new licenses for 3rd party software as well.

Then there are the challenges with systems that interact with expensive hardware devices. Take medical scanners as an example. Controlling these devices requires specific software and device drivers that may not run on newer OSes, and there’s the risk that upgrading the OS may void the warranty on a system that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase and maintain. We used to call these “embedded devices” but now they’re “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices. They present new challenges, which we’ll return to later.

Now, contrast all the difficulty and expense in legacy computing with what happens in mobile computing. According to 9To5Mac, iOS 10 was running on over 65% of devices within 27 days of release. With that kind of adoption rate, it’s safe to assume that upgrading mobile devices is relatively painless and cheap. One key thing about mobile OS architectures is that applications are not allowed to tie themselves too closely to the OS. Thus, they’re less likely to break after an upgrade. The App Store model also gives mobile OS vendors the opportunity to test each new release with large numbers of 3rd party applications; something that is not easily accomplished in the legacy computing world.

Patching Seems Risky

In a legacy computing environment, fixes are distributed individually. This lets IT pick and choose which security fixes to apply, but it also means there are a huge number of potential patch combinations installed on any given system. Sometimes, even the order in which the patches were applied matters. The result is that many IT departments are reluctant to install patches without extensive testing. Contrast this with the mobile model where whole new versions of the operating system are distributed. For instance, Apple just released iOS 10.3.2, which fixed some two dozen security issues. Applying these patches is an all-or-nothing proposition.

Microsoft is moving to a similar approach for Windows. This has real benefits for customers. It’s far easier for software houses to develop, test, and support a handful of discrete releases than to support a world where every customer has a different set of patches installed in different orders. This improves stability because testing resources can be focused on a small number of configurations deeply rather than many configurations shallowly. Thus, fewer bugs escape into the wild to plague customers and IT departments. This lets IT deploy updates faster because there’s less testing needed.

Homogeneous environments are really vulnerable to worms

In the legacy computing model, IT works towards standardising all systems on one OS and a small number of device models. There are some benefits to this, and it was arguably necessary in order to successfully manage legacy systems. But WNCRY and other worms see that homogeneity as a huge attack surface. We’ve learned from nature that homogeneous ecosystems tend to be hugely vulnerable to diseases that wipe out entire populations.

In contrast, the mobile computing world is characterized by diversity. If you visit a modern software development organization, you’ll find a variety of systems: iOS, Android, Linux, MacOS, Windows, and maybe even a Chromebook or two. None of these OSes is completely immune to attack. However, just as diseases have difficulty jumping from species to species, so too malware that affects one OS is often harmless to others. Thus, with greater diversity the value and impact of attacking any given OS goes down. The attackers have to work harder to find and package flaws in each OS individually.

Here’s an example of why heterogeneity is so useful. (Note: all numbers are made up, but they serve the point.) Let’s assume that there are 10,000 hackers in the world capable of finding and exploiting security flaws to make worms like WNCRY. Let’s say that Microsoft employs 30,000 engineers. That means that for every three Microsoft engineers trying to build code and fix problems there is one attacker looking for flaws. Since it’s far easier to find flaws than to eliminate all of them, the attackers will win.

Now consider a mobile environment. Assume that Microsoft, Apple, and Google each employ 30,000 engineers. The number of attackers has stayed the same, but now there are 3X as many engineering building and defending their systems. Additionally, finding new exploits for systems requires deep knowledge of the platform, so now the attackers have to spread their efforts over 3X as many platforms. In other words, the defenders just gained a 9X advantage! And that doesn’t consider the relative benefits as these software development firms improve the security of their products to gain competitive advantage.

One of the classic arguments against a heterogeneous network has been that IT doesn’t know how to manage all these different OSes, but mobile computing is changing this. All major mobile OSes support similar sets of controls and EMMs are able to provide a single pane of glass to manage all of them. As one of our customers observed:

“If we want to add another operating system to our mobile device inventory, we're well prepared with MobileIron…” – Thomas Hönig-Heinemann, Head of the ICT network department.

And for Windows 10, MobileIron Bridge allows IT organizations to leverage their legacy GPO settings via their MobileIron EMM. All of this leads to an environment where IT can manage a diverse set of systems, something that was nearly impossible just a few years ago. EMM’s have the ability to quarantine devices that are not properly patched. Integrations with products from Cisco and Aruba can even be used to quickly kick potentially vulnerable systems off your network. Since not every system is vulnerable, the business can continue to function. While this may impact a subset of users, it can buy IT valuable time to deploy patches or other mitigations in the event of an outbreak like this one.

The bottom line is business continuity: with a heterogenous environment, you won’t see all your systems disabled or compromised.

IoT could make things worse

We have already seen botnets like Mirai take over huge numbers of systems using nothing more than default passwords. It’s not hard to imagine that in a few years when IoT vendors have addressed these basic issues, hackers will begin looking for code-level flaws in these products. While mobile computing is characterized by fast update cycles, IoT today is characterized by the never update model. Thus, some security experts fear that we will see huge numbers of unpatched IoT devices lingering on networks for years after exploits are well known.

MobileIron’s vision for IoT starts by securing intelligent gateways that manage endpoints – sensors, machines and actuators. These gateways can then properly isolate the IoT devices behind them. If the IoT devices get compromised, these intelligent gateways could be configured to block the incoming connections used to spread worms, filter dangerous network traffic, and even interface with intrusion detection(IDS) or intrusion protection (IPS) systems. Organizations can then perform the necessary corrective actions.

We also see a convergence where IT organizations are extended not only to manage mobility and desktop devices but also intelligent edge as organizations go through their digital transformation.

Mobileiron recently launched an IOT division focused on bringing this vision to market.

Conclusions

WNCRY demonstrates that that today’s government exploits can easily become tomorrow’s hacker tools. Organizations need to assume that they’re going to be targeted by attackers with government-grade exploits. In this new reality, the legacy computing model of slow infrequent upgrades, slow patching, and homogeneous environments fails. The mobile computing model delivers more security as a direct result of the diversity of platforms and devices. IT organizations now have the tools to manage this diverse ecosystem. The challenges are real, but the opportunities for improved security and business continuity are huge.


Source: MobileIron Smart@Work Blog

Lookout Expands Mobile Endpoint Security Solution to Enhance Productivity Across iOS Enterprises

Introduces enterprise app review to enable iOS-centric enterprises building their own custom apps to rapidly analyze for data policy compliance and security risks

San Francisco, CA (March 20, 2017) — Lookout, the global leader in securing mobility, has expanded its enterprise security solution, Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security, to address the most pressing needs of iOS- centric organizations and accelerate the adoption of secure mobility.

Lookout and Apple understand mobile is transforming the way business is done, and as mobile productivity increases, enterprises are developing their own apps to take advantage of this transformation. As a new Apple mobility partner, Lookout is introducing enterprise app review to enable enterprises building their own iOS apps to rapidly analyze them for data policy compliance and security risks. With enterprise app review, custom iOS apps are uploaded into the Lookout Security Cloud for correlation against a 40-million-app database to uncover anomalies before distribution via internal app stores.

Many enterprises have unique compliance policies that specify how corporate data should be stored and transmitted, including while in use on mobile devices and in apps. Some mobile apps or public Wi-Fi networks compromise company or industry policies. For example, enterprise apps developed by third parties and distributed through internal app stores may lack sufficient encryption to protect customer or patient data.

“Enterprises must be confident that their data is secure while employees are working anywhere in the world,” said Santosh Krishnan, Lookout chief product officer. “This new functionality is addressing mobile compliance as part of our collective mission to help organizations seamlessly embrace mobile productivity in the workplace.”

In addition to reviewing custom apps, Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security can also review apps downloaded from the App Store. While vetted and approved through Apple’s stringent App Store approval process, some apps may send contact or location information to an external server which may directly contradict corporate policy. Plus, with the rise of mobile productivity on the go, employees are frequently connecting to public Wi-Fi networks which could expose corporate data in transit.

Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security extends the built-in security of the iOS platform by leveraging the Lookout Security Cloud to provide enterprises with visibility and protection across network threats and suspicious behaviors for apps that are built in-house and distributed via MDM for iOS. Lookout customers will be able to:

  • Identify risk within in-house built apps: As enterprises develop apps to create mobile workflows that improve productivity among employees or customers, developers will be able to quickly submit apps for review. This review provides immediate data on non-compliant app behaviors, malware, and code vulnerabilities, while also providing visibility into whether an app has unsanctioned or private APIs written into its code.
  • Enable employees to work safely on the go: Lookout secures employee devices and data through an automatic on-device analysis of network connections to defend against attacks and ensure information is being securely transmitted.
  • Take steps towards reaching compliance on mobile: Enterprises now have visibility into apps installed within their employee base that may be out of compliance with corporate security policies and/or industry regulations. Exclusively for iOS, enterprises can see which apps connect to cloud services and those that could potentially violate corporate data policy, such as sharing contact and location information. Lookout will also provide enterprises with insights into whether iOS apps are taking advantage of the newest security features in iOS.

Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security is sold through Lookout’s Channel Partner Program. For iOS-specific enterprise employees, the Lookout app can be downloaded from the App Store. To learn more about Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security visit www.lookout.com.

Source: Lookout Blog

Evolving architecture, management solutions that don’t secure, and dead perimeters: a CISO’s job is a hard one

“You know, when a CSO thinks through priorities — it’s a tough job. [They need to] to balance the kinds of things that require a lot of intense concentration, real deep problems in infrastructure … with the day-to-day things that could be just as important.”
Ed Amoroso would know. Ed served for 12 years as CSO at AT&T and is now the CEO of TAG Cyber. He started his career at Bell Labs in Unix security R&D over 30 years ago.

So many tasks, so little time

A CSO’s job is a constant juggling process — balancing budget, human capital, time, effort, team energy, and many other factors. In recent years, mobile security has been added to the task list. However, as threats like Pegasus come to the surface and as employees use their personal devices to get their jobs done, mobile security is quickly becoming a much bigger priority.

Dealing with mobile security: an evolution

In recent history, a CSO (or perhaps one of her employees) dealt with the security of mobile devices through management. “MDMs are good!” Ed explains in the above video, but CSOs are now actively asking themselves new questions: Do I need to augment my MDM? Should I replace it?

Ed suggests stepping back and understanding the interconnectivity of attacks. Malware, vulnerabilities, risky employee behaviors, and network connections all play into a larger mobile attack surface. Security teams need a holistic sense of what they’re working with: how many mobile devices access corporate data? How reliant on mobile devices are employees? How could you enable their productivity by allowing them to use their mobile devices freely?

“You’ll make a better decision,” says Ed.

If you’re still doing perimeter security, you’re doing it wrong

“To date, we’ve had these perimeter architecture … you’re ‘inside the firewall’ and that’s the worst architecture that you could have in 2017.” – Ed Amoroso

Mobile devices and cloud services bypass the traditional firewall, making it ineffective. End-users, or employees, aren’t slowing down their mobile device usage either. They will do what they want to do: download apps, visit websites, maybe even gamble a little (you’d be surprised). A CSO wants to gain visibility and the ability to mitigate risks to their corporate data, not to become the blocker who says, “No.” CSOs who implement the right kind of architecture, that embraces mobile security, becomes the corporate enabler — the person who helps people get their jobs done.

Want to get a look into the future of mobile security? Check out this in-depth video from Phil Reitinger, president of Global Cyber Alliance and former CISO. If you want to learn more about mobile security and get a personalized look at the needs of your specific organization, get in touch with us today.

Source: Lookout Blog

Top 5 Wireless Expense Areas Every Company Should be Monitoring

wireless expense areas
With so many devices to manage, it’s hard for companies to keep track of how much each device costs while focusing on the employee at the center of the mobile program. Plus, many companies are slowly shifting the mindset around their mobile policies from being cost-driven to productivity-driven — with so many balls in the air, it is hard enough to manage one bill let alone hundreds or even thousands of bills.

As the enterprise mobility landscape continues to evolve with company paid devices, personal devices, and hybrid programs, IT and finance managers often struggle to make sure mobile policies and programs are the most cost efficient for the company. With so many factors contributing to the bottom line of wireless costs, what exactly should companies be watching?

Here are five areas that we think companies should be monitoring to make sure they are managing their wireless cost effectively:

  • Billed lines by carrier: Your company should know how many lines of service you have on each carrier. This information is helpful when your company considers adding additional lines of service or are adding or migrating a number of devices.
  • Wireless charges breakdown: Understand how much of your mobile spend lies in recurring charges, non-recurring charges, taxes and surcharges. Be sure to include a breakdown of voice, data and text costs by carrier. This information will give you the true anatomy of your wireless costs and allow you to figure out where you need to tune up your program.
  • Average charges per billed line: It’s extremely helpful to know how much one of your company’s devices costs per month on average. Not only can you benchmark your average wireless cost against other companies, but you can understand the true cost of your mobile employees.
  • Total charges by carrier: Here’s an obvious one: Do you know how much your company is paying each carrier every month? I bet your CFO would love to know.
  • Breakdown of additional charges: This is the BEST one! You need to know how much all of the surprising costs — from data overage charges and 411 calls to ringtones and downloads — are coasting you and where they’re coming from so you can make them stop!
  •  

    Source:Troy Mobility

MobileIron and incapptic Connect Automate Mobile Apps for CLAAS

We’ve reduced handling in the different stages of the app lifecycle by two to three hours.

Stephan Niewöhner, Project Manager Mobile Applications, CLAAS KGaA mbH

MobileIron is helping the international agricultural machinery manufacturer CLAAS to automatically publish and update mobile apps, using incapptic connect´s mobile release automation technology. Therefore, the departments that initiates and uses the apps can publish and implement new ones, and maintain existing ones, without outside help. This makes it more cost-effective for CLAAS to handle new and existing apps.

More than just one of the world’s leading manufacturers of tractors and harvesting technology, the CLAAS group has also pioneered the use of mobile digital processes. Mobile business apps play a key role in all of the company’s departments: there are nearly thirty apps in use, largely initiated by the departments themselves. “Around 2,500 people are using our main apps on their iPhones and iPads,” says Stephan Niewöhner, Project Manager for mobile applications at CLAAS KGaA mbH.

The group operates some 3,000 mobile devices on MobileIron’s Enterprise Mobility Platform, of which 2,500 are running iOS, 500 using Windows Phone 8.1, and a small number with Windows 10.

The platform has been managed since 2012 by Cologne-based mobile IT specialist EBF GmbH, using its hosted core model. This includes 24/7 helpdesk services, second-and third-level support from EBF specialists and administrator support.

The MobileIron platform provides CLAAS with a solid foundation for the company’s mobile devices, apps, and data from unauthorized access and ensures compliance with administrative guidelines. Business-critical data transferred between mobile devices and backend systems are securely encrypted.

Zero Tolerance for Business App Downtime

Niewöhner emphasizes that the apps are essential to day-to-day operation of CLAAS’ employees and distributors. “They’re not a digital bonus that we can do without if necessary. They need to be fully operational at all times.”

This requires considerable maintenance effort and this task can no longer be handled manually. The users receive fully functioning apps and the background processes to get updates into MobileIron are only seen by the developers, app owners and IT experts in the various departments of CLAAS.

Rafael Kobylinski, founder and CEO of incapptic Connect GmbH, explains the challenges of this apparently simple task. “Before you release a new app version to MobileIron, you have to collect information such as its description and the latest screenshots, get hold of the app binaries, check that all this is correct and complete. You also have to sign the binaries with the company’s certificate. One mistake and the app may suddenly stop working and key business processes get disrupted.”

This time-consuming process demands considerable expertise, and there is a lot of room for error. Large numbers of emails flow back and forth between internal or external developers, the IT department and the department planning to use the app, and this can create misunderstandings.

Departments Can Publish Their Own Apps

CLAAS no longer publishes mobile apps manually. Instead, new ones are launched, existing ones updated and certificates renewed automatically at the click of a button. The barrage of emails as well as expert knowledge is no longer necessary, for example to sign iOS applications for distribution. Regular, non-IT business users can be empowered to publish, deploy, and maintain the apps their own.

The app release automation process is managed by incapptic Connect, available as a hosted or on-premise solution.

“This web-based solution publishes proprietary and third-party apps much more quickly, frequently and easily,” says founder Rafael Kobylinski.

It is suitable both for testing and production, and offers clear qualitative and quantitative benefits summarized by his colleague, Chief Customer Officer Thiemo Scherle: “You don’t need development know-how, and there’s no need to go back and forth making corrections with the developers. Outside developers don’t have to use the company’s enterprise certificate, and you’re automatically warned when provisioning profiles and certificates are about to expire. Also, each app is automatically uploaded to the MobileIron catalog.”

Outside Developers Have Access

“The incapptic Connect software is fully compatible with MobileIron’s platform. And it’s the first platform that automatically publishes and updates apps,” Kobylinski says.

CLAAS’s Stephan Niewöhner adds: “When I first came across the incapptic Connect product at a conference, I was immediately impressed. We contacted the company soon afterwards, and implemented the system as an add-on to MobileIron in three days. I’d estimate we’re saving two to three hours on each app update.”

In-house and outside developers can securely access the solution, conveniently running on a Mac Mini in CLAAS’s data center.

Niewöhner is certain that incapptic Connect would pay for itself even if no new apps were added to the almost thirty already in use. But this is hypothetical anyway. “We expect to continue generating new apps. Our departments come up with new ideas for mobile business processes on a daily basis.”

CLAAS’s internal and external developers won’t run out of work anytime soon; the company’s production department is currently in the process of rolling out new apps.

Source: MobileIron

Lookout in Vanity Fair: The real story behind Pegasus and Trident

For those of us that work with threats, vulnerabilities and exploits on a daily basis, it’s always interesting when we see security make it to the mainstream – in tv shows and movies – with a varying level of accuracy. So I was excited when Vanity Fair asked to interview my Security Research & Response team at Lookout to understand the story behind the discovery of Trident and Pegasus in October of last year.

lookout-team

READ THE REAL PEGASUS STORY

What they came out with is a fascinating look at security – from the beginnings of “Spot the Fed” games at DefCon, to large scale companies being hacked and the emergence of White Hats, Black Hats and zero-day bounties, along with an in-depth look at how Lookout and Citizen Lab came across Pegasus and how we investigated its capabilities.

This is worth the read if you’re interested in learning more about the world of cyber-arms dealing and how a security team goes about analysing a threat. And if you want to know more about the facts behind Pegasus and how to protect your organisation, watch this on-demand webinar I presented shortly after the discovery or read my latest blog.

Mike Murray
Vice President, Security Research & Response

Gartner Market Guide for Mobile Threat Defense

Is your enterprise prepared to protect against mobile threats?

The risk to your organisation from mobile devices has increased. As a result, Mobile Threat Defence (MTD) solutions are being adopted by enterprises concerned about threats that cannot be countered with traditional mobile management tools, such as EMM. Now is the time that security and mobility leaders need to evaluate MTD solutions to mitigate attacks and address threats to mobile devices, networks and apps.

Read the Gartner Market Guide for Mobile Threat Defense to better understand why:

  • A period of significant change is occurring due to shifting enterprise threats and evolving MTD technology
  • Enterprise adoption of MTD solutions is expected to triple by 2018
  • Mobile policy enforcement won’t be a sustainable workaround for mobile security
  • Device behavioural anomalies, vulnerability assessments, network security & app scan are the four MTD solution must-haves

Read the full Gartner Market Guide for Mobile Threat Defense: Here

Lenovo and MobileIron Form Global Partnership to Deliver Security and Management for Modern Operating Systems

BARCELONA, Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — MobileIron (NASDAQ:MOBL), the security backbone for the digital enterprise, announced a global partnership with Lenovo to help enterprise customers secure and manage Windows 10, Android, and iOS devices simply and efficiently. Using MobileIron’s EMM platform with select Lenovo PCs, customers may be able to decrease the total cost of PC ownership by up to 80 percent.* According to the latest numbers by IDC, Lenovo is currently the biggest PC supplier in the world. MobileIron is the security backbone for the digital enterprise, protecting corporate data across apps, networks, and clouds.
 

Lenovo has previously provided security and management software to large business customers; however, to secure devices running modern operating systems, like Android and Windows 10, customers need new software. Now, Lenovo customers can purchase MobileIron’s comprehensive security and management platform at the same time as Lenovo PCs, tablets, and smartphones. This one-stop shopping also simplifies bring-your-own-device (BYOD) because applications can be securely provisioned. Lenovo, MobileIron, and its reseller partners will provide expert services to deploy across the global enterprise.

The addition of MobileIron’s security and management platform rounds out Lenovo’s Modern Enterprise Computing Portfolio: a collection of offerings that provides modern computing, security, and infrastructure products. In October 2016, Lenovo introduced the Unified Workspace Cloud to provide employees with simplified access to their company’s complete portfolio of applications and content via single sign-on, on any device, anytime, anywhere. Later that month, the company launched its ThinkAgile portfolio to help customers transform their data centers with IT offerings that are appliance-centric, pre-validated, and pre-integrated. This gives customers quick implementation time for maximum value and agility in an easy-to-use solution. Now MobileIron Lenovo customers can choose cutting edge devices like the Yoga convertible and the MotoZ smartphone, deploy a customized workspace with the Unified Workspace Cloud, secure the endpoint with MobileIron, and modernize their data centers with ThinkAgile solutions.

“We’re finding innovative ways to meet our customers’ needs as they transition from legacy devices to new form factors. The introduction of Windows 10 allows customers to move to Cloud-based, agent-less provisioning of PCs for the enterprise,” said Jerry Paradise, Lenovo’s Executive Director of Global Enterprise PC and Think Business Management. “We’re working with MobileIron to give our enterprise customers a secure, agile platform as they build out and update their infrastructure.”

“Modern enterprise computing means moving to modern operating systems like Windows 10, Android, and iOS, and using enterprise mobility management (EMM) to secure all your devices from mobile to desktops,” said Barry Mainz, President and CEO, MobileIron. “As the market leader in PC sales, Lenovo is leading that transition on the hardware front and this partnership with MobileIron adds the critical security layer that companies need for modern operating systems. Customers can now get both their hardware and their software from the same trusted company.”

* Based on research conducted by MobileIron that analyzes licensing and labor costs across legacy and modern operations models. To calculate TCO savings for Windows 10 with EMM, download the TCO Toolkit.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140923/147891

SOURCE: MobileIron

Enterprise Mobility: Key Investment Drivers for 2017

By Leslie Brand

Enterprise mobility has become an essential part of remaining competitive. In its summary of last year’s biggest trends in business technology, BizTech Magazine cites, “A business without an enterprise mobility strategy is missing a critical part of its IT battle plan.” The benefits of mobility can be seen across all aspects of the enterprise, making the answer to where to start a bit difficult for some.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange in partnership with VDC Research, released the list of top investment drivers for enterprise mobility in 2017. Obvious ones like improving productivity and reducing operating costs offer no surprise. You needn’t be a mobility expert to see those key benefits. What is interesting about this list are the bottom five drivers of investment, which include: faster cash cycles, more accurate billing, reducing asset failures, improving employee satisfaction and retention, and improving customer loyalty and repeat business. Based on what we’re seeing with our customers who have already started deploying mobility in their organizations, we believe that these benefits will increase as key drivers over the next two years.

 

Source:  Enterprise Mobility Exchange, VDC Research December 2016

 

Collectively, these drivers ensure a company’s success, which is why we’re seeing more of our customer base create micro apps that deliver on these key business needs.

Faster Cash Cycles

For retailers and manufacturers that need proof of delivery before they can invoice, mobility can speed up the process by days and even weeks through mobile forms with signature capture that can be directly input into the company’s ERP system. The result saves having to wait for drivers to return back to the home office with paperwork and subsequently enter data manually into the application.

More Accurate Billing

Companies with service technician teams often rely on pen and paper or phone calls into back office admins to record their hours by project. Most of the time, hours are recorded after the project has been completed which results in missing time and therefore inaccurate billing. Mobile time entry makes it quick and easy to record hours-by-project in real-time.

Reducing Asset Failures

As new technologies make proactive and predictive asset management possible for equipment such as cell towers, mobility can help with speeding up repairs. Alerts and access to key information such as equipment locators, outage dashboards, spare parts finders, and safety check-ins are just a few examples of mobile workflows that field operators can be armed with.

Improving employee satisfaction and retention

Half of our customers have deployed HR-related micro apps as a way to support employee self service initiatives to make for enhanced employee satisfaction and retention.  Attracting and retaining Millennials, and the sheer cost of employee turnover makes employee engagement a top priority. Benefits enrollment, PTO, job application submissions, pay rate submissions and approvals, and employee appraisals are a few of the HR use cases  that are enhancing employees’ experiences with business applications.

Boosting customer loyalty and repeat business

We’re seeing many companies mobile-enable workflows that aid with customer experience – be it easy account access and information look-up, to sending relevant timely promotions.  In addition, many of our customers in B2B companies are mobile-enabling their sales teams and other customer-touching employees with back office information and transactions such as purchase orders, proof of delivery, sales discounts, etc. to provide information to customers quickly.

At Capriza, we have we have helped 100+ enterprises mobile-enable their workforce, partners, and customers with these workflows and more. We expect that these five drivers will be moving further up the key driver list throughout 2017.

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Teamwire and the Connector: Easy Access and Sharing of Enterprise Data

Today we want to present how enterprise users can easily access business data from all kind of sources with the Connector and share this content via Teamwire:

The Connector is an enterprise productivity tool by EBF, which provides businesses with an instant and secure mobile access to corporate data via mobile platforms like iOS, Android and Windows Phone. The Connector aggregates different data sources and backend applications in order to simplify access to enterprise data, accelerate mobile workflows and increase business productivity.

Sales force, service staff, managers, logistic workers, project managers and other “mobile” employees can get an overview of the business data important to them with one click. Users can retrieve files at any time and easily edit office and PDF files right within the app. Cost-intensive and time-consuming coordination and communication processes among employees and teams are no longer necessary.

A standard feature of the Connector is a “Secure Enterprise Dropbox”: All files are made securely available on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets and stored in protected form only. Thanks to end-to-end encryption data is accessed direct from the enterprises’s backend systems and transferred to devices in encrypted form.

The Connector can access data and content from any source: IBM Notes/Domino, IBM DB2, Microsoft Exchange 2010/2013, Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Dynamics, MySQL, SharePoint, Office 365, Oracle, Siebel, SYBASE, Windows File Server, RSS Feeds and many others.

Teamwire fully supports the Connector as part of the file sharing extensions of the mobile operating systems. Teamwire users can directly access all data from the Connector, and share this content with colleagues and teams. This allows to simplify communication, reduce coordination, accelerate workflows, improve collaboration and increase productivity overall.

Like Teamwire the Connector fully supports the EMM solution of MobileIron. Thus, administrative policies ensure protection of enterprise data and company-wide compliance. In addition, the Connector is available as a private cloud and on-premise solution, and can support an enterprise’s preferred deployment strategy.

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