(Post Updated 4/9/2015) Marrying iOS mobile devices and enterprise applications comes with security risks, but that doesn’t mean you have to forego the advantages.

Data and privacy security in this age of mobile devices has been called impossible by some, and extremely challenging by others. For enterprises, the heart of the matter comes down to securing things that need to be secure, while at the same time realizing the unprecedented advances in speed, flexibility and transparency offered by mobile devices. Since many of the new mobile devices run on Apple’s iOS, accommodating these non-Microsoft upstarts in enterprises running on Microsoft-reliant products, adds a level of complexity.

There are however, a number of vendors who are offering solutions for iOS digital security and identity management to allow users to use internal applications. The following solutions will link iOS mobile devices and enterprise applications.

MobiLINK without VPN

Now available is MobiLINK from Route1 Inc. The company says it solves the challenge of securely delivering internal applications to mobile users. Available for download from the Apple App Store, MobiLINK is an authentication and secure connection technology that enables remote users to securely access internal applications using a device running iOS, including iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone, and iPod touch devices.

“MobiLINK is in direct response to feedback we have received from current and prospective clients when discussing their mobility and security requirements,” said Tony Busseri, CEO of Route1. “MobiLINK is Route1’s first technology offering that decouples our authentication capability from our remote access protocol.”

The product uses the MobiNET, Route1’s universal identity management and service delivery platform to reliably connect remote users to their workspace from any location in the world. This is NOT a VPN-based technology and does not create additional nodes on the enterprise network or open the application to the outside world. To use MobiLINK 1.0, the enterprise needs to host their own browser-based accessible application(s), and permit incoming HTTPS (mutually authenticated TLS 1.1) connections into the demilitarized zone (DMZ).

Connecting iOS with Dell

Dell’s SonicWall™ Mobile Connect provides “network-level access to corporate, academic and government resources over encrypted SSL VPN.” Dell says it’s the only vendor providing solutions delivering full malware scanning of the SSL-encrypted traffic, application control and jailbreak detection for iOS devices.

Administrators can pre-configure user-downloaded web, remote desktop and virtual network computing bookmarks and web links upon authentication. Mobile Connect includes URL control, so customized applications requiring VPN tunnels can automatically launch the app. Once deployed, Mobile Connect sets up what Dell calls a Clean VPN™ that detects and eliminates threats before they reach the network.

Connecting iOS with F5

F5’s Big-IP Edge apps come as a pair — a portal app and a client app. Using these requires the company to have its applications behind F5’s Access Policy Manager, Gateway and SSL VPN. The portal app lets administrators control mobile access to web resources without the risk of having unmanaged and unknown devices hooking up to the network. Users can still sync up. Administrators can also create and manage access control lists, channel groups of users to particular paths and push policies to the clients.

Trusted device clients can create encrypted and optimized VPN tunnels to the company’s network so they can run enterprise apps. Users can initiate their own VPN or it can be automatically triggered based on domain and pattern matching. F5’s gateway controller optimizes the traffic and applies acceleration to manage high latency problems wherever the client might be. The company says this provides “LAN-like performance even when users are mobile.”

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