Security

Cisco's iOS security app aims to help smartphone users combat malware and ransomware

A new iOS 11 app gives companies more visibility and control over network activity in order to reduce exposure to common cybersecurity threats.

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Image: LaymanZoom, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cisco's partnership with Apple has resulted in a new iOS security connector app that gives the enterprise more visibility and control over network activity.

The Cisco Security Connector app for iOS 11, which was released Thursday, has several key features according to companies that participated in early trials:

  • Visibility: Ensures compliance of mobile users and their enterprise-owned iOS devices during incident investigations by quickly identifying what happened, whom it affected, and the risk exposure.
  • Control: Protects iPhone and iPad users from connecting to malicious sites on the internet, whether on the corporate network, public Wi-Fi, or cellular networks.
  • Zero negative impact: No impact on employees' mobile experiences.

SEE: 17 tips for protecting Windows computers and Macs from ransomware (free TechRepublic PDF)

"Our Cisco team sat side-by-side with Apple to truly make sure we were building something that delivered strong visibility and security enforcement for our mutual customers," said David Ulevitch, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Security Business Unit.

The app was developed because more than 70% of organizations provide enterprise-issued tablets or smartphones to their employees, according to the Cisco 2014 Mobility Landscape Survey. Companies need to be able to monitor what is happening with corporate data on these devices in order to meet risk and compliance needs, and the app will help them achieve that goal, Ulevitch said.

"Ransomware and malware are spreading across the internet and increasingly targeting mobile devices," Ulevitch said.

The new app provides security functionality from from Cisco Umbrella and Cisco Clarity. It can be deployed on enterprise-managed iOS devices using a mobile device management (MDM) solution such as the Cisco Meraki Systems Manager.

Cisco beta customers for the app included Cancom GmbH and WWT.

Werner Schwarz, vice president of competence center security, network, communication and smart solutions for Cancom GmbH said in a press release: "As one of the first enterprises in Germany to implement the first wave of Apple and Cisco solutions, we are pleased to adopt within our company and offer to our customers the next wave of Cisco's innovation with Apple—the Cisco Security Connector app for iOS. The application was easy to implement and allowed us to add another layer of cloud security."

Mike McGlynn, vice president of security solutions for WWT, said in a press release: "Our employees rely on their mobile devices to stay productive and to connect with customers. Unfortunately, every day mobile internet threats are growing more complex, and so do the technologies to combat them. The new Cisco's Security Connector app effectively brought us the same visibility into iOS as a desktop. We were able to operationalize Cisco Umbrella data simply. This new mobile application offers us a way to stay head and address these challenges."

The app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store at no extra cost for existing Cisco security customers.

Three takeaways for TechRepublic readers:

  1. On Thursday, Cisco released a new iOS security connector app that gives the enterprise more visibility and control over network activity.
  2. The app was developed because more than 70% of organizations provide enterprise-issued tablets or smartphones to their employees, according to a Cisco study.
  3. The app ensures compliance of mobile users and their enterprise-owned iOS devices during incident investigations by quickly identifying what happened, whom it affected, and the risk exposure.

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About Teena Maddox

Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including Peo...

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