We’ve come a long way since Apple coined, and relentlessly promoted, its famous ‘there’s an app for that’ tagline. In fact, what started as a marketing slogan has morphed into a highly accurate prediction: there really is an app for everything.

This is true for the workplace too, with many organizations not only embracing dozens of work-related apps to boost productivity, but even developing their own custom-built applications that serve the unique needs of their business.

As the workplace app environment matures, so too must the solutions that help secure it. While EMM platforms help manage and control apps for the enterprise, there has traditionally been a gap in the approach taken by mobile security solutions and that taken by EMMs.

That’s why at Wandera we have made some significant improvements to the existing App Insights feature, bringing an incredibly useful new suite of tools to enrich the existing functionality, each designed to help you understand more about the apps installed in your fleet in ways not possible before.

Enhanced visibility

As most mobility admins will attest, getting a consolidated view into the app environment of your fleet is surprisingly difficult. While some information is available via an EMM, such as in the AirWatch console, this data is hard to view all at once and in one place, and can require fiddly exports to dig into.

The new update to App Insights in Wandera’s RADAR console grants a whole new level of visibility into the apps present in your mobile estate. This improved feature makes use of a UI that makes consuming app information far simpler and more digestible than any other product on the market.

The report now includes a wealth of insights on your applications. That means important version information is surfaced about each app, highlighting not only which versions of an app are installed, but also on which exact devices they are present.

This can be critical when a new vulnerability is discovered and the developers release a patch in the next update – knowing which devices remain vulnerable can become an important security factor. Even without dramatic security implication, sometimes the terms and conditions or permissions levels change, meaning knowledge about app versions can be vital from a compliance perspective too.

Other information includes the specific URLs that each app communicates with, as well as the third party libraries they make use of. This can also be a useful tool in complying with legislation such as GDPR, forming an essential component in mobile data audits – businesses need to know where data is being transmitted to and from mobile devices.

In a similar vein, you can now get access to the various permissions levels that your apps have access to. Powerful filters allow you to easily bring up a list of the apps requesting a specific privilege, such as access to the device’s SD card storage or microphone (read this for a detailed explanation of everything you need to know about app permissions). Again, this is a helpful tool in complying with GDPR and generally highlighting unwanted risks.

These enhancements to App Insights distill all kinds of data into a single view. The complete information presented in this enhanced version of App Insights can be found in the Wandera Knowledge Base entry.

 

Enhanced action

While visibility is central to the benefit of App Insights, these enhancements also come with key improvements to take action on these insights.

Firstly, apps are now intelligently classified into categories according to their function, such as video or travel. Isolating the cloud storage apps being used in your fleet might help highlight instances of shadow IT and unsanctioned file-sharing, for example. A new chart has been added to the report to improve the summary and navigation of this feature, and these categories have been unified with those available in Wandera’s policy functionality – making it even easier to take action upon insights.

This philosophy of not just providing information but enabling swift, responsive action is present across all areas of App Insights. Workflows have now been integrated, providing seamless interoperability between reports such as Threat View and App Insights, making app-related investigations more intuitive and easier to conduct.

Many of the security aspects have also been enhanced, harnessing the power of MI:RIAM, Wandera’s security engine, powered by machine learning technologies. One example of this is the automatic flagging of suspicious apps, side-loaded apps or those with risky permissions levels, cleverly surfacing problem areas to admins and guiding them to potentially unwanted apps.

One of the most powerful components of this update to App Insights is the new search and filter controls. These include the ability to search for specific apps, isolate particular permissions levels, filter by OS, find apps within a particular category or even just show types of threats – like data leaks or malware.

Combining these filters can result in highly granular reports, helping to identify the right kinds of of insights relevant to your organization. These reports can also be saved for future use too.

Ultimately, how you take advantage of this enriched form of App Insights is up to you. The list of use-cases is practically endless, but as new legislation lurks around the corner and the landscape of mobile threats continues to expand, there has never been a better time to start taking app security more seriously.