ForeScout Adds Mobile Device Management To Cloud-based NAC

As the BYOD trend marches on, so too do the risks to corporate data and network security. Helping to counteract those risks is Cupertino-based ForeScout Technologies and its CounterACT, a network access control system that identifies devices attempting to connect to a network and issues policies accordingly. Today the company announced ForeScout MDM, a cloud-based mobile device management platform that integrates with and extends CounterACT to bring network security and management to all manner of mobile devices.

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Set to begin shipping in early June, ForeScout MDM results from a partnership with security SaaS developer Fiberlink, and it creates what ForeScout claims is the industry's first fully integrated MDM and network access control (NAC) solution. ForeScout MDM incorporates a customized version of Fiberlink's MaaS360, a cloud-based management system for smartphones and tablets.

MaaS360 works with client-side software that installs as a profile on iOS devices and as a mobile agent on Android through a self-guided process. It also works with Blackberry and other device platforms. The software provides a secure connector to CounterACT and "containerizes" device data and apps, keeping it secure and providing the ability to remotely locate, lock and selectively wipe it.

MaaS360 also simplifies provisioning; devices can be enrolled using Active Directory, two-step authentication or using a passphrase, the default. ForeScout last June released an appliance version of its CounterACT, which is functionally equivalent to its hardware appliance but runs within a company's Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware ESX server.

NEXT: How ForeScout MDM Works

ForeScout MDM detects in real-time unidentified devices such as Android devices, iPads and iPhones attempting to enter the network, and it can automatically implement controls to block, register as guest, push into a virtual desktop or enroll on-demand with full device inspection and agent deployment. Provisioning also extends to apps, corporate e-mail, VPN and Wi-Fi services.

"We're the first to market with this sort of approach," said Scott Gordon, ForeScout's vice president of worldwide marketing. "This includes a native mobile security solution for Android and iOS that [optionally] doesn't do full MDM, and therefore is lightweight." In other words, for companies already implementing mobile device management, some of the heavyweight components can be omitted. "If MaaS is in place already, our mobile module integrates with that and brings devices into CounterACT so admins are seeing everything in one console."

Gordon said that CounterACT in the future will work out of the box with other MDM systems. MaaS360 competes with products from AirWatch, Good Technology, and MobileIron. The solution also integrates with Remedy help desk management and can easily work with others.

"We can send e-mail and syslogs to other systems, and connectors can be built to parse the data and put it into whatever help desk is in place," Gordon said.

ForeScout MDM is set to begin shipping in the first week of June; pricing starts at $6 per mobile device per month.