By Erin Harrison
, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing
Following the release of its Active Directory Group Policy-based management of mobile devices to enable Mobile Device Management (MDM), cloud security and compliance solutions provider, Centrify Corporation has expanded its cloud-based mobile security platform to include Mobile Authentication Services (MAS).
The authentications services provide “Zero Sign-On” Active Directory-based authentication for mobile applications to cloud services, giving businesses added security, according to Spencer Chen, senior director of business development at Appcelerator.
“Allowing developers of mobile applications to easily embed Active Directory authentication is an important capability for both enterprise users and IT,” Chen said in a statement. “With Centrify’s new Mobile Authentication Services, organizations can provide the additional security they need while end users get the ‘Zero Sign-On’ experience they desire.”
In addition, Centrify is offering developers of cloud, mobile and SaaS (News - Alert)-based services new Mobile Authentication Services that utilize Centrify’s MAS Software Development Kit (MAS SDK), and is rolling out its Centrify Mobile Technology Partner Program.
Company officials said Centrify’s MAS SDK will be available as an integration into Appcelerator’s Titanium mobile application development platform.
The rise in mobile device adoption has created challenges that go beyond setting security policies via mobile device management, especially when it comes to security and authentication for users accessing applications, Centrify officials said.
IT organizations have moved toward Single Sign-On (SSO) for traditional desktop systems and applications, but until now there has been no way to fully leverage a ubiquitous infrastructure, such as Active Directory, for mobile devices and native mobile applications in particular, according to Gregg Kreizman, vice president of research at Gartner (News - Alert).
“Mobile devices need a consistent, standardized software abstraction layer to support different authentication methods across different mobile OSs, and to communicate using open standards specifications to SaaS and enterprise access systems,” Kreizman said. “SaaS vendors must build a complementary capability into resident mobile applications (RMAs) to support the application redirection to the enterprise authentication service.”
The Centrify Mobile Authentication Services and the MAS SDK allow mobile application developers to provide corporate users with a “Zero Sign-On” experience and stronger authentication when accessing applications from their mobile devices, which eliminates the need to remember and re-enter credentials for each mobile app.
Centrify touted several benefits of the new service including:
- Developers of multi-tier applications have one simple, high-level API for user authentication, from the mobile device seamlessly through to their existing backend infrastructure;
- Users enjoy a simplified Zero Sign-On experience across all their mobile apps;
- IT Security gets stronger authentication tied to the users’ unique Active Directory credentials;
- Organizations gain centralized control of mobile app authentication and authorizations without adding costly new infrastructure.
End user organizations deploying MAS-enabled mobile apps can utilize the Centrify Cloud Service for free for up to three mobile applications, and then a monthly per-user charge can apply. Centrify’s MAS is currently in beta with availability to qualified partners.
Earlier this year, Centrify launched DirectControl for Mobile, an active directory-based solution for mobile device security that can be accessed through the cloud, TMCnet reported. By utilizing the features of Centrify Cloud Service, the solution is designed to help users centrally secure and manage smartphones and tablets, including iPads and Android (News - Alert) devices via Active Directory infrastructure, skill sets and processes.
Edited by Brooke Neuman