Centrify Debuts Active Directory-based MDM

By Jessica Binns, Contributing Editor — May 29, 2012

Centrify Corporation announced the general availability of Centrify DirectControl for Mobile. Leveraging the new Centrify Cloud Service, the offering addresses BYOD concerns by enabling enterprises to centrally secure and manage smartphones and tablets, including iPads and Android devices, using existing Active Directory infrastructure, skill sets and processes. Centrify is a provider of security and compliance solutions that centrally control, secure and audit access to cross-platform systems, mobile devices and applications using Active Directory.

Following a successful Early Access release earlier this year involving hundreds of customers, DirectControl for Mobile provides proven, rapid deployment of mobile device management (MDM) to secure company-owned or employee-owned devices. Centrify also announced general availability of Centrify Express for Mobile, the industry's first free mobile security offering for Android and Apple devices with no limit on the number of devices supported.

"The number one reason we're using Centrify's mobile security solution is its integration with Active Directory," said Eric Bowers, IT manager for Butterball Farms. "It's incredibly easy to manage: I can secure all of my mobile devices using Group Policy. Our priorities are establishing secure email access and enforcing the corporate security policy on mobile devices, mostly iPhones. Centrify has made everything very convenient and easy to use to enable effective mobile device management."

As integrated components of Centrify Suite 2012, both DirectControl for Mobile and Centrify Express for Mobile provide unparalleled integration with an organization's on-premise Active Directory (AD) infrastructure and Group Policy-based management tools to easily enforce and update mobile security settings. From locking or remotely wiping devices to securing access to email networks and enforcing use of passcodes, the solution enables administrators to easily assign devices to users and manage the associated properties and settings for each device. Only Centrify's deep AD integration enables the mobile device to be managed as an object in AD, automates PKI certificate enrollment, and allows administration and policy enforcement using AD-based tools. When combined with Centrify's leading DirectControl for Mac OS X offering, organizations for the first time can obtain total control over authentication and security policy enforcement for Apple products in their environment without the hassle of deploying a complex new infrastructure and dealing with yet another "pane of glass" via a separate standalone management console.

"The proliferation of users, systems, and applications in the cloud will create new challenges for organizations in achieving consistent access policies and driving additional requirements for visibility and control," said Sally Hudson, IDC research analyst. "With the increase in Linux-based servers and appliances, and the increase of bring your own device (BYOD) such as Macs, iPhones/iPads, and Android devices, there is a growing opportunity for ISVs such as Centrify to deliver cross-platform management platforms that deliver interoperability across Windows, Linux, Mac and mobile devices, operating both on-premise and in the cloud, in a secure and centrally managed fashion."

"Being the number one music source in the state, we have a mobile workforce with numerous devices connected to our Exchange server, and we have always been concerned about email security and keeping sensitive corporate information safe," said Kevin Martin, CTO for Universal Melody Services in Dallas. "We beta tested the Centrify mobile security solution after deep research into what was available on the market. The performance has been flawless, and its easy integration into our Active Directory environment simplifies securing and managing mobile devices using our existing people and processes. Centrify has helped me sleep at night, knowing sensitive information on our mobile devices is secure."

DirectControl for Mobile allows organizations to quickly and securely bring large populations of mobile devices under management without requiring IT staff to deploy additional infrastructure, learn new skill sets, or operate yet another management console. The solution maximizes security and visibility through centralized management and reporting of enrolled devices and installed applications, and also through security policy enforcement of devices across the entire organization. The components of both the licensed and free offering include:

  • Centrify Cloud Service -- a multi-tenanted cloud service that seamlessly allows the on-premise Active Directory environment to easily manage mobile devices over a trusted, over-the-air connection, whether or not a device is connected to the corporate network, thereby making deployment simple and further eliminating the need for costly new infrastructure.
  • Centrify Cloud Proxy Server -- an on-premise software package that runs as a Windows service and facilitates secure communication via https from an organization's Active Directory to the Centrify Cloud Service.
  • Centrify Cloud Management Suite -- a collection of Windows management tools that are downloaded and installed and include the Centrify Cloud Proxy Server, as well as Active Directory Users & Computers (ADUC) and Group Policy Object Editor (GPOE) extensions to support mobile devices.
  • Centrify Mobile Manager -- an optional mobile application that runs on Apple and Android mobile devices that can detect rooted/jail-broken devices and facilitates an automated, enrollment process of a mobile device joining a customer's Active Directory domain. Customers can also opt to join their devices to their Active Directory domain via a web enrollment page.

Pricing and Availability

Centrify's DirectControl for Mobile and Centrify Express for Mobile are generally available immediately. Visit www.centrify.com/mobile to download the free Centrify Express for Mobile or to obtain more information. Pricing for DirectControl for Mobile, which includes technical support and access to feature updates, starts at $36 per device per year.


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