Symantec to Acquire Nukona to Help Businesses Embrace BYOD Movement

By Tony Rizzo, Editor in Chief — March 23, 2012

Symantec recently announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Nukona, a privately-held provider of mobile application management (MAM) services. The acquisition extends Symantec’s enterprise mobility portfolio to include a cross-platform mobile application protection solution to help IT organizations protect and isolate corporate data and applications across both corporate owned and personally owned devices.
 
The acquisition of Nukona follow's Symantec’s recent acquisition of Odyssey Software. Odyssey provides the MDM foundation to enroll and manage all necessary device settings across a broad range of platforms, while Nukona provides an innovative approach to help enterprises seamlessly distribute, secure and control applications and data without requiring them to manage the devices. Symantec was an OEM user of Odyssey's MDM services prior to its acquisition of the small company.
 
With Nukona’s ability to natively protect and control iOS, Android and HTML5 apps, Symantec will address the core problem of corporate and personal data separation without limiting the end-user experience or application adoption. By securely distributing and managing mobile applications and content, our customers will be able to address corporate data security concerns around data leakage, encryption and authentication on a per-application basis, for both BYOD and corporate-owned devices.
 
Acquisition Integrations
 
Rob Greer, vice president of product management, Endpoint and Mobility Group for Symantec notes that "Nukona extends Symantec's enterprise mobility portfolio to include a cross-platform mobile application management and protection solution to help IT organizations protect and isolate corporate data and applications across both corporate owned and personally owned devices. The acquisition nicely complements our acquisition earlier this month of Odyssey Software."
 
Greer adds, "Odyssey provides the MDM foundation to enroll and manage all necessary device settings across a broad range of platforms, while Nukona provides an innovative approach to help enterprises seamlessly distribute, secure and control applications and data without requiring them to manage the devices. By offering both MDM and MAM across multiple platforms, we give CIOs - especially those in large organizations – the ability to securely move forward with a BYOD strategy."
 
According to Symantec’s recent State of Mobility Survey, the average annual cost of mobile incidents for enterprises, including data loss, damage to the brand, productivity loss and loss of customer trust, was $429,000. However, despite the risks, an uptick in mobile applications across organizations is taking place with 71 percent of enterprises at least discussing deploying custom mobile applications and one-third currently implementing or having already implemented custom mobile applications. In addition, 59 percent of enterprises are making line-of-business applications accessible from mobile devices, representing a dramatic shift in the nature of mobility from an email extension to a core business enabler.
 
Both the Odyssey and Nukona acquisitions bolster and support a larger overall Symantec game plan for large scale enterprises, as detailed in an earlier article, "Symantec Delivers New Technology to Drive Data Security and Broad Mobile App Adoption." Symantec has further elaborated on a means for enterprises to deeply evaluate their mobile security and device risks through a detailed mobile security analysis model, as detailed in the article, "Find Your Security Holes."
 
With Nukona’s ability to natively protect and control iOS, Android and HTML5 apps, Symantec will address the core problem of corporate and personal data separation without limiting the end-user experience or application adoption. By securely distributing and managing mobile applications and content, Symantec customers will be able to address corporate data security concerns around data leakage, encryption and authentication on a per-application basis, for both BYOD and corporate owned devices.
 
Unlike traditional proprietary sandbox solutions, Symantec’s approach will extend application protection that "wraps" both native and web-based apps with a management layer that allows IT to apply security policies without requiring any changes to the applications, leaving personal apps and activities untouched. In addition, the flexibility of cloud-based and on-premise enterprise app stores helps provide a seamless and scalable way to enable mobile application deployments. Nukona’s secure content library also allows for the protection and synchronization of documents without risk of data loss.
 
It is worth noting that the collection of security services that Symantec has assembled since the beginning of 2012 are of a level and depth only suitable to Fortune 1,000 companies - at least at this point in time. Whether Symantec is able to scale these services to the SMB space remains to be seen.

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