EdgeWave’s CEO Dave Maquera recently spoke with security writer Sramana Mitra for her Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social (TLMS) interview series – part 3 is below, click here to view part 1 and part 2.  The interview continues…

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Sramana Mitra: Let’s talk a bit about those vertical solutions. You brought up one to one iPad solutions for school districts. Double click down into that and talk a bit more on a technical level. What are the challenges, and what are you trying to do specifically?

Dave Maquera: There was a simple but monumental challenge that these schools had, and it had a very big impact on and was in a lot of ways a serious impediment to the effectiveness of the program. This problem was to have the students able to use a very-high performance technology device wherever and whenever they could – which included at home. The problem from a security standpoint is the second the student is at home and on Wi-Fi, through a home hub, that student is not secure anymore. How do you manage that?

One way is to manage it is through an old-style VPN, which is difficult to do from a compliance standpoint. Students could choose not to VPN in. The way we did it was to work with schools and technology providers – with Apple in this case – to design and acquire technologies that allow a secure browser to be administratively implemented into the one-to-one iPad programs, so that no matter where the student is, he or she is going to a proxy [and] back to the security system we have back in the cloud to provide full policy and security. That solved the issue.

SM: So, the secure browser is something you provide, and Apple allows you to build that into the one-to-one iPad program?

DM: It is actually offered on iTunes.

SM: It is offered on iTunes and offered by you?

DM: Yes.

SM: It is offered by you, and the school districts install it on all their iPads?

DM: Yes. They have the option to. For certain students, they would make it mandatory. For staff, they can make it elective.

SM: The assumption here is that the iPads are bought by the schools?

DM: That is correct.

SM: Because if that is not the case, you don’t have much control over the situation. If it is a “bring your own device” situation, you wouldn’t have as much control.

DM: You do if the person, the employee or the student elects to comply with the technology implementation. As an example – I know this from talking with people in the industry – there are some very large technology companies that have implemented very broad BYOD programs across tens of thousands of employees, whereby those employees have elected to adopt a technology solution. If it is not a company-issued or school-issued device, it becomes a question of employee opt-in or student opt-in.

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Look for part 4 of the interview series coming on Monday!