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This post is from the Apperian blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.

Last Updated Aug 14, 2013 — App Management expert

Don’t Confuse Container with App Wrapping

App Management

As more and more enterprises embrace the bring your own device (BYOD) movement, they’re finding themselves between the proverbial rock and a hard place -- ensuring that they have control over sensitive corporate data and giving employees the freedom to do their jobs in the best way possible. There are a couple ways to secure your enterprise mobile apps – via a container or via app wrapping. The two approaches are very different, and you shouldn't confuse them. Containerizing enterprise apps and data at the device level means that corporate apps and data live in a separate, encrypted zone on a user’s mobile device. And the policy controls apply only to data and apps in the container, rather than to the entire device. If you opt for containerization, you have to use the vendor’s SDK (software development kit) and the vendor also has to maintain a number of versions of code and modify the original code to handle the security SDK. And proprietary container solutions manage enterprise apps that are provided by the container vendor -- usually email, contacts, calendar and browser. Sure, they isolate enterprise data, but it’s difficult to extend containers to third party apps. So traveling the container route, you limit the number of apps that are available to you and your employees. It also means you can’t use the latest and best software from the app vendor because the SDK has to be included while the app is being developed. Not only that, but containerizing enterprise apps and data at the device level often diminishes the user experience because they have to use the container vendor’s user interface, instead of the native user experience. And since there’s just one set of policies for the container, if the container is breached, all your apps are at risk.

The best approach to protecting sensitive company data is via mobile application management (MAM), with an enterprise app store. With MAM you can use app wrapping to secure custom, commercial or HTML5 apps and data on personal or corporate mobile devices at the application level, rather than at the device level. So no matter how you manage the device, your data will always be secured. App wrapping, also known as sandboxing, is a security solution that automatically wraps fine-grained security policies around individual mobile apps so you can add multiple layers of protection to any app – particularly third-party apps – that needs more security without changing the actual app. An app wrapper protects sensitive corporate data in case of an intrusion into the corporate network and it enables you to better control your enterprise apps. It lets you wrap any of the third-party apps you want to access your corporate resources. And app wrapping, which doesn't require the use of an SDK, doesn't interfere with an employee’s personal apps. Once you wrap these apps, you can deploy them to your enterprise app stores where employees can download them – and you and your users will know that they’re as secure as possible. Remember, don’t confuse containerization with app wrapping. If you really want to ensure the security of your corporate data and ensure the best user experience for your employees – app wrapping is the way to go.  

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