In the past few weeks, Google Inc. has had to remove dozens of apps from Google Play after they were found to contain malware. The search giant’s latest partnership aims to address security concerns of this nature for companies whose employees use Android.
Appthority Inc., a San Francisco-based mobile security startup, today announced a collaboration with the Alphabet Inc. subsidiary to bring its threat detection technology to Managed Google Play. The latter platform is an enterprise version of the store that lets companies create an internal catalog of pre-approved apps for workers. Built-in administrative features provide the ability to control how an app is configured, as well as check updates for security issues.
But these tools only provide partial protection against threats. As part of the new partnership, Appthority and Google have created an integration that will enable companies to harness the capabilities of the startup’s Mobile Threat Protection Platform to look for unsafe apps.
At the heart of the offering is security rules engine. A company can configure Appthority’s detection algorithms to look for various specific threats, including application flaws that might indirectly expose workers to would-be attackers.
An organization might, for example, want to block any app that sends data from an employee’s device to a backend business system over an unencrypted connection. Appthority claims that its software can similarly identify cases when an application uses a vulnerable outside component. Lastly, it enables enterprises to verify that apps meet the privacy requirements necessary to comply with data regulations.
In cases when an app doesn’t fulfill a company’s security criteria, Appthority said, the software tries to find a secure alternative. The startup’s algorithms scan apps suggested by the Google Play recommendation engine until finding one that checks all the necessary boxes.
Appthority said its security features also lend themselves to vetting internally developed apps as well as outside offerings. The startup’s reasoning is that although a service created by a company’s in-house developers is unlikely to harbor malware, it might still have vulnerabilities.
The partnership with Google represents a valuable endorsement of Appthority’s technology. It’s particularly significant given the fierce competition in the mobile security market, which is contested by established players such as Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. and numerous emerging startups.
Read the original article on SiliconAngle here.