June 14th, 2012

Geofencing & Mobile Access Gateways

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Category API, BYOD, Mobile Access
 

GeofencingOne of the cooler features offered by Siri on the iPhone is its integration with the internal GPS for geofencing. For instance, you can tell her (yes, I just anthropomorphized a disembodied mobile phone app) to “remind me to pick up some milk when I leave the house”. While this geofencing application is very consumer-centric and a nice-to-have, geolocation (and geofencing) is often a must-have for enterprise mobile apps.

At Layer 7, our enterprise customers are sometimes constrained by industry regulations regarding data privacy. These restrictions, especially in the healthcare and financial services industries, often prohibit medical or financial data from traveling across international (or even state) borders, to ensure compliance with local regulations. Some may require additional forms of authentication when connecting from a new physical location.

Many enterprises are also rolling out BYOD initiatives based on the employee’s proximity to company offices – they can use their own phones to access company data while in the office but that access is restricted when they head for home. More complex GIS integration is sometimes necessary for mobile employees and field technicians.

Building strict geolocation rules into every mobile application is possible but time-consuming to develop and difficult to maintain. Managing these policies in a centralized Mobile Access Gateway allows flexibility of design and easy updates. Compliance auditing is simplified and policies are reusable and configuration-driven. If you want to tighten distance restrictions or change GIS providers, you only have to make the change once.

Layer 7′s SecureSpan Mobile Access Gateway is far more than just a simple API proxy. It provides mobile-specific features around identity, security, adaptation, optimization and integration. It is these integration features that allow powerful orchestration of third-party APIs (including geolocation), legacy applications and mobile notification services for a truly comprehensive Mobile Access solution.

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