Study: Enterprises Blacklist Facebook, Angry Birds

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Facebook, Angry Birds and web browsers topped the list of applications blacklisted or monitored by companies looking to control mobile devices

Zenprise has found that Facebook, Angry Birds and web browsers were blocked or closely monitored for malicious activity on smartphones and tablets used by some of its corporate customers.

These apps were what Zenprise categorised as blacklisted apps. Meanwhile, traditional, enterprise-ready applications, such as Citrix and Adobe, were frequently given the green light because they were required, or whitelisted.

Productivity drain

The mobile device management (MDM) provider looked at applications that were the most commonly blacklisted and whitelisted among customers using the company’s Zencloud software, which lets IT managers provision business applications and data to their employees’ smartphones and tablets.

The report was culled data from corporate users of iOS, Android and Windows Mobile devices for the holiday quarter.

The companies are concerned Facebook, Angry Birds and web browsers impinge productivity. This is certainly possible, especially at a time when comScore said the average Facebook user spends nearly seven hours on the social network.

Meanwhile, survey respondents said they blacklist certain cloud applications, such as Evernote or Dropbox, due to concerns about security risks, according to Zenprise Chief Marketing Officer Ahmed Datoo. Indeed, Zenprise found that the number of blacklisted applications was nearly twice that of whitelisted apps.

However, Datoo took the progressive attitude. He noted that as consumers continued to bring their personal devices into the workplace, advances in mobile device management will offset these concerns. He declined to say what those advances might be.

Dual identity

Some companies are proving pretty progressive with regards to MDM. Enterproid and VMware, for example, each provide software that splits users’ work and personal identities on smartphones, creating a dual identity of sorts.

Some other things to note about the report: Most of Zenprise’s web-based Zencloud customers – two-thirds – are based in North America.

Moreover, and perhaps no shock to anyone, Apple’s iOS accounted for 57 percent of the devices surveyed on Zencloud. Android was No. 2 at 33 percent, with Microsoft’s Windows Mobile taking 10 percent share.

What’s interesting here is how far ahead Apple, a consumer-oriented company, appears to be in the enterprise, even though it is Android that has the 50 percent-plus worldwide smartphone share.

This shows that more businesses trust Apple’s proprietary, more locked-down approach to hardware and software than Google’s open-source approach with Android. Google hopes Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, will boost enterprise adoption of its platform.

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