app47-helps-ventura-county-with-app-security-flawsVentura County is in California with the city of Ventura serving as the county seat. Washington Post called it the country’s most desirable place for living. The wave of digitizing the various processes for the benefit of the public has been strong in the region. The region is home to more than 820,000 people. The growing trend of using mobile applications for public record access by both the public-facing organizations and the citizens came with its innate challenges.

The Problem

The servants of the public facing organizations, such as the Sheriff’s department, have been using mobile applications more frequently in the recent years. Whether for checking the ticket status of a citizen or performing a background check on a driver, officers now access dozens of different mobile applications every day. More than 10,000 county personnel access a variety of applications for various purposes using their mobile devices. The use of mobile devices in these organizations poses security challenges for the county. After all, the county is responsible for protecting the integrity of the digital infrastructure.

Using old methods to secure the mobile apps would have resulted in controlling the devices of the users. That’s an impractical step in a system where many different people and departments access the centralized repository of applications several times in a day, mostly using their personal mobile devices. However, not controlling the access could result in a disastrous attack and disclosure of sensitive public data.

The Solution

The county came up with an enterprise mobile app store solution from App47 to help the county manage access to dozens of applications from various different public facing organizations.

In addition, the county needed to create a secure app store that was dedicated to the public-serving departments under the county. This app store had to provide ample control to each department that needed access to these critical mobile applications. The department can decide to authorize or not authorize user access and permission to perform certain actions.

App47 worked with the county to understand the complexity of their security concerns. Some apps needed to be open and easily accessible and others needed strict policy enforcement. By integrating the county’s groups from Active Directory, we were able instantly create secure groups of users and provision access only to the mobile apps that they had permission to access. Also, by enabling remote app data wipe, the county could disable apps on devices no longer authorized to have access. In the end, we enabled a solution that was more secure for the county, more user-friendly and directed towards the public facing offices. Moreover, the system is efficient enough to reduce delays in service to the end consumers.

The Result

The county now has its own app store and a secure app management solution. This solution is geared specifically towards the use of mobile applications by over 10,000 users on a recurring basis. These county officials can now access public records and update them in a much safer environment.

Now that users no longer need to surf public app stores, the experience of finding applications on the new app store is less confusing. The county remains an active platform provider for its public facing organizations through the branding of its app store. The prevalence and feasibility of a secure sustainable Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach ensures Ventura County will continue to bear the flag of being the most desirable place for livingin the US.

One Last Note

As we mentioned last week, we’re in San Diego this week for the CCISDA fall conference. Tomorrow–September 18–we’re hosting a happy hour from 5-6pm at Charlie’s Restaurant Town & Country Hotel. The folks from Ventura County will be there to talk about their implementation of App47 and speak first-hand about what it’s like to work with us. Planning to be there? Email or call Rob Manfredi at 571.426.0354 to learn more. We hope to see you there!