AT&T Readies Dual-Billing Toggle Update in Q1
NEW YORK — Mobile Network Security Strategies -- AT&T's dual-persona smartphone software -- will soon get a lot more useful to enterprises: The carrier plans to introduce dual-phone number and dual-billing capabilities to its Toggle app during the first quarter of next year.
Michael Singer, associate vice president of mobile, cloud, and access management for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s business solutions group, announced the planned update here at Light Reading's security conference Thursday.
Toggle, built by OpenPeak, is an AT&T-offered mobile app that builds a password-protected container for a user's corporate data and one for their personal data into the phone's operating system. It was first launched in 2011, but the addition of two phone numbers -- one personal and one for work -- as well as the ability to bill separately for both will be its most significant update yet. (See: AT&T App Enables Work/Play Divide and Photos: AT&T's 4G Gadget Bonanza.)
"That team is very excited about the ability to do dual-phone numbers and dual-billing on the same device," said Singer, who heads up AT&T's security operations center in New Jersey.
A lot of the work Singer is doing, as well as the intention of Toggle, is to respond to the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, which has introduced new security vulnerabilities in the enterprise. If users bring their own devices, they go around all the security provisions put in place by their company, he said.
That opens handsets up to a number of threats. For example, botnets, once thought to be a problem of the future, are already happening today, and there's been 10 times growth in mobile malware, primarily on Android devices. Singer said denial of service (DOS) attacks also reached another level last summer when the size and frequency of attacks went up. (See: DNS Attacks on the Rise.)
All of this is compounded by the fact that 41% of business users use a personal device without the company's permission or knowledge.
Singer said the idea of having personal and business information on the same device is still not completely resolved, but having a container that is secure and remotely wipeable is something enterprises were very concerned about. Toggle is AT&T's answer, but most of the work happens in the network.
"We can't tax the device too much, so we lean heavily on the network side," he said, though he urged attendees to work on device security in addition to what's done on the network. He was quick to stress that the security baked into mobile device management (MDM) platforms, while improved, isn't sufficient.
"You don’t want to load six or seven security apps, so try to do one," he added. "I'm not sure we're all the way to one yet."
Singer said that as of now, you can build a container on most devices that have been made during the past year or two, but enterprises can dictate which handsets can be used. Toggle currently works on Android and iOS devices. The process is transparent to the end user, and if they leave the company, the enterprise container gets wiped, the app is deleted, and they're able to keep their device.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading