The Mobile Enterprise Compliance and Security Server, or MECS Server, from Mobile Active Defense (M.A.D.) offers a full suite of tools for mobile device security. This product can be deployed either as a hosted firewall or as an appliance onsite in a customer's environment. It allows administrators to create full, non-tamperable policies that can be deployed to users' Apple and Android devices. This tool is more than just a simple application that runs on the device. Rather, it is a full stateful inspection firewall that cannot be turned off by the user, which ensures full compliance to company policy.
The server itself can be deployed onsite or as a hosted cloud service. Administrators can log into the management console to create policy and mange devices. We found the administration to be easy to navigate and intuitive to use with an organization structure much like any other firewall. On the user side, there is little interaction needed to use the product. After a simple enrollment to the firewall, the user's device is secured and they can go about their daily business.
In terms of functionality this product has it. The policy and rule-based architecture lets administrators control many aspects of the mobile device quickly and easily. Administrators can set policy to be as granular or broad as necessary, and some of the controls include network traffic control and access, web browser-based content filtering, and native plug-in to the device's security controls. This product also allows administrators to manage devices and look for jailbroken or rooted devices, out-of-compliance applications, unknown applications, device or policy tampering, and operating system versions and build numbers. If a device is found to be non-compliant, the MECS Server provides the ability to alert an administrator or remotely lock, quarantine or wipe the device. All of this functionality is available without the need of a memory-hogging application that runs in the background slowing down the device.
Documentation included an administrator guide, as well as a server installation guide. We found both guides to be well organized and easy to follow.
Mobile Active Defense offers full, no-cost support to customers running trial-and-evaluation versions, but after the product is purchased customers must buy support separately. Support available includes full 24/7/365 phone-based technical assistance at a price of 22 percent of the total cost for the appliance-based option, or 35 percent for the hosted, cloud-based offering. Mobile Active Defense does not offer any web-based support options, such as a knowledge base or user forum. We would really like to see something provided in the future.
At a price starting at $120 per seat per year, this product can seem quite expensive on the surface, but we find it to be an excellent value for the money based on the product functions and features. This tool offers a lot of mobile device security and management controls that are easy to oversee from an administration standpoint and almost totally invisible to the end-user.