May 10, 2013
Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) and Webalo are partnering up on cloud computing. Here's the background: How do you convince users that your apps — especially those that put their data in the cloud — are secure? In the past, pinky-swearing that you've reviewed all the code and are pretty sure there are no vulnerabilities might have sufficed. But in the age of the cloud, channel partnerships are playing an increased role in promoting security assurance, as a deal announced this week between Symantec and Webalo makes clear.
Webalo, which is based in California and was founded in 2000, develops what it calls an "enterprise mobility" platform. Essentially, the platform streamlines connections to the cloud-based mobile apps on which an enterprise relies, allowing users to connect from a single client and simplifying networking complications. The solution is subscription-based and offered in three different tiers according to the number of mobile users.
Webalo isn't a storage service, but enterprises that use its platform must pipe potentially sensitive data through it as they connect to mobile apps running in the cloud. So security is a major consideration. And although Webalo promises that it "provides its own internal security," the partnership with Symantec adds a deeper, external level of assurance.
Through the deal, Webalo will join the Symantec Sealed Program, which certifies the enterprise-grade security of apps available through the Symantec App Center. According to a statement, the agreement means "Webalo will integrate Symantec’s security and management features, such as encryption, authentication, data loss prevention policies, app distribution and revocation, into its platform."
For Webalo, the partnership is a sweet one, especially since the company will be able to distribute the version of its platform that is certified as "Symantec Sealed" through third-party organizations like the Apple App Store and Google Play. That's in addition to the Symantec App Center, where Webalo will also be visibile to enterprise customers focused on security.
Agreements like this one underline the trend toward what could be called channel-based security. Instead of leaving it to individual vendors to assure the security of their products — and, more importantly, convince users of it — channel partnerships are playing a larger role in certifying software against security holes. As a sort of added bonus, they also provide opportunities for expanding app exposure and distribution. For users and developers, it's a win-win.
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