Value Stream Management Platforms Ease Compliance & Security Burdens
Seamus Cheung | Aug 11, 2021
You’re in the process of deploying your mobile app, which is already a complicated process. That’s because there are numerous activities that must be performed as part of the app deployment process before an app can be made available to end users. You then remember that security and compliance needs should also be addressed in the deployment. Suddenly your mobile app deployment got a bit more complicated.
The security and compliance activities that need to be addressed in the app deployment process fall into the following categories:
Enabling App-Level Security Controls: App level security controls ensure that data in a mobile app is protected even when the app is used on unmanaged mobile devices. Many of the apps that IT Operations must deploy to end users originate from third parties and there is no guarantee that the required security controls have been built in. The reason for this is because app vendors don’t want to create one-off versions of their apps to meet the app-level security needs of their customers. Doing so would create a support nightmare. As IT Operations is responsible for deploying mobile apps, the onus for ensuring that the apps have the security controls required by the company also falls to these teams.
Demonstrating Compliance: Compliance reporting is important, especially for companies in regulated industries. That remains relevant for mobile app deployments. Companies want the ability to see the sequence of events in deployments. Companies would also like to verify that the correct sequence of deployment activities were performed. Or the reporting can help IT Operations teams understand why a deployment failed or was delayed. Being able to easily answer a variety of questions, such as the following, would help: What activities were performed on an app? How many versions of the app have been deployed? Who signed the app and when? What was user feedback during the pilot or proof of concept (POC)? Who published the app? Is it possible to revert to a previous version of an app? IT Operations teams need an easy way to address requests pertaining to compliance reporting.
Reporting on compliance needs along with enabling app-level security controls are some of the challenges to mobile app deployment.
Value Stream Management To The Rescue
A Value Stream Management Platform for Mobile should provide companies with the ability to easily address security and compliance needs associated with mobile app deployments.
Value Stream Management Platforms for Mobile offer a variety of deployment services. One of those services should be a no-code integration service that provides the ability to add new functionality to mobile apps without having to write code. This will address the security needs that arise during deployments.
A Value Stream Management Platform for Mobile also assists with the compliance reporting needed for mobile app deployments. The deployment services enable the platform to participate in all aspects of mobile app deployments, which brings with it the ability to capture all deployment data into a digital audit trail. This audit trail serves as the foundation for compliance reporting or providing evidence of compliance.
Addressing Security Needs
A Value Stream Management Platform helps companies enable app-level security controls in the app deployment process with the use of a no-code integration service. A no-code integration service provides the capability to add new functionality such as the app-level security controls provided by Microsoft Intune or BlackBerry Dynamics without having to write code. This is a valuable deployment service for IT Operations teams because many of the apps that are being deployed originate from third parties. Expecting a third party to build in the security controls specific to the company is not a feasible business model. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the company’s need for app-level security controls must be addressed before the app can be made available to end users.
One of the greatest benefits of implementing a Value Stream Management Platform is to have full visibility into the audit trail throughout the app deployment process. Having a detailed audit trail allows companies to utilize it as evidence of compliance both for internal corporate regulations and for meeting security needs. Audit trails provide accountability by having information like historical logs of any app modification or app signing and the person involved in those actions, logs of all the activities done on the app, different historical versions of the app, and the history of all user feedback. Other record keeping information includes enhancements performed to the app or tracking the app distribution channels for any given app. An added benefit to using Value Stream Management Platforms is data centralization, assuming that it is a cloud solution, which any serious Value Stream Management Platform should be.
Automatic capture of deployment data into a digital audit trail facilitates visualizations such as the image above. This image shows a reverse chronological history of activities performed in a deployment along with access to relevant deployment artifacts. You can see, at the bottom of the image, that a notification was sent, informing that the workflow failed, with a pointer to the report generated from scanning of the app. The next row up shows that the deployment workflow automatically imported a new app version from the code repository, which is GitHub in this case. Three rows above that, you can see that BlackBerry app-level security controls were integrated into the app. Right now, according to the top row, the app is waiting to be signed. All activities have a date and timestamp. Easy access to such visualizations of the deployment eases the burden of generating reports for compliance requests.
In general, addressing security and compliance needs is never straightforward. The same holds true for mobile app deployments because of the breadth of deployment activities, technologies, and teams that participate in a typical deployment. Companies will invest in more mobile apps in order to meet end users where they want and more companies will start digital transformation journeys. Value Stream Management Platforms for Mobile provide a simpler way for IT Operations teams to address the security and compliance needs that arise due to mobile app deployment.