"Our agents have secure mobile access to the right information to make smarter, better informed recommendations about which insurance policies are right for our customers."Steven J Johnson, Head of Data Protection & Cybersecurity Services
For more than 170 years, New York Life Insurance Company has helped people achieve financial security and peace of mind through its insurance, annuity, and investment products and services. That means providing strength and security to people during trying times in their lives, and through larger crises that have affected the lives of all Americans, from the Civil War to the recent global recession and beyond. The company has over 10,000 employees, with an extended workforce of more than 12,000 licensed agents in the field.
New York Life is constantly evolving, including how its workforce serves customers. The insurer wanted to provide employees and agents with secure mobile access to corporate data and other resources so they can make smarter insurance policy recommendations in the field. Because the company deals with its customers’ most sensitive personal and financial information, it needed to meet strict privacy data protection guidelines laid out by HIPAA and SOX. Together, MobileIron and Skycure make up a layered security approach that gives New York Life the flexibility it needs to make its agents more agile with mobile, while protecting customer data on devices and in the corporate network.
Mobility enables a smarter workforce
Steven Johnson is the head of Data Protection & Cybersecurity Services within the Enterprise Technology group at New York Life. Johnson and his team are committed to enabling mobility in the workforce in a way that supports their needs while meeting the company's strict security and compliance requirements. When New York Life was looking for an EMM platform several years ago, the company did a "bake-off" between MobileIron and Good Technology. Recognizing the additional need of a mobile threat defense (MTD) solution, it also evaluated Skycure, Check Point and Symantec.
"Our people need access to data and other corporate resources on mobile devices, but we are mindful of the need to protect our systems, especially regulated data," said Johnson. "We evaluated some of the leading EMM and MTD vendors and selected MobileIron for its native email support, ease of management and better user experience, and Skycure for its proactive detection and protection capabilities and the excellent threat visibility it provides."
Today, New York Life’s mobile workers have access to corporate email and a custom web-based portal where they can securely access customer information from a mobile device. The company also plans to deploy Microsoft Office 365, first for employees and then for agents.
"Our agents can securely access a client’s information before a meeting, which allows them to make smarter policy recommendations," Johnson explained. "Having mobile access to this portal gives agents a sense of preparedness and the understanding of their clients' needs. With MobileIron and Skycure in place, we can be confident in taking these steps to make our agents more agile and flexible while managing the risk."
MobileIron and Skycure offer layered protection
New York Life uses MobileIron and Skycure to support a mix of corporate-owned and employee-owned mobile devices. Employees tend to have devices that are issued by the company, while licensed agents use their own smartphones and tablets. This mix is slowly shifting towards a bring your own device (BYOD) model. For years, New York Life has relied on MobileIron to ensure that mobile devices meet certain compliance requirements before they are granted access to the corporate network.
New York Life implemented Skycure Enterprise Mobile Threat Defense solution to proactively stop threats before they make it to the mobile device. The integration of the two solutions allows New York Life to seamlessly enforce security and compliance policies. Skycure is currently used on employees' devices and will soon be rolled out to the licensed agents' mobile devices.
” We see the mobile device as just another computing platform and we needed a way to replicate our desktop controls in the mobile environment,” said Johnson. “Skycure integrated with MobileIron lets us be both proactive and reactive about security. Skycure detects and protects against malware, vulnerability and network-based attacks and MobileIron enforces compliance policies if a device doesn’t meet our security requirements.”
EMM/MTD integration is central to future mobility investments
As New York Life moves toward greater reliance on a mobile infrastructure, Johnson's team is considering how best to expand its BYOD program beyond licensed agents. Employees would prefer to use their own devices to access corporate systems, and Johnson’s team is driving toward stronger enforcement of policies to protect that use case.
"As more of our workers use their personally-owned devices to access our systems, applications and data, we are driving toward a stronger enforcement stance," says Johnson. "If the Skycure mobile app detects an incident, it will take immediate action to protect the device, and also notify MobileIron to enforce corporate policy, as necessary. We are educating employees so they have a better understanding of the potential for exposing private data, and this helps our them make better decisions about their mobile behavior."
Over the better part of two centuries, the lives of New York Life customers have grown more complex. They have more choices for insurance and where to buy it. By giving agents in the field mobile access to information as well as the means to protect that information, the company is helping the agents provide the right products and services to customers at the right time.
"It is a great feeling to know that we are helping our workforce become more agile and productive," says Johnson. "We are empowering them to provide great customer service while MobileIron and Skycure keep the mobile infrastructure secure.”