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Angry Birds tops companies' app blacklist

It seems that your boss doesn't want you to launch digital birds at evil green pigs during office hours.

Research released today by mobile device management firm Zenprise found that Angry Birds was the most-blacklisted application among users enrolled in its Zencloud MDM service. Other mobile apps that companies blocked their employees from using at work include Facebook, Google Play, Dropbox, YouTube and Skype, Zenprise found. Interestingly, Zenprise also found that Skype was the most whitelisted app among its customers, thus making it the top app to appear on companies' blacklists and whitelists.

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Zenprise also notes that companies have gotten a lot busier when it comes to blacklisting apps, as the firm reports "seeing more than three times as many blacklisted apps in Q1 than in our last report" released earlier this year. Zenprise says that companies have been a lot more proactive in blocking apps that pose potential security threats over the past quarter, including Dropbox, Evernote and Cydia.

In addition to its findings on app blacklisting, Zenprise has also found a surge in Windows Mobile users among its North American clients over the past quarter. For the quarter, Windows Mobile devices accounted for 22% of devices enrolled in Zencloud on the quarter, up from 13% of all devices on the MDM service in the fourth quarter of 2011. The report showed a corresponding decline in Android devices supported on Zencloud as well, as Android phones represented 26% of all North American devices on the service in Q1 2012, down from 35% in Q4 2011. Apple's iOS held steady quarter-over-quarter as its devices accounted for 52% of North American devices on Zencloud in the last quarter, unchanged from the share reported in Q4 2011.

Zenprise speculates that the rise of Windows Mobile devices in North American businesses has a lot to do with IT departments' overall familiarity with both Microsoft and Windows. Specifically, Zenprise says that Windows Mobile devices come better equipped to handle enterprise tasks than competing devices.

"Many of these Windows Mobile devices are ruggedized devices for business process workflow-type apps," Zenprise writes in its analysis. "The trend of organizations providing company-owned devices for line-of-business applications is occurring even while many of the same customers are pursuing a 'bring your own device' program in parallel."

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.


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