Cisco has announced that its AnyConnect Secure Mobility Solution is now available from the Apple App Store for use on the iPhone or iPod Touch.

Offering secure network connectivity from any Apple iOS 4.1 device, Cisco said that it can give mobile employees reliable access to business-critical applications, while helping organisations comply with corporate security policies. It includes the always-on VPN capability currently offered to Windows PCs and uses Apple iOS' capability to provide on-demand VPN connections and initiate a highly secure tunnel automatically when enterprise-level protection is needed.


All communication is secured with up to 256-bit AES encryption using SSL or DTLS tunneling and highly secure application access is maintained automatically from cellular to WiFi network transitions, and vice versa through the use of a configurable network-roaming option.


Shalabh Mohan, director of the security technology business unit at Cisco, said: “At Cisco, our goal is to help enterprises improve the productivity of their employees while enabling them to connect with a high degree of security to the network from anywhere, using any type of device. Cisco's AnyConnect Secure Mobility Solution is allowing users to enhance productivity on the go, while giving enterprises the ability to easily manage the security risks inherent to borderless networks.


“The iPhone has rapidly become a device of choice for consumers around the world, and they are looking for ways to have this single device work for both their personal and business needs. The consumer influence is driving the need for highly secure enterprise mobility solutions like AnyConnect and our new iPhone app.”


Christian Christiansen, vice president of security products and services at IDC, said: “Initially purchased as a consumer device, many iPhone users pushed their companies for access to corporate applications. Not surprisingly, many enterprises balked because iPhones and the apps on iTunes were believed to be insecure and unacceptable for business.


“However, iPhones and iTunes now offer improved security and device management and higher connectivity speeds. Apple increased its development support for more business-focused apps in its iTunes' App Store. With these improvements, iPhone is becoming increasingly secure and suitable for enterprise use.”