Mobile Security Should Focus on Data, Not Devices

 Mobile Security Should Focus on Data, Not Devices

In previous posts, I centered on pass-platform improvement using HTML5 to assure rich cell consumer experience and holistic unified protection analytics as a huge information project. Between development and analysis, mobile security must provide awareness on statistics no longer gadgets.


The latest report via McAfee Labs stated banking malware and “backdoor” Trojans, which scouse borrow information from a tool without the consumer’s information, as the most not unusual threats throughout the second zone of 2013. Over 17,000 new strains of malware focused on Android devices at some stage in the 3-month duration, up 35% year-on-12 months. This was the best increase rate on account that 2010. Meanwhile, mobile cloud visitor growth continues unabated. Cisco Systems initiatives this traffic will account for over 70% of overall cellular site visitors globally with the aid of 2016, up from forty-five % in 2011.

Companies in every quarter are experiencing an explosion in the cell, social, and cloud adoption. The conundrum for IT departments is that employees need seamless and far-off get entry to agency data to decorate productiveness and speed selection-making whilst assets, packages, and information need to be safeguarded.

Employees are more and more downloading third-birthday celebration apps and having access to cloud services over the company community. In addition, an array of the latest cloud-based totally cellular software offerings have cropped up aimed toward non-technical customers. These solutions offer easy-to-use gear that lets customers construct and control their personal apps within the cloud without IT involvement. By circumventing IT, customers can introduce myriad issues into the organization – from security breaches to unmanaged statistics flowing into and out of the corporation, compromising GRC (governance, regulatory, compliance) mandates. CIOs are at risk of losing cell application and content material controls to business users.

Yet, at the same time, more companies are implementing BYOD (carry your own device) packages. This places pressure on CIOs to display, control and govern the explosion of devices going for walks on distinct running structures with a couple of variations and specifically advanced cell apps. BYOD brings its own risks, together with protection, records leakage, and privacy issues. The identical pill accessing the company network these days can also be inflamed with malware as it accessed a website from an airport terminal the day past. Or, whilst accessing company data from the street, the identical consumer may have moved organization documents to a cloud storage service consisting of iCloud or Dropbox.

Many firms have deployed Mobile Device Management (MDM). However, MDM is useful for employee-owned devices simply because personnel is reluctant to permit their gadgets to be managed through their agency’s MDM answer. Moreover, as easy as it’s miles to jailbreak gadgets, depending solely on device-level controls is fruitless.

Secure apps and information first.


A successful business enterprise mobility strategy locations applications first, mapping their challenge to using cases inside the subject. But mobile apps require extra management, manipulation, and protection. Unlike with a browser, in which the agency’s software common sense and information are saved inside the information center, this intelligence is saved through the app at the tool itself with mobile apps. Regardless of whether or not an enterprise’s method to mobility is organization-issued devices or BYOD, the focal point should be greater on setting apart and securing enterprise apps and information and much less on locking down gadgets.

The goal is to control cellular apps at a granular level to address deployment, protection, analytics, information synchronization, storage, model manipulate, and the capacity to remotely debug a hassle on a cellular tool or wipe the organization’s information clean if a device is lost or stolen or if the employee leaves the agency.

To mitigate cell protection dangers, enterprises have to have their cell visitors secured, no longer the handiest to discover and block malicious transactions than manipulate touchy corporate statistics. First, IT needs to have visibility into the cell traffic traversing the organization community, particularly because it relates to facts living in or transferring between customers and company sources. Once visibility is installed, IT ought to comfy and manage doubtlessly malicious visitors. This consists of detecting and blocking off advanced threats thru the cell browsers and utility-unique threats consisting of malware to save you touchy statistics leaks.

These steps can be completed via technology maximum corporations have already deployed. Specifically, software delivery controllers (ADCs) and application overall performance monitoring (APM) software program for stop-to-end visibility, and at ease internet gateways (SWGs) with integrated facts leak prevention (DLP), and next-era safety information and event management (SIEM) to come across and block malicious visitors. These can be deployed physically or without a doubt on-premise or as cloud-primarily based answers.

Mobile Application Management for higher protection and manage

Mobile Security

Complementing these technologies is Mobile Application Management (MAM), which offers for the safety of company data by myself – independent of the non-public settings and apps at the device. MAM solutions can be used to provision and control entry rights to each internally evolved and authorized 0.33-party cell apps.

With the superiority of pass-platform development, apps are no longer created the usage of a field model, wherein functionality is configured upfront, leaving no room to deal with protection or records control issues. Today, cellular apps are “wrapped,” which means that extra functionality is layered over the app’s native abilities as wanted.

IT defines a hard and fast commercial enterprise app for customers to get entry to thru the company app store through their personal tool. The package includes an encrypted statistics file. These permitted apps reside, user authentication, selective wipe of locally-cached enterprise statistics from the device, and app-level VPN capabilities to provide complete safety for exceptional users and contexts. If a tool is used for commercial enterprise, business enterprise coverage needs to permit app downloads from a corporate app store best, from public cloud app stores like iTunes or Google Play (previously Android Market). This needs to be complemented through cloud access gateways that ensure transparent encryption of employer records stored in the cloud thru sanctioned SaaS apps.

MAM affords IT with the insights and analysis to decide which apps are being downloaded, which worker agencies are putting in and the usage of apps, how the apps are being used, and what gadgets employees have, all without extra coding.


There is no silver bullet, and companies will want to apply a mixture of answers to address corporation cell safety. IT should collaborate with useful and commercial enterprise unit heads to define rules, processes, and methods. This encompasses the whole thing from who’s eligible, how users may be authenticated, what coverage and network access apply to them, whether the agency will problem devices or guide BYOD, which devices and working systems may be supported, who is liable for dealing with wi-fi charges and network operators and what the effects of non-compliance are. Painstaking as this will be, it’ll bring about lower costs and higher productivity while minimizing protection and GRC risks.

Dennis Bailey

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