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Key Criteria to Secure Mobile Enterprise

By CIOReview | Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mobile technologies have certainly revolutionized the today’s enterprise workplace as they bring myriad benefits and possibilities for users and the organizations. With the proliferation of mobile apps and interconnected devices, companies are introducing ‘work from anywhere’ policy for their employees—in order to achieve cost benefits and improved productivity. However, this new mobility-driven world is redefining the function of traditional IT in the workplace–presenting organizations with a set of complexities and challenges pertaining to security, management, compliance, and legal.

There are several ways to improve mobile data security effectively:

1. Encryption for Mobile Devices

As businesses strive to deal with the tremendous surge in mobile device, it is crucial for them to implement systems that allow real-time monitoring, management and foolproof data protection. To this end, corporate and personal mobile devices need to be integrated into IT management and helpdesk solutions to solve issues pertaining to security, compliance, unnecessary operational expenditure and productivity.  To address the needs of the organizations in integrating, monitoring, deploying, securing, and managing mobile devices in the workplace, Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions have been in demand to enhance the security and functionality of mobile devices within the enterprise. These solutions also work to prevent the loss of corporate data and give IT more control over both corporate-owned, personally-enabled (COPE) devices, and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) devices.

2. Identity and Multi-factor Authentication Control

As stolen or weak credentials continue to be the reason behind data breaches, implementing multi-factor authentication is imperative in any organization. This type of authentication is used to control and secure access to sensitive corporate networks and data in order to avoid unauthorized access. A unique approach to secure unauthorized users is by implementing identity-driven and authentication-driven security solution. Multi-factor authentication ensure high levels of protection for data, devices and identities without burdening users with yet another combination of IDs and passwords. The inclusion of biometric sensors and voice or facial recognition makes authentication easier for users and makes the process more secure, rather than being stored remotely in databases that could be hacked easily.

3. Securing Business Assets with App Store and Policies

Gartner recommends that organizations should abandon device-centric security models in favor of app-centric models to give IT administrator more freedom to act against vulnerabilities and data leaks, while eliminating device lockdown routines. In addition, establishing an app store for employees to download enterprise-sanctioned apps goes a long way to control the connections and deliver enhanced protection of business assets. Moreover app management is about applying policies to individual apps that include—authentication requirements and restrictions in copy/paste and other forms of content sharing. This approach will help organizations eliminate device lockdown routines and control the device, as in the case of personal devices for partners or contractors.

4. Regular Application Updates

Several new apps hit the market each day, while hackers are always on the lookout to exploit these apps to acquire login information or implant malware. Specifically they target apps that often fail to release security updates. Hence, it is vital to apply security-related patches and updates in a timely fashion, especially for systems such as anti-malware applications, web filtering tools, and intrusion prevention systems.

The mobility trend can be alarming because the stakes are high from a security perspective. It is crucial that sensitive corporate and customer data is secured through a holistic solution that allows organizations to implement consistent controls across diverse platforms. The best solution can be to choose a vendor that takes a platform approach with APIs to hook into the existing back-end architecture and on the front-end to build management and security into apps. This unique approach increases productivity for the organizations, without sacrificing security, and resulting in a more secure mobility-driven enterprise.