Meeting the challenges of the mobile revolution

The mobile revolution has been both blessing and curse for organisations. While it has enabled workers to be more productive away from the office, it has also introduced a whole host of new security threats. Florian Malecki from Dell Security explains further

By Guest on 07 September 2016
Meeting the challenges of the mobile revolution

This article first appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of The Record.

The trend of using the same device for both business and personal use raises a number of  data security problems. Unsecured mobile devices can act as a conduit for malware and ransomware to enter corporate networks, while the use of unsecured WiFi – for example, during travel – also provides a tempting target for hackers to intercept corporate data. On top of this external threat, there is also a very real danger from un-vetted personal apps which can gain access to sensitive information held on the device.

In a world where mobile working has become so important to businesses and employees, it is everybody’s responsibility to ensure that devices are secured. Businesses need to implement the right blend of technology, policy, and education; while mobile workers must adhere to corporate processes and take responsibility for protecting their devices against common security risks. This applies just as much to SMBs as it does to the largest enterprise.

 Important as education and policy is, humans are often the weakest link in information security. That’s why it’s imperative that organisations that enable mobile working invest in the relevant mobile security solutions – ones that are adapted to their specific needs.

 An effective mobile security solution must provide context-aware authentication which grants access only to trusted devices and authorised users who are then provided connectivity  with granular policy-enforced SSL VPN, enabling them to access mission-critical applications and network resources, including shared folders, ­client-server applications, intranet sites, email, and remote and virtual desktop services. 

 Finally, it is essential that organisations consider the nature of their corporate data storage and security when implementing an effective mobile security solution. All back-end applications and data must be protected by adequate network security solutions, identity and access controls, coupled with context aware solutions which ensure only accredited users can access data within certain time and location parameters. Data in transit from corporate servers to mobile devices must be secured with encryption to protect against eavesdropping of network traffic by unauthorised users at rest on endpoints, while data at rest on endpoints must be protected by encryption of mobile data, containerisation and remote device wipe capabilities.

Overall, security solutions should be a starting point for businesses to think about how they balance the needs of their employees with the over-reaching imperative of protecting corporate data at all times and on all devices.

Florian Malecki is international product marketing director at Dell Security


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