Bringing mobility into business

August 2012 Information Security

The proliferation of Apple iOS and Android based mobile computing devices is significant, not only in the consumer space, but also in the office. People are quick to gravitate to the ease of use, increased mobility and portability with access to applications anywhere any time.

Businesses have to contend with the fact that executives and users are eager to show off their new toys. Therefore the demands to ensure that these user owned devices are linked to company e-mail and scheduling systems are high, but doing so may be exposing organisations to uncalled-for risks.

Common approaches to this are to look at the risks, define a policy and deploy a technical control so that you gain some form of visibility into the BYOD (bring your own device) space. My view differs in the approach in that we need to follow a higher-level methodology as well as a more detailed plan of action and risk management.

A high-level principle statement needs to be defined. Here we can agree to accept or deny the proliferation of BYOD, with the proviso that if we block user owned devices, only company owned devices will be acceptable.

Define a policy based on the company business requirements as well as how the various categories within the workforce (sales or technical support staff may have widely differing access and application needs) will interact with company resources and data. Within the policy, we may define exceptions to accompany user owned devices, but this should be strict in that it will be treated as a company owned device, with little or no regard for user owned content in case a remote wipe or other management action is pushed to the device.

Technical control. The official category was defined as Mobile Device Management (MDM). These tools make it easy to centralise mobile device policy definition and device management.

Having a data classification policy in place will be a requirement. You should evaluate how mobile devices may impact your current data classification policy, as you may find that you are in active violation of your data governance guidelines.

Contrary to popular belief, most MDM solutions can be implemented at an efficient price per user for even small numbers of users, allowing SMEs to embrace new ways of doing business. However, ensuring that they do not expose client data in ways that could have long-term financial impact, especially after we have our draft Protection of Personal information Bill approved.

Selecting an MDM tool

* Does the selected vendor support the operating systems on the most common devices (Windows Mobile and Slate, Apple iOS, BlackBerry, Android and Symbian)?

* What infrastructure do we need to deploy to manage the vendor provided solution? A popular MDM route to market is to offer a fully managed cloud-based solution.

* If the software is cloud based how are your administrators authenticated and are all communications encrypted?

* Can you define your own policies for device management and do they offer some samples to fast track your implementation?

* Can you enforce conditional device lock, remote wipe as well as geo-fencing so that a device that leaves a predefined geography will be automatically wiped?

* Does the MDM solution accommodate the Android Market, BlackBerry App World or Apple iStore, and can they assist you to publish your company approved applications?

* Can updates be scheduled through your MDM solution and does it include support for custom applications?

* Does the solution offer an ‘at a glance’ inventory of hardware and software with details such as devices type, OS versions, patch levels, free space, memory utilisation and applications installed?





Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Responsible AI boosts software security
Information Security
While the prevalence of high-severity security flaws in applications has dropped slightly in recent years, the risks posed by software vulnerabilities remain high, and remediating these vulnerabilities could hinder new application development.

Read more...
AI and ransomware: cutting through the hype
AI & Data Analytics Information Security
It might be the great paradox of 2024: artificial intelligence (AI). Everyone is bored of hearing it, but we cannot stop talking about it. It is not going away, so we had better get used to it.

Read more...
NEC XON shares lessons learned from ransomware attacks
NEC XON Editor's Choice Information Security
NEC XON has handled many ransomware attacks. We've distilled key insights and listed them in this article to better equip companies and individuals for scenarios like this, which many will say are an inevitable reality in today’s environment.

Read more...
iOCO collaboration protection secures Office 365
Information Security Infrastructure
The cloud, in general, and Office 365, in particular, have played a significant role in enabling collaboration, but it has also created a security headache as organisations store valuable information on the platform.

Read more...
Cybercriminals embracing AI
Information Security Security Services & Risk Management
Organisations of all sizes are exploring how artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI, in particular, can benefit their businesses. While they are still figuring out how best to use AI, cybercriminals have fully embraced it.

Read more...
A strong cybersecurity foundation
Milestone Systems Information Security
The data collected by cameras, connected sensors, and video management software can make a VMS an attractive target for malicious actors; therefore, being aware of the risks of an insecure video surveillance system and how to mitigate these are critical skills.

Read more...
Surveillance and cybersecurity
Cathexis Technologies Information Security
Whether your business runs a security system with a handful of cameras or it is an enterprise company with thousands of cameras monitoring sites across a multinational organisation, you must pay attention to cybersecurity.

Read more...
Cyber-armour for a healthcare industry under attack
NEC XON Information Security Healthcare (Industry)
Malicious actors have exploited compromised credentials, a clear and present danger when healthcare providers' reliance on remote access software allows adversaries to disguise themselves as legitimate users and gain unauthorised access to critical environments.

Read more...
Cybersecurity and AI
AI & Data Analytics Information Security
Cybersecurity is one of the primary reasons that detecting the commonalities and threats of what is otherwise completely unknown is possible with tools such as SIEM and endpoint protection platforms.

Read more...
What are MFA fatigue attacks, and how can they be prevented?
Information Security
Multifactor authentication is a security measure that requires users to provide a second form of verification before they can log into a corporate network. It has long been considered essential for keeping fraudsters out. However, cybercriminals have been discovering clever ways to bypass it.

Read more...