Bringing mobility into business

August 2012 Cyber 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:

Dahua Technology’s cybersecurity approach
Issue 3 2021, Dahua Technology South Africa , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Cyber Security
With a mindset that emphasises cybersecurity and all the resources it can allocate to establish, carry out and strengthen its cybersecurity approach, Dahua plans to stay positive, open, responsible and constantly improving its cybersecurity.

Read more...
SASE-enriched threat protection
Issue 3 2021 , Cyber Security
MVISION XDR automates security investigation and response processes with actionable threat insights harnessed from deeply integrated cloud data sources, with the ability to proactively stop targeted attacks.

Read more...
Active Adversary Playbook 2021
Issue 3 2021 , Cyber Security
Sophos has released its Active Adversary Playbook 2021, detailing cyber-attacker behaviours and the tools, techniques and procedures Sophos’ frontline threat hunters and incident responders saw in the wild.

Read more...
Passwords are 60, time for them to go
Issue 3 2021 , Access Control & Identity Management, Cyber Security
It has been 60 years since passwords were first used at MIT and if the number of breaches in the news are anything to go by, we are no more adept at managing our passwords than we were in 1961.

Read more...
Top 10 security misperceptions
Issue 3 2021 , Cyber Security, Security Services & Risk Management
The Sophos Rapid Response team has compiled a list of the most commonly held security misperceptions they’ve encountered in the last 12 months while neutralising and investigating cyberattacks in a wide range of organisations.

Read more...
Building walls is not enough
Issue 3 2021, Vox , Cyber Security
Cybersecurity: businesses are still building walls to defend against nuclear attacks.

Read more...
VMware releases 2021 Global Security Insights Report
Issue 3 2021 , Cyber Security
VMware releases 2021 Global Security Insights Report detailing the surge in cyberattacks targeting the ‘anywhere’ workforce, highlighting opportunity for security leaders to rethink and transform cybersecurity strategies.

Read more...
Awareness training is key to e-mail security
Issue 3 2021 , Cyber Security
Awareness training should be actively deployed to complement organisations’ efforts to secure their e-mail systems, because hackers are increasingly targeting people as security technologies become more effective.

Read more...
Mobile authentication is key to negating cybercrime in East Africa
Issue 3 2021 , Cyber Security
The rapid pace of digital transformation in East Africa has had a significant impact on not only how people live their lives, but also on how communication and commerce are conducted.

Read more...
More is less in cybersecurity
Issue 2 2021 , Cyber Security
Post-pandemic paradox: more solutions do not bring better protection. Despite 80% of organisations running up to 10 different protection and cybersecurity solutions simultaneously, more than 50% of them experienced downtime from data loss last year.

Read more...