Mobile Security Featured Article
How to Improve Your Company's Mobile Security Management
November 10, 2011
Industry observer Logan G. Harbaugh has put together a good list of five steps to improving your mobile security management, since, as he says, “wireless hotspots, printers, storage, and a variety of other devices are making their way onto your office network, possibly without the knowledge of managers.”
It’s a huge problem -- and a huge market. TMC’s (News - Alert) Anshu Shrivastava wrote recently that Visiongain (News - Alert) released mobile security management report, titled “Mobile Device Security 2011-2016.” This report examines rapidly growing threats targeting mobile devices such as data and ID theft, SMS fraud, rogue apps and covert espionage and expects predict that the mobile security market will reach $3.95 billion in global revenues by 2016.
Create formal policies for mobile devices. As Harbaugh sensibly says, “you can’t ask users to abide by a security policy if you don’t have one.” And it need not be exhaustive, drawn up by lawyers and notarized, just a brief statement about protecting corporate assets. Make it easy to understand and remember, Harbaugh says, since there’s a better chance you’ll get buy-in on from users.
Create your own app store. This would include all the recommended or required applications, “such as encryption software, an anti-virus client, and VPN software--for each mobile device or platform you’ll be supporting,” Harbaugh says, recommending that at the same time, you can “create an internal website with links to the appropriate download sites.”
Control wireless access. This is a big one. Maintain a list of authorized devices, and set it up so that all others will only be able to connect, as Harbaugh says, to a guest network that gives Internet access but not access to the company network. Make sure devices can’t circumvent security by means of a management server controlling access to USB ports.
Consider network access control. “Network Access Control systems monitor the network and check any device that tries to connect for specific parameters, such as an up-to-date anti-virus client, patch levels, particular applications such as encryption or VPN apps,” Harbaugh says. They also make sure passwords are acceptable, and make sure that insecure devices, or ones with malware loaded cannot connect.
Create a policy server. Strangely enough, most companies don’t have too much difficulty with the first four of these recommendations, but they seem to discount the importance of this one. But as Harbaugh explains, operating systems such as Android (News - Alert) and iOS can be used with a policy and management server such as System Center Configuration Manager or SELinux Policy Server, to “allow you to access mobile devices remotely, wipe them if they are stolen or install necessary applications anti-virus clients.”
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Juliana Kenny
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