Work environment, as you might already know, is dominated by mobile devices, Wi-Fi-networks, and cloud applications to ensure employees are productive and collaborative. While an employee accesses critical corporate data through multiple mobile devices remotely, organizations must make sure there is secure access to data irrespective of the device used.
Every enterprise must take steps to protect its data from security threats that may cause irretrievable loss to the organization and its customers. Implementing BYOD policies, securing mobile collaboration and deploying safe desktop virtualization are important steps required to guard against looming threats.
Let us take a look at the various ways available today to overcome enterprise mobile data security threats.
Many organizations encourage employees to bring their own devices at work and access various cloud applications. Data hosted in cloud apps may be scattered across corporate data centers and public cloud storage. It is mandatory for enterprise IT to gain full control over these applications to ensure secure data communication.
Enterprise IT must implement solutions that ensure authorized access to applications through multi-factor authentication with conditional BYOD policies. It should also make sure that employee productivity is not compromised by implementing single sign-in across authorized devices and tracking suspicious sign-ins.
Infrastructure deployed within an enterprise plays a crucial role in determining security of enterprise mobility. Going beyond the ambit of hand-held devices, enterprise mobility strategy must include smarter networks, intelligent wireless access points and robust MDM solution to control mobility and data generated by mobile devices.
A smart network can control how specific apps and data within those apps behave. For instance, networks with firewall can integrate with connected devices to identify loads of applications running on the devices.
It can further monitor how applications behave by tracking data leakage and what content users share or post on social media. Such network services can also be used to detect malicious devices, unsafe traffic, or cyber attack on devices and apps.
Wireless access points
The latest technology in wireless access points and controllers gives employees freedom to move within the organization premises without losing the network. It enables them to connect to the network with connected hardware devices closest to them like printers, coffee machines, servers etc.
Such intelligent wireless networks can enforce single SSID (Service Set Identifier) to identify connected device, user, content requested and authentication method used. And when employees step outside the premises, access to critical data can be cut off granting access only to limited enterprise cloud apps through Wi-Fi or mobile internet.
Robust MDM solution
Mobile device management is a software tool to protect critical data accessible through mobiles. Devices connected within the enterprise apps are monitored continuously to ensure they are functioning rightly. MDM is a comprehensive tool with additional features like app management, file synchronization, data security, and device support.
MDM solution must be compatible with an array of mobile devices used including smartphones, tablets, and wearable gadgets. It must take into account various operating systems and applications. The solution must have an ability to target specific devices and add/ remove devices from the network
Controlling access to devices instantly is critical in case of device theft/ loss or attack on device. It is important to apply posture validation along with application access policy to lessen the damage caused by device theft. With suitable mobility solutions, enterprise IT is enabled to secure native as well as web apps on mobile devices.
Data protection is of utmost concern when a device is stolen. Remote lock and remote wiping are vital features to include in your security solution. It is further possible to remove passwords from mobile apps to prevent unauthorized access. Moreover, whether it is a company-owned device or a personal device, mobility solutions can automatically push email, Wi-Fi and VPN settings to ensure device compliance.
Data access through mobiles is done remotely. Enterprises have to be vigilant to monitor who views what data and how securely the data is viewed. Depending on what role user has within the organization, data access permission is granted accordingly. Data is broadly classified into public data, confidential data, restricted data.
Public data can be viewed by all users on all devices. So you don’t really need to apply security gateways or enable restricted access.
Confidential data refers to data with low to medium risk to organization and comes with a layer of security to prevent universal access. Such data can be controlled by enabling virtualized access to personal devices.
Restricted data, on the contrary, is classified under high risk category and must be controlled with high level of security. Access to restricted data should only be available through enterprise-grade devices and within the boundaries of enterprise.
The sheer extent of data floating across mobile devices is mind-boggling. An enterprise is at a high risk of lawsuits by customers if their data is mishandled by any employee either by intent or negligence. To protect enterprise reputation and minimize financial loss to business, it is necessary to implement mobility compliance.
There are more than 300 privacy and security related standards that as a responsible organization must adhere to. When devising an enterprise mobility strategy, you must ensure that all processes orient with law of the land. Data protection norms and corporate data security guidelines must be followed stringently to get legal protection in case of any mishap.
Enterprise mobility management vendors must provide integration with critical cloud applications. Integration can be done via wrapping tools or with vendor-provided SDKs. Wrapping tools enable you to manage apps without actually tweaking their source code because the app code is automatically decompiled. It is suitable for basic app management like preventing data transfer, blocking copy/ paste and screen capture functions.
However, SDKs (Software Development Kits) offer advanced level of integration with a set of tools to implement functionality compatible a given software. SDK necessitates tweaking of source code of an app and is thus capable to manage password policies, data encryption, integration authentication etc.
Secure your enterprise data with a well measured approach
Moving beyond secure access to cloud apps, mobile devices and enterprise data, enterprise mobility strategy should focus on end-user, content consumption, and efficient delivery of content. BYOD policy must be implemented based on user, device and location. Solutions must be powered by secure infrastructure with smart networks, wireless access points. Ensure mobility compliance by following industry standard for enterprise data security.
While it is true that secure practices must be implemented to ensure seamless enterprise mobility, employees must be held equally responsible to maintain data security. It is the role of enterprise IT to educate employees about data protection and safe mobile device usage and disposal. Employees must follow guidelines and avoid installing unsafe apps, connect with unsecured networks, or transfer sensitive information outside secure networks.