Tips For Securing Mobile Devices in an Enterprise Environment
Written by Matt Horany
The proliferation of mobile devices is driving agility, productivity, and great user experiences across enterprises, but there are new challenges too. Not only is there more technology to manage, but mobile devices are also a favorite target for hackers who try to use them as access points to sensitive corporate data and systems. In a recent podcast, I took part in a discussion with the experts at VMware about what you can do.
We explained how mobile is different from more traditional desktop technology when it comes to security and laid out the best methods to take on the challenge.
Why Do Hackers Target Mobile?
More than half of internet traffic is now on mobile, and that number keeps climbing. With companies adding mobile devices to more workflows all the time, it’s fertile ground for hackers. In Verizon’s 2022 Mobile Security Index, researchers found that 45 percent of organizations had recently suffered a mobile-related security compromise—almost doubling the year before. Mobile devices differ from traditional PCs inside corporate networks because you move around with them in your pocket all day. They’re interacting with multiple networks like public Wi-Fi. People also download many apps without knowing anything about the publisher and allow those apps to have permission to access personal or corporate data. One bad app is a way for hackers to get inside.
Best Practices for Mobile Security to Prevent Attacks
The first step in a robust enterprise mobile security strategy is evaluating your people, processes, and tools. Teaching employees how to spot phishing attacks and spoofing is a simple and relatively inexpensive way to beef up security dramatically. While even the savviest can occasionally be fooled, training stops a significant percentage of potential breaches.
Another protection is keeping corporate data separate from personal on devices with a system of containerization. This is especially critical if you’re allowing employees to access company email or other data with devices they own. Separate and encrypted containers keep business data insulated. It allows system administrators to manage only what’s in the corporate container and lets the user keep their personal data private.
The best practice of all is a good security posture with an endpoint management platform that keeps software up to date and gives a high level of control. Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) tools can be used to enforce compliance policies, strong password requirements, 2-factor authentication, single sign-on (SSO), or Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML). It can restrict access to unnecessary network connections or settings that shouldn’t be changed. Using certificate-based authentication for corporate apps identifies both the user and the device before allowing access to corporate resources. All of the above can be enabled and enforced by EMM.
EMM is the command and control of device configuration and behavior. It speaks specifically to the strategic aspect of managing a device. Broadening that past management settings and configuration is Unified Endpoint Management (UEM), which has a different focus and target. UEM manages the entirety of a user’s experience on multiple types of devices throughout their workday.
What to Look for in Endpoint Management Solutions
When evaluating endpoint management solutions, it’s essential to find one that offers robust security provisions without compromising the user experience. Difficult barriers affect productivity and can discourage employees from using mobile devices. Single sign-on—for example—offers a high level of protection while actually making it easier for end users to use the tools they need.
Look for a platform that works across multiple operating systems and devices—giving the flexibility of a consistent approach and experience across different business units. The platform should be able to easily scale at the same speed as a company is growing. An EMM platform must be able to seamlessly integrate into your security, identity, network, and application infrastructure to truly provide a unified device experience. You want something that includes manageability and control through one pane of glass—giving you a window into your entire infrastructure.
Endpoint management is complex, and there are a lot of choices and decisions to make when choosing the right solution for your organization. At Stratix, our solution architects are endpoint management experts, and we partner with top providers like VMware. If you’re looking for sound advice, please reach out to us.
Enterprise Mobility Podcast
How the proliferation of mobile devices is changing enterprise security tactics with Matt Horany, Head of EMM Services at Stratix.Listen to Episode