The 7 Must Haves for Secure Enterprise Mobility

03 Jul, 2015
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With massive rise in mobile device use in organizations, entrepreneurs and chief technology officers (CTOs) are in a dilemma about how to safeguard enterprise mobility from breaches. In most cases, organizations and its leadership team are in a rush to reap the benefits of mobility, without spending enough time to implement a well-thought-out security policy with tools to enforce it. While contented employees, increased productivity and greater business agility are the proven benefits that an organization can derive from mobility, at the same time they are also vulnerable to significant risks which may vary from critical data losses to devastating reputation damage.

The fear of device encryption, data breach and data leakage is a serious concern for several organizations and they struggle to find the right approach. So, an organization should ask whether they are ready for it or not to tackle the issue head-on. Organizations that are eager to implement mobile solutions should ask these questions in advance to understand if they are ready for it.

  1. Are we in a position to manage any kind of Bring your own device (BYOD) or any corporate devices?
  2. Do we have the capability to secure and manage any mobile or web app?
  3. Do we have the competency to protect mobility and safeguard user privacy?
  4. Are we in a position to provide scenario-based network access?
  5. Is the organization’s architecture secure, scalable, and highly available?

7 Tips for Secure Enterprise Mobility:
If you are sure and prepared to implement mobility solutions across your enterprise, then check out these seven tips on how to safeguard them.


1. Choose enterprise mobile device wisely

Look for an enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution that offers remote device reset, over-the-air hardware, software and network inventory capabilities. It should also include mobile software management as a primary feature. The suite should be capable of offering support for a variety of mobile operating systems and at the same time ensure access by a greater variety of devices. Ideally, you should go for an EMM solution that has broad platform coverage. This gives them the ability to provide device choice and allows them to manage multiple mobile initiatives from a single solution, for example operational devices for retail or warehouses, as well as BYOD.

2. Introduce a proper mobile app management policy

A proper mobile app management policy is applicable to all individual apps so that you do not have to control the device, as in the case of personal devices for partners or contractors. Policies might include authentication requirements, copy/paste restrictions, content sharing restrictions or not allowing local data storage. Finally, an enterprise app store can improve mobile worker productivity by giving employees easy access to the apps they need, as a part of MDM. The app store should be easy to use, enabling self-service distribution of apps to employees and other authorised users with roles based corporate security and data protection.

3. Implement effective mobile threat protection system

As a CTO of an organization; be prudent in buying the right antivirus/anti-malware for your enterprise mobile solutions so that they can protect the mobile operating system and files system from traditional virus or malware threats. An EMM solution should allow IT to centrally manage mobile threat protection and leverage app risk data by implementing policies. The solution should have the ability to blacklist apps based on certain risk characteristics or an app that has high data usage. Central management includes things such as distributing a mobile security app to devices, running remote scans of the device, viewing threats and setting compliance policies based on the device’s security posture.

4. Launch stringent access and authentication control systems

This is a must have for an organization to ensure secure enterprise mobility. These systems will only allow access after successful recognition of a policy defined password, pattern swipe, biometric scan, voice or facial recognition. Go for an effective EMM suite that will allow your enterprise to group users – by department, for example – and grant access only to the resources a specific group needs. A strong EMM solution should offer authentication with time-saving features such as single sign-on, whereby employees can use the same credentials to log into a laptop and other corporate systems.

5. Ensure a safe mobile content management (MCM) plan

MCM allows users to access content from mobile devices in a secure and managed way. This includes email attachments, content pushed by an admin and content accessed from back-end content repositories such as Sharepoint, Documentum or Network File Shares. An efficient EMM suite should give employees a secure way to access files, view mobile documents and collaborate on corporate content.

6. Prevent data leakage

Install data leakage protection system to eliminate the intentional or inadvertent transfer of data from a mobile device. Such system will allow an Excel spreadsheet to be viewed by any authorized application on the device while preventing it from being opened by or saved to any untrusted application, such as a Cloud app that might utilize shared folders.

7. Initiate compliance reporting process

With a compliance reporting process in place, it will provide easy access to everything in the mobile security environment: users, devices, applications, rights and more. This ability makes it easier to avoid and identify problems, and when, for example, a new security issue is announced for a browser, IT can quickly identify which devices need patching and ensure they get patched.

While enterprise mobility brings opportunity for your users and organization, it also invites risk. With these seven security capabilities in place, a mobile-enabled enterprise is better able to provide the services users demand while protecting the organization from threats.

Anirban Guha
Software Engineer at coMakeIT

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