More security for mobile devices

Mobile devices are exploding onto the business front, necessitating a shift in enterprise security strategies, says AzixWorkgroup. 

According to Andrea van der Westhuizen, McAfee product manager at AxizWorkgroup, IT security operations that were once smooth-running have recently come under intense pressure to adopt new technologies and fully support entirely new platforms, operating systems, and architectures.

“The need to secure mobile devices from attacks has never been more important. Enterprise needs new technology and comprehensive security policies that will help them to address the challenge of securely incorporating these new mobile platforms into their environment.  I believe that the emerging mobile malware that we are seeing today is just the tip of the iceberg.”

According to van der Westhuizen, traditional endpoints relied mostly on email and web for application framework. Mobile has a whole new freedom in custom applications. But each new application – either public or private – introduces new threats and risks to corporate IT. 

Today, challenges include the consumerisation of IT, mobile platform diversity that includes Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone to name a few in addition to an explosion of applications.

“We follow a three-pronged approach for protecting mobile devices, mobile data, and mobile applications.  It is designed to help businesses and consumers manage their devices securely, as the threat environment quickly evolves,” van der Westhuizen explains.

To protect mobile devices, enterprise mobility management software is used to bring the same level of security and control to mobile devices — including employee-owned smartphones and tablets — that IT applies to laptops and desktops.

Anti-malware protection in the form of a virus scan helps against the growing number of threats that are targeting mobile devices while web protection is offered through SiteAdvisor technology.

As protecting sensitive corporate data is a requirement, especially to ensure that only those devices with encryption access the corporate network and data – several solutions are also available to prevent data leakage; to protect against theft and loss; while  data protection technologies that will include the separation of business and personal data are in development.

Beyond traditional e-mail and web, mobile apps are readily available and proliferating by the millions, which is quite possibly the biggest threat vector of the future.

Software solutions which inform users how applications access their personal data are available. Also useful are mobile app reputation services which identify malicious apps as well as ones that are capable of putting privacy at risk.

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