As Mobile Security Challenges Mount, How Can CIOs and CISOs Eliminate Blind Spots?

If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that mobile malware, malvertising and phishing attacks are growing. Organizations of all sizes and industries are at risk, and IT and security leaders responsible for managing endpoints and mobile security are well aware that their organizations’ data, customer privacy and brand reputation — just to name a few — are in the crosshairs of threat actors who stand to gain more than they have to lose.

Security professionals are desperately looking for tactful approaches to seek out and destroy mobile malware as it becomes more advanced and diverse, and as incidents become more common. With phishing, man-in-the-middle (MITM) and data exfiltration attacks on the rise, it’s never been more critical to cover all our bases and educate end users. And let’s not forget that threats come from all directions, not just the outside. In fact, employees are the weakest link; workers are notorious for consuming massive amounts of data and inadvertently subjecting their organizations to legal and regulatory compliance violations.

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A Short List to Start Your Mobile Security Strategy

With so many distinct challenges to contend with, where can chief information security officers (CISOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) even begin to prioritize? At a minimum, these stakeholders should answer the following questions as soon as possible:

  • With mobile devices growing in number and variety, how can we achieve adequate protection at a granular level?
  • How do we enforce compliance for device users without disrupting their level of productivity and interoperability with internal and external stakeholders?
  • As employees demand anytime-anywhere accessibility from the devices of their choosing, how do we ensure that the right, authorized users are getting the exact access they are entitled to?

In crafting appropriate responses and action plans to address these questions, it’s abundantly clear that modern enterprise security challenges demand a deeper level of visibility, policy and protection. Fortunately, there are modernized approaches available to simplify and streamline this process.

Unify Your Approach to Endpoint Management

Unified endpoint management (UEM) is foundational to the success of modernized endpoint and mobile security. UEM allows organizations to take a consistent management approach to view, manage and protect any device — whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop — all from one place. Beyond devices, UEM gives IT teams an effective means to:

  • Manage user identity and access;
  • Deliver mission-critical applications;
  • Make crucial content accessible for collaboration; and
  • Grant secure access to enterprise resources and data.

An optimal unified endpoint management platform will be rich with artificial intelligence (AI) insights, actionable information and contextual analytics that allow administrators to discover risks and opportunities related to their environment — and offer appropriate guidance to prioritize and overcome challenges in as few steps as possible.

To maximize the security of your endpoint and mobile environment, your UEM solution should make it easy to configure and enforce policies at a granular level. Administrators should be able to detect when an unapproved application is installed on a device, when user behavior seems suspicious or when a risky URL is clicked. Furthermore, it should be simple to automate the type of response that occurs when that type of incident occurs.

Add Effective Threat and Data Management

Beyond assurance that your devices, users, applications, content and data are secure, organizations need to ensure that they can identify and respond to threats before they make an impact. Most of the phishing and malware attacks we read about in the news have already occurred. To reduce the number of these incidents, organizations need to be able to recognize and respond to threats in the moment. If you do not have an appropriate framework to determine which of your devices have malware on them — or whether there’s a cybercriminal targeting your critical assets — the time is now to get the appropriate strategy and tools in place.

Last, but no less important, is data. Data has proven to be a double-edged sword for IT and security teams: Its accessibility is essential for business productivity, yet if accessibility is too extensive, costs go up. If it’s underregulated, vulnerabilities increase. Thus, appropriate strategies and investments ensure that:

  • Data consumption is measured and controlled;
  • Conditional access to applications, content and resources is enforced; and
  • Browsing behavior is monitored and maintained.

A Partnership for Total Mobile Threat Prevention

To help organizations rise above these very real security challenges, Wandera and IBM MaaS360 with Watson joined forces to deliver enhanced visibility, policy and protection.

According to Roy Tuvey, co-founder and president of Wandera, this partnership “enables IT leaders to effectively understand and manage mobile risk. The joint solution delivers unprecedented visibility on the endpoint and in the mobile network, allowing for a deeper assessment of mobile threats and fine-tuned policy actions to defend against them. We are excited to be collaborating with IBM MaaS360 with Watson to eliminate mobile blind spots and equip customers with the tools they need to fully embrace mobility as a business enabler.”

Join experts from IBM and Wandera for an upcoming live webinar at 1 p.m. EST on Dec. 4 to learn more about this exciting collaboration and see a live demonstration of new platform integrations and capabilities.

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Contributor'photo

John Harrington Jr.

Portfolio Marketing for IBM MaaS360

John has spent the past 6 years working for an industry-leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based unified endpoint...