Why Do Companies Need an Enterprise Mobile Strategy?

The question of what keeps a chief information security officer (CISO) up at night has been answered: It is the number of unmanaged mobile devices in the organization running multiple applications trying to access company data. The mobile era is here, and companies need to think seriously about putting an enterprisewide mobile security strategy in place.

Securing Mobile Devices

Today, almost every company is already doing something to secure mobile devices. These solutions are usually scattered around the organization and address only key areas such as secure access and network-related issues. Is this enough? No!

As companies encourage policies such as bring-your-own-device (BYOD), the challenges of managing multi-OS devices come into picture. Not to mention the obstacles associated with managing personal and enterprise applications running on the same device.

In this scenario, companies need to have a mobile security strategist to be part of the overall enterprise security team. This should help the integration with existing systems. It also lays the groundwork for implementing new enterprisewide initiatives to secure and improve the mobile experience for employees.

What Does a Security Strategy Need?

The treatment of lost devices, rogue applications accessing enterprise data and data breaches due to a loophole in the mobile security strategy can be easily mitigated with a holistic approach. To achieve this, the enterprise mobile landscape needs to address four key areas of mobile security:

  • Protecting the device: This is the most basic form of protection. By securing the devices that access enterprise data, companies can take the first step toward securing their mobile enterprise.
  • Securing content and collaboration: Content on mobile devices can be both structured and unstructured. Managing this securely, as well as creating an environment where data can be shared and accessed collaboratively, would be the next step.
  • Safeguarding applications and data: Mobile applications have exploded. Based on the sheer numbers alone, they pose a massive threat to security. From malware to rogue applications trying to access enterprise data, this area must be secured.
  • Managing access and fraud: Applying role-based access is no longer enough in the mobile scenario. Companies need to look beyond login and access privileges to transactional activity to identify any anomalies in user behavior.

The infographic below illustrates the need for a comprehensive mobile strategy that a dedicated role such as the mobile strategist can bring to fruition.

 

 

Contributor'photo

Michael Ambrose

Mobile Security Portfolio Marketing Manager, IBM

Michael Ambrose is a Market Segment Manager for Mobile Security working with IBM. He is a business professional with...