Tag: mobile device security
Securing the First Responders: With today’s critical infrastructure threats, how can you ensure your city’s response team’s rugged devices are secure?
Posted by Gemma Randazzo
In an emergency first responders need to be focused on their number one priority – be it saving lives, protecting citizens and preventing crimes. Worrying about the security of the technology they have with them shouldn’t be of concern. In fact keeping onboard laptops and smartdevices that are the make-up of numerous fleet vehicles, such as police and fire vehicles secure shouldn’t even be a secondary thought. It should be simple and should just run in the background. With technology changing rapidly it is vital to ensure information that is sent to public servants, law enforcement officials and military personnel is secure. But while technology is changing rapidly it doesn’t mean that budgets are increasing to account for all these new devices or the changing climate of new threats.
Simple to use, simple to manage device management that protects the infrastructure of every city’s government is possible and in most cases requires very little in way of investment.
What should a city or government entity look for in a mobile device solution?
- 802.11 provisioning with industry standard encryption and authentication protocols
- Access Point (AP) detection and reporting with various IDS-oriented enhancements to assist with identification, alerting, monitoring and reporting of potential threats and a holistic view into the state of the agency’s security
- Ability to remotely manage configurations and updates of all Access Points across a city from one location
- Encryption of all communication channels and database encryption
- Device location mapping; enabling the lock down and wiping of devices when needed
- Push down all device software updates over the air without the need to physically bring in critical devices that are needed 24/7. Industrial laptops are powerful tools but they can be rendered virtually useless in an emergency if they are not kept up-to-date. Push down a security patch from a central location and save critical time and money
- Device management that doesn’t take up valuable bandwidth. Send out a software package in seconds without it hindering GPRS that is being used not only to update software applications but basic data communications with officers and firefighters out in the field
- Security for all wireless data transmissions that includes a seamless handoff between the various wireless network infrastructures in operation
Remember you don’t need to buy the latest and greatest device with the pretense that because it’s newer it’s going to be more secure. By making simple IT infrastructure changes using existing devices it is more than possible to stick to the budget without sacrificing security. A simple to use centralized mobile device management solution that plans, deploys, secures, monitors and maintains enhances the reliability and security of the tools first responders need to use.
Posted by Brandon Hill
With plenty of 2013 predictions focusing on the continued rise of mobile, we imagine that many IT organizations will be revisiting their MDM “wish lists” and redefining their focus areas to address the new set of challenges anticipated for the year. To help prepare you for 2013’s challenges, we’ve highlighted a few MDM resolutions to consider for your IT and overall business success in the coming year.
Plan for BYOA (whether or not your company allows BYOD)
Even if the mobile devices your employees are using are company-owned, and personal devices aren’t sanctioned for business use, your IT department will likely recognize (if yours hasn’t already) a need for an application management strategy. Not only are consumers accustomed to using the same mobile devices they use for work to play Angry Birds, but the increasingly self-reliant workforce is comfortable finding their own external programs and applications to help with job productivity. These apps could include programs that put sensitive company data at risk of being lost or compromised. Address the issue of potentially harmful apps by implementing a management strategy that grants access to previously-blessed programs or prohibits access to those that may be risky. Enterprise app stores that work in tandem with your MDM solution can help align BYOA plans with the overall management of the device.
Keep Considering Consumerization
Basic mobile device management begins with support of popular operating systems and consumer-like capabilities. Embracing this reality helps create a working environment that delivers an optimal employee user experience, increased productivity,
and an overall familiarity in approach that employees will appreciate. Recently, Gartner reported that IT departments have increasingly
shaped their enterprise device offerings with consumer preferences in mind. Gartner points out that the presence of Android and iOS will only increase in the enterprise. With more and more companies switching from traditional ruggedized devices to iPads and other consumer devices to accomplish tasks like product tracking, this year could mean potential hardware changes for your company. Consider accommodating the popularity of consumer options by choosing solutions that provide an optimized ability to manage popular operating systems.
Strengthen Mobile Security
While mobile is growing exponentially, you can expect that security risks to your mobile devices will grow along with it. Some mobile devices are even expecting new forms of cyber attacks that lock the user out of the device. The ubiquity of mobile computing has already caused and will continue to cause the increased targeting of mobile devices. Safeguard your corporate devices (and devices used for business purposes) by planning for these types of attacks. Make sure you have the ability to locate any lost devices, remotely wipe, lock or reset as well as manage what can be downloaded to them.
What do you think of those resolutions? Would you add or remove some?
Posted by Gemma Randazzo
I recently read that logistics are as essential to the “holiday season as the Christmas tree and the Menorah.” I don’t think I need to do too much convincing at this time of the year for you to appreciate just how true that is. Just open your inbox and you are immediately reminded that if you want your holiday packages delivered before the festivities you better get a move on. As I write this an array of “final hours” emails bombard my inbox.
According to eMarketer “online shoppers in the United States will spend $54.47 billion this holiday season, up 16.8% from $46.63 billion last year.” That is a staggering number and only accounts for one country. It is easy to see why companies like Amazon are expanding fulfillment centers and opening a new 1-million square foot facility (yes, 1 million square feet) in Washington State. With the trend of online shopping only growing, fulfillment centers around the globe will continue to see their business models change to reflect that of the online consumer. Today’s online consumer appreciates the diverse number of stores they can purchase from without leaving home and driving several miles, but it also means that the instant in-store gratification is no longer there. Just because it isn’t there doesn’t mean consumers don’t still want it and for instant gratification you need logistics.
Transportation and logistics companies get items where they need to be as quickly as possible. To minimize hiccups a vital part of this process is managing the hand-held devices that get the packages to your doorstep. From the warehouse where the items are picked, packaged and shipping labels are then printed, to the logistics company picking up the package, scanning the label and then flying and/or driving it to where it needs to go. The whole time this package is tracked using a hand-held device so you can monitor its progress. If a device goes down or experiences a malfunction you aren’t going to care because you just want your package. But to businesses managing these devices is a critical component of their job after all customer satisfaction is number one. A total mobile device management effectively keeps these devices secure and up and running from anywhere in the world. In any given day there are many different “fires” for businesses to put out and with a reliable device management solution, managing and tracking all their hand-held devices is one less “fire” they need to worry about.
And with that I must go – someone changed their mind on which of the latest video games they wanted and to avoid rush-shipping charges I need to hit purchase.
Posted by Brandon Hill
I came across an interesting read from Forbes that was posted over the summer about the growing threat of mobile device security. It has some fascinating figures on mobile device usage and the inherent risks associated with our growing demand on mobile technologies. It’s becoming such an issue, that the White House and other leaders are entering the discussion.
Some of the more interesting (and/or frightening) highlights include that “six out of every 10 cyber-security breaches occur as a result of a mobile device.” Why is that an issue? Well, consider the following that the author, Kevin Johnson points out:
We’ve reached an inflection point where the lightning-fast adoption of powerful, smart devices is outpacing our ability to secure our mobile lives. In a world of 7 billion people, there are now 5.9 billion mobile-phone subscribers. Here in the U.S., we have more mobile-phone subscriptions than people. The mobile Internet that we’ve come to rely on ― for everything from financial transactions to business operations to emergency-response procedures ― is increasingly vulnerable.
Think about that. In the US, we have more mobile-phone subscriptions than people. Take into account that many, if not most, are accessing some combination of personal and corporately-liable informations, and you can see why the issue is being trust onto center stage. Take a look at the article and let us know what strikes you the most about it. It’s a good read.
Mobile Device Management is the new “hot” thing in the enterprise, especially with all the talk of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. We’ve recently posted on BYOD, as have many others. But, I think it’s important to remember that there are other important considerations to think about. Primarily, the cost consideration before you decide on a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution.
Research shows that cost is a major concern for those implementing MDM, which makes sense, because any solution has to be worth it! At the core, MDM is focused on reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of mobile assets. A huge factor in these “costs of ownership” is security. Since MDM solutions entered the space, securing information that travels to and from the device, and information that is on the device, has been crucial. If information is ever compromised, companies can lose thousands to millions of dollars. With the BYOD phenomena, the need to control this “cost” has been thrown in the limelight.
Prospects for MDM also now have new delivery options available, which can factor into the cost of a solution. We’ve written and presented extensively on how your cost considerations should match the delivery method that best suites your budget. For some, that’s a SaaS model (low monthly subscription), for others it an on-site install (more investment required up front). Either way, it’s important to know that the installation method you chose will impact costs.
If you’d like to discuss other cost considerations, feel free to email me or discuss in the comments below. Additionally, if you’re interested in TCO and the return on investment for MDM solutions, I’m happy to provide you with our Avalanche ROI Calculator. Just put your info in the “Ask the Advisor” fields to the left with “ROI Calculator” in the comment box, and I’ll follow-up with you.
Quick post today on a couple of items. First, in case you missed the VDC Webinar on mobile security in today’s enterprise, you can view it in our Webinar archives for free. The other item to point out is for any of you out there who prefer Android to Apple phones/tablets/etc. Gizmodo has a great comparison of the available tablet computers, specifically as it relates to their displays. I think their conclusion may be a surprise to many of you.