Managing IT departments in today's security-conscious environment is extremely complex, to say the least. Organizations are facing threats from global unfriendly assets that are more sophisticated and very well funded. This has resulted in the breach of some very secure networks belonging to multinational organizations around the world. With these issues hovering over the head of CIOs, their hesitation to adopt initiatives that introduce more vulnerabilities to the enterprise network are stifling the growth of enterprise mobility.
Mobile devices within the workplace and bring your own device (BYOD) policies are the two biggest concerns organizations face when it comes to mobile enterprise security. In its Secure Enterprise Mobility Report 2013, which addresses the state of IT security in enterprise mobility, Dimension Data (News - Alert) revealed 77 percent of IT leadership is struggling to solve the many challenges security poses. This is further exacerbated by the gap between the number of personal devices and applications accessing corporate IT networks and security audits of the applications being touched by these mobile devices.
While the problem is very obvious, organizations have to implement security governance with strict rules when it comes to protecting the digital assets of the company, this is easier said than done, as the onslaught of personal smartphones and tablets continues to increase. Not controlling the access to the enterprise network will introduce loss of sensitive data, exposure to malware, malicious activity and worse.
There are many service providers with solutions for protecting enterprise mobility and no matter which one you choose, it must at the very least provide:
- 24/7 monitoring of enterprise airspace and network;
- Fingerprinting of smartphones and tablets;
- Detection of rogue APs;
- Real-time quarantine of unapproved mobile devices;
- Ability to ID the physical location of any Wi-Fi device on premises;
- BYOD management that delivers reports with an API that can be integrated with any MDM solution.
While a robust security platform is essential, it must be remembered that BYOD was implemented to introduce new levels of productivity and efficiency to the organization. If accessing the company network becomes so cumbersome employees don't want to use it, it defeats the purpose.
It is important to address the needs of the user with a mobility management solution that is easy to use by providing applications with seamless integration between their device and the company network while balancing security and ease of use.
"Having rogue, inadequately protected and unknown devices on the network is just one element of the risk landscape. In addition to information security risk, server and application infrastructures are also under greater pressure as users, data and devices traverse the network. Not considering the entire enterprise mobility landscape has led to an assumption of risk that is often grossly miscalculated, leaving organizations exposed to financial and reputational threats," said Mark Behan, lead solutions security architect at Dimension Data.