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Six Laws of Mobile Security
According to recent research, 40 percent of enterprises have absolutely no policies in place for securing mobile devices. This is quite unsettling, particularly given the number of recent serious data breaches involving portable devices. RedCannon Security recently announced industry guidelines and best practices for mobile security - Six Laws of Mobile Security - which are a common sense framework for how enterprises can assess their mobile security best practices to protect private data, while enabling the use of mobile devices such as USB drives.
Until recently, the proliferation of small and inexpensive mass storage devices and their potential for data loss had been under the radar of most senior managers. The prevalence of laptops, PDAs, and other mobile devices in the enterprise, coupled with the explosion of wireless connectivity options, has led to significant support issues and security risks. Mobile devices need to be managed and secured. While the cost of replacing the devices is relatively insignificant, more and more users store sensitive information on these devices, and therein lies a serious data leakage threat. The fact that mobile devices can introduce malware, including keyloggers and Trojans, into the corporate network compounds the problem.
The majority of companies have not taken steps to address these issues. According to a recent analyst report, only 9 percent of companies have deployed mobile management tools, while another 20 percent are piloting or plan to deploy mobile management tools within the next 12 months. Additionally, about 40 percent of enterprises have no policies in place regarding mobile security.
The Six Laws of Mobile Security includes best practices and tips for enterprises worldwide, as they seek to improve their mobile efficiency, reduce remote access threats, and prevent data leakage:
1. Define Acceptable Use Organizations must implement security policies for portable devices that cover remote access, authentication, device storage, acceptable use and encryption.
2. Educate Employees Frequently Often, employees see security policies as barriers to productivity, unless they fully understand the risks and the importance of reducing these risks. Security awareness campaigns are key to helping staff understand the reasons for the policies and to become active partners in security. Education programs should focus on the risk the policy is designed to mitigate and demonstrate how appropriate controls protect the employee. Training programs should also be augmented with regular communication of new threats, vulnerabilities, policies and individual accountability.
3. Manage Mobile Devices Centrally Many organizations are not even aware of the number of devices connecting to their networks, or from where. Centralized management of mobile devices enables organizations to track usage and enforce security policies remotely, including the ability to lock a mobile device after a number of incorrect attempts to guess a password, or destroy data when a device is reported lost or stolen.
4. Encrypt Mobile Data Before implementing a security solution to manage ports and control devices, IT managers should also sketch out how encryption fits into their plans. There should be specific guidance on how encryption should be implemented, who must encrypt data, from where users can access encrypted data, and how much responsibility falls on the user to encrypt data.
5. Control Ports Companies must control USB ports to ensure that only authorized drives are used with corporate computers. However, the knee-jerk reactions of the past, such as gluing USB ports shut or otherwise disabling USB ports, can impact productivity significantly. This is also no longer viable because these ports are required for key peripheral devices including keyboards, mice and printers. Employees need access to these ports to do their jobs. IT professionals should employ a white list approach, allowing only authorized devices to connect.
6. Secure Remote Access Mobile security programs should include defined policies for remote access, including acceptable network connection methods and authentication policies. Who is allowed what type of access, and to what specific data? One way to extend secure authentication beyond passwords is to implement some form of two-factor authentication, and secure, one-time passwords such as SecurID tokens from RSA.
"Industry research indicates that the average cost of a data leak incident is over $1.8 million, and organizations are realizing the serious vulnerabilities that untracked, unmanaged mobile storage devices introduce to enterprise data security," said Vimal Vaidya, CEO at RedCannon. "Clearly communicated deployment and usage policies, applied in tandem with centralized device tracking and management, helps IT organizations and all employees make more intelligent decisions about mobile computing and greatly reduce the associated risks."
For additional details on mobile security, visitwww.redcannon.com .
About RedCannon Security RedCannon Security is a trusted developer of centrally managed, secure mobile-access solutions for the enterprise. Its ultra-thin client instantly secures and sanitizes any point, anywhere. RedCannon extends security policies beyond the network perimeter, allowing policy enforcement to travel with the user. Its solutions support leading industry standards for encryption and authentication and enable secure remote access to enterprise applications, while leaving no trace of user activity on the host computer. Its award-winning product line includes KeyPoint Access, KeyPoint Armor, KeyPoint Vault, KeyPoint Manager and KeyPoint Alchemy. For more information, please visit: www.redcannon.com.
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