Mobile devices are no longer seens as just personal objects of leisure (i.e. cell phone walk talkies or portable gaming systems). Mobile devices have evolved into indispensable business tools that are constantly used in both the home and the office. Ubiquitous use of mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops is to be expected in the 21st century, while the security of these devices is the almost always the sole responsibility of the owner. How secure is a business's network though when the majority of its employees are utilizing BYOD?
Mobile Device Security for Businesses
The use of personal mobile devices in the workplace is a popular trend, and employers are forced to accommodate this practice in terms of the security of their network. Businesses have had to adopt policies to protect their networks, given that the constantly evolving mobile device market brings numerous security challenges with each new product or release. These bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies range from requiring devices to be configured with stronger passwords, to prohibiting certain applications from being installed, to requiring all data sent or received on devices to be encrypted. A more draconian BYOD policy may include limiting activities that employees can perform on personal mobile devices at the workplace, such as only checking corporate email, and might even include regular IT audits to guarantee compliance and identify violations.
Mobile Device Detection and Monitoring
BYOD policies can only take you so far, however, when it comes to security. Some mobile device operating systems are inherently more robust than others, and some are simply not designed with security in mind - exposing your systems to vulnerabilities no matter the efforts of your IT team.
Some larger enterprises have recognized the IT security dangers of BYOD for years, requiring all employees to use a standard cell phone platform (most often RIM's Blackberry). However, that type of restriction is not practical in today's diverse smartphone market.
Fortunately, next-generation technology is providing solutions to the BYOD security problem. It is now possible to identify and monitor all mobile devices on a network simply on the basis of their network traffic. Tracking mobile-specific plugins and utilizing platform-specific intelligence allows for automatic identification of mobile device manufacturer, OS, and version, as well as a list of vulnerabilities, for every device on the network.
Network administrators now can much more easily identify problems such as policy violations, unproductive or unauthorized user activity, as well the variety and sensitivity of information users are accessing. These mobile device monitoring and tracking software packages offer various real-time alert and report options so that IT managers and company executives can make well-informed decisions regarding mobile devices on corporate networks.
IT managers have identified mobile security as one of their top three concerns in 2012. Don't fall behind in mobile security - contact iCorps today.