Three steps to an adequate mobile security

In recent years software vendors have augmented their focus on Enterprise Mobility Management, or EMM. But, what is EMM in fact ? And what could this mean for your organization ?
A few years ago managing mobile devices within an organization was a relatively easy task. In most cases you would only encounter one type of device, namely BlackBerry. The huge rise in popularity of smartphones and tablets, combined with Bring or Choose Your Own Device, has made managing the mobile environment a complex task, which in turn causes a lot of questions to arise around Mobility. EMM offers adequate answers by using a three-step model.

Step 1: Securing the access of the device

Securing the access of the device was the first step in trying to manage this more complex mobile environment. The idea behind this was that the information on the device would be secure once the device itself was secured. Mobile Device Management (MDM) provided the possibility to monitor each device and to remotely delete all data in case of theft, loss etc.

It also became possible to implement different policies, which allowed security to be added to the environment. But what if an employee uses his own device and later decides to work for another company? In that case, wiping the whole device would not be an ideal solution. When the employee made a back-up in his personal cloud, wiping the entire device would not even be effective.

A simple way to prevent this is to separate professional and personal data. This allows the employee to use his personal devices, applications and environments and gives the organization the possibility to manage business information.

Step 2: Securing the data

Securing the device alone is not enough though. The data itself on the device needs to be protected too. Cracking an access code takes less and less time, but it offers easy access to possibly critical company information. This made MDM change position in the security landscape. Mail, contacts and agendas contain important information which needs to be secured.

Organizations have invested in their traditional infrastructure for years: gateway security, mail security, web security and so on. To protect the data coming in and out of our mobile devices an investment in Mobile Security is necessary. Files get shared on a daily basis, so it is vital that the data is secured sufficiently when it is being sent. That is why we advise to always secure the connection between the server and the device, and to add another layer of security over the information on the mobile device. This makes it virtually impossible for outsiders to gain access to company data.

Step 3: Securing the applications

Data from and to the device is protected by Mobile Security. But what about data on the device? On mobile devices information is stored in apps and the local cache. This makes Mobile Application Management (MAM) a necessary step to secure data in all phases. MDM concentrates on the device, but MAM focuses on the apps and data. Different policies can be applied per app so that only the company apps and data can be wiped if needed. Finally, next to the protection of apps themselves, it is important to secure the exchange of data between apps through (for example) encryption.


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