While many companies invest heavily in IT security for their office employees, most remote workers using mobile devices have been rather neglected. A majority of mobile devices don't comply with government regulations or organizations' internal IT security policies. Fewer than 10 percent of companies currently deploy mobile security suites. Knowledge Center contributor Asa Holmstrom explains how to choose a secure and eco-friendly mobile work force solution.
Now more than ever, companies are deploying mobile applications to drive
competitive advantage and increase profitability. In the
, more than 47 percent of today's work
force is mobile, spending more than 8 hours per week away from their workstation
or desk. In addition, nearly 75 percent of the American work force will be
mobile by 2011.
Organizations need to approach wireless security with the same sense of
urgency given to securing their wired infrastructure, and they need to
understand the unique challenges of the wireless environment. In today's mobile
world, bandwidth is limited. Connections are unstable. Roaming is common.
life is critical. And security is urgent. With all these factors in mind, it is
imperative to deploy a solution that stands up to the most demanding wireless
Of course, in today's environment, it's also critical to consider the
environmental consequences of a security solution. With more and more mobile
technologies entering the market, energy conservation is one factor that should
be considered now and in the future.
Determine your security needs
So how does a company go about securing its wireless infrastructure? Where
does one even begin? A good place to start is determining if the company needs a
specific point solution or an overall complete security platform. As security
risks mount and hackers continue to be more sophisticated, a complete security
platform is far more protective and, in the end, effective. This means
selecting a point solution that provides locks for only the front door could
still have the vulnerability of the windows or back door being compromised. The
point solution might protect the network from the outside, but what about the
data residing on the internal network? These are all reasons to choose an
end-to-end security platform versus a point-only solution.
One solution to consider is the mobile VPN. VPNs based on IP security
(IPsec) and Secure Sockets Layer (
long been used to provide secure remote access to the enterprise network for
employees and consultants working remotely. However, traditional VPN technology
has its roots in wired computing and does not perform well in a wireless
environment delivering limited bandwidth and unstable connections. Fortunately,
a new generation VPN based on Transport Layer Security (
the mobile VPN, has evolved to handle the requirements of both the wired and