Securing Enterprise Data Inside Mobile Devices: 10 Ways to Keep It Safe

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-10-03
 
 
 

Start Big and Think Ahead

Invest in a file-sharing/file-synchronization application that supports multiple mobile platforms, such as iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone, and ensure that whatever you deploy in the next few years supports not just the devices you are using today, but also the devices you are likely to be using tomorrow (hint: probably more tablets). Leave no device unprotected.

Start Big and Think Ahead

Want Adoption? Focus on Ease-of-Use

When security systems are easy to use, employees adopt them. When they are cumbersome, employees look for work-arounds and security suffers. Keep your employees and your chief security officer (CSO) happy with a mobile security system that is easy to use.

Want Adoption? Focus on Ease-of-Use

Give IT Central Control Over Security

A good way to do that is with packages such as mobile-device management (MDM) and mobile-application management (MAM).  MDM products like those from Good Technology and MobileIron enable IT administrators to control which devices can access which IT resources. IT can set device-specific access controls for internal resources and choose to shut down access when employees leave the organization.

Give IT Central Control Over Security

Extend Security to Every File and Device

Deploy a secure mobile file-sharing system that complements the MDM system and supports secure file synchronization across devices as well as secure file transfer. File synchronization keeps enterprise data secure even while being shared among users and across devices. Secure file transfer lets employees send files more securely than email attachments, while also supporting file sizes larger than most email gateways permit.

Extend Security to Every File and Device

Not Just Any Cloud: Private Cloud

For added security, deploy a secure mobile file-sharing system in a private cloud environment that is owned and managed by your own IT organization. If you like having your files under lock and key, put your file-sharing services under lock and key, as well.

Not Just Any Cloud: Private Cloud

Connect to Other IT Resources, Such as Directories and ECM

Integrate a mobile file-sharing solution with your enterprise infrastructure such as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol/Access Directory (LDAP/AD) and enterprise content management (ECM) systems such as SharePoint or iManage. ECM products often have limited mobile support. By integrating ECM with mobile file sharing, you give mobile workers continuous secure access to the wealth of data stored in your ECM repositories.

Connect to Other IT Resources, Such as Directories and ECM

Keep Bad Stuff Out

Integrate file sharing with antivirus scanning and other secure gateway services. Don't let file sharing become a new vector for worms and viruses to attack your network.

Keep Bad Stuff Out

Keep Good Stuff In

Integrate file sharing with your company's data loss protection (DLP) service to ensure that employees don't share confidential content with unauthorized users. Ensure that file sharing and file synchronization comply with your organization's data security and confidentiality policies.

Keep Good Stuff In

Block Risky Services

Block consumer-class services upon which users tend to fall back because of habit. Close "back doors" that circumvent your new security controls and thereby jeopardize data security.

Block Risky Services

Wise Users Are Safe Users

Educate users about the risks of mobile file sharing, downloading unapproved mobile apps, and responding to emails that look official but that might be phishing attacks. Encourage users to follow best practices and to use approved tools. Enlist users in keeping your mobile business infrastructure secure and compliant.

Wise Users Are Safe Users

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