How Enterprises Can Avoid Costly Guesswork in Their Networks

eWEEK DATA POINTS: Network performance and data usage information on any network can be used to maximize performance, mitigate security threats and control costs across an entire mobile deployment.


In the age of the mobile enterprise, one security breach on an employee’s corporate-owned mobile device in a public network could give hackers access to proprietary company data.

Although most enterprises have organization-wide security policies to thwart attacks, those policies are less effective when an organization lacks visibility into the networks that workers access on their corporate devices. This lack of visibility creates blind spots that leave an enterprise’s data vulnerable to security threats.

Operational intelligence platforms for mobile enterprises enable IT organizations to transform devices into sensors, providing data on device status, network performance and data usage on any network. This data can be used to maximize performance, mitigate security threats and control costs across an entire mobile deployment.

In this eWEEK Data Point article, we offer some relevant industry information from NetMotion, an expert on Mobile Operations Intelligence, on how this knowledge can be beneficial for enterprises.

Data Point No. 1: Unlike corporate networks, enterprises do not control or have insight into public Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

IT has little or no data to identify the source of performance issues for employees outside of the firewall. Enterprises can’t sufficiently protect employees outside the firewall against mobile security threats or restrict unsafe behaviors.

Data Point No. 2: To troubleshoot for employees on third-party networks, IT has few options but guesswork or trial and error.

This ties up IT resources, takes employees offline and means that they are often unable to meet customer needs. Sixty-three percent of enterprises either could not or were not sure if they had the capability to monitor devices that were outside of the corporate network.

Data Point No. 3: When employees are outside the firewall, substantial security risks are a concern.

Data leakage (45 percent) and phishing attacks (26 percent) top the list of security threats enterprises fear from their increasing reliance on mobile devices for everyday business operations. Without visibility, threats can’t be addressed, such as unsecure WiFi, disabled VPNs, data traffic to overseas servers and more. A whopping 66 percent of enterprises do not require users to connect with a VPN when accessing corporate data.

Data Point No. 4: Many mobile security vulnerabilities are the result of mobile workers unaware that they are causing the problem.

Being neglectful with device updates and sharing company data over public Wi-Fi. Using their corporate-owned device as their primary means of communication and accidentally clicking on insecure links.

Data Point No. 5: Turning mobile devices into IoT-like sensors provides real time data on users, devices, networks and applications that can be used to maximize performance and reduce costs.

Troubleshooting becomes far easier. IT can take proactive steps to ensure maximum uptime and performance. Monitor mobile network availability and throughput and automatically prioritize mission-critical application traffic. Improve cost control. Determine under- and over-utilized data plans, devices and other assets to control costs.

Data Point No. 6: With real time data from devices everywhere, it’s possible to achieve stronger security

Security issues can be spotted quickly and handled before damage is done.Know when an employee turns off their VPN or set a policy that won’t allow the employee to disable a VPN.Identify users or applications sending data to or receiving data from unexpected locations.Know when an employee is using an insecure WiFi access point.

Data Point No. 7: The ability to access and analyze comprehensive mobile data across networks and devices gives rise to Operational Intelligence.

“Operational Intelligence platforms are an important development for enterprise IT teams giving them visibility and control of how end users, applications, devices, network infrastructure, and internal and external services all interact,” said Phil Hochmuth, Program Director, Enterprise Mobility at IDC. “Enterprises can leverage the unique troves of data they collect including network and packet inspection, monitoring of user and application behavior and network performance.” Operational intelligence requires that a client software gather real-time data and analytics on mobile workers, Wi-Fi and cellular networks, applications and devices. The data can be constructed to provide a comprehensive view of the entire mobile deployment.

Data Point No. 8: Conclusion: Operational Intelligence is paving the way for new trends in enterprise mobility.

Sixty-one percent of businesses said they implemented AI in 2017, up from just 38 percent in 2016. —Narrative Science, 2018

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...