Quarri Prevents Users From Copying Sensitive Data on Android Devices

Quarri has extended its Protect on Q browser security product to protect sensitive corporate data being viewed on Android devices.

Quarri Technologies is extending its endpoint security platform to Android devices, calling the mobile operating system the "second-largest attack surface," according to company executives.

With Quarri Protect on Q Mobile for Android, enterprises can protect sensitive data from data leaks even when accessed via mobile devices, Quarri officials said Dec. 13. The security controls prevent users, whether they are malicious or careless insiders, or external adversaries, from unauthorized access and data replication, Bill Morrow, executive chairman of Quarri Technologies, told eWEEK.

Quarri's POQ for Android also offers certificate whitelisting and blocking of invalid certificates to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, as well as block browser plug-ins to mitigate hostile browser extensions, according to the company. The mobile version of Quarri's security product also has network destination controls that prevent various forms of session redirection attacks.

"Data at rest is relatively secure, but data that's moving needs to be protected," Morrow said. He called the browser at the endpoint "the weakest point on the network."

Employees are increasingly using various devices outside the corporate network to access company data, making it a challenge for IT departments to secure the data that is being copied onto, or read from, devices outside their control, according to Morrow. Organizations can lock down devices so that nothing can be accessed and "not take advantage of the latest technology," or look for ways to protect data while being up-to-date with new products, he said.

However, Morrow was quick to point out that "not all threats are external," as insiders are responsible for about 60 percent to 65 percent of data leaks. Insiders whom Morrow called "careless," rather than malicious, cause about half the data leaks. Only about 20 percent of data leaks could be attributed to external hackers, according to Morrow.

"Quarri's Protect On Q product suite helps corporations mitigate data replication by controlling both malicious and careless end-user behavior to prevent sensitive information from being stolen, leaked or shared," he said.

IT administrators can designate certain pieces of data as being highly sensitive and require users to employ a protected browser on their devices to be able to access it. POQ "wraps data" and keeps it secure from all threats, according to Morrow, noting that Quarri is not trying to protect all the data in the enterprise. The goal is to identify the most important pieces of data and critical intellectual property and just protect that, he said.

Visual cues show users that the data they are trying to access is protected, which is often enough to make users think twice about being careful with the information, according to Morrow. It's a form of education, since users can't claim to not know what they were trying to view, or copy, was sensitive, but POQ also enforces the restriction by blocking user actions, he said. If the administrator has designated the item in question as something that can't be replicated, when the user tries to print the screen, copy it onto an external drive or any other action, they are shown a message that informs them the action is not authorized and cannot be performed.

The company initially worked on the Windows platform because it was the most targeted environment. The latest product focused on the Android platform because it was the second-largest platform under attack, Morrow said. Apple is the third-largest platform, and Quarri has plans for securing Apple's devices in early 2012, Morrow said.