How to Choose a Secure and Eco-friendly Mobile Work Force Solution

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 United States, 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. Battery 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 challenges.

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 ( SSL) have 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 ( TLS), the mobile VPN, has evolved to handle the requirements of both the wired and wireless world.