Breaking Down Barriers for a Holistic Security Ecosystem
The contemporary workforce relies on mobile devices for day-to-day productivity. In a recent survey of senior business leaders, Oxford Economics found that 80% believe that mobile devices are essential for employees to do their jobs. The report concludes that “modern work is mobile work.” The evidence supports their conclusion: 75% state that mobile devices are a critical component for their workflow, and approximately two-thirds expect that employees will be available remotely on their mobile devices. 1
The ubiquity of mobile computing is apparent among senior executives, who often conduct a significant share of emailing and other business activities on a mobile device. Given that emails containing sensitive information are routinely opened for the first time on a mobile device, implementing robust security controls on these devices should be a top priority for any organization. Too often, however, mobile security is less of a priority than more traditional network and endpoint security deployments.
It would be an overstatement to suggest that mobile devices have replaced desktop computing, but it is clear that the augmented capabilities that modern devices offer will only increase in importance in the coming years. There is, however, little uniformity among organizations in how mobile devices are integrated into business processes: it is estimated that a majority (72%) either permit or plan to permit some kind of bring-your-owndevice (BYOD) model for their business operations. 2 The plethora of devices and operating systems in enterprise ecosystems can make the task of keeping mobile devices secure extremely complicated.
Enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions offer a starting point for securing mobile endpoints in a company-issued mobile environment; however, as the mobile threat landscape evolves and more sophisticated hackers target mobile users, these management systems are not sufficient for current enterprise needs. An EMM platform’s core functionality includes:
- Ensuring policy and configuration standards are met;
- Tracking device location and activity;
- Updating device operating system and applications; and
- Remotely resolving technical issues.
These functions, while important, are not a substitute for a mobile security solution. EMM is an effective management and policy enforcement tool, but organizations must do more than install an EMM solution to address mobile security concerns. By understanding the current mobile threat landscape, and tracing the evolution of mobile security solutions, organizations can move toward a holistic model of mobile threat defense.