Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping and travel are nearly here – and that means that data thieves are also moving into high gear, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Gartner. In the U.S., Gartner says that an average of 113 mobile phones are lost or stolen every minute, but the NCSA says that the number of stolen phones can double during the holiday shopping season.Read More
Each year since 2010, the annual InfoTrends survey of knowledge workers in Europe and the U.S. has reported that workers spend up to half their working hours away from hard-wired network access. This means that they’re relying on wireless access via WiFi, VLAN, or cellular connections to access, share, and print the information they need.Read More
With more than 1.2 billion workers using tablets or smartphones in the course of their everyday jobs – about 75.5% of all employees, according to IDC – and the compound annual growth rate of enterprise spending on tablets expected to be 48% over the next five years according to Veritec, it’s no surprise that companies are scrambling to secure these vital business tools. And they’re doing a good job of minimizing the risks posed by mobile devices, analysts agree, with one glaring exception: printing infrastructures in most American businesses have not kept up with mobile technology.Read More
According to a February 2013 report from Zogby Analytics, nearly 80 percent of American investors say they aren’t likely to invest in companies that have suffered multiple cyber attacks. It’s no wonder, since analysts at the Ponemon Institute estimate that data breaches cost large enterprises an average of $5.4 million per breach and can erode brand value by hundreds of millions of dollars.Read More
When it comes to data security, the most obvious solution is to lock down the choices that employees have. That’s what most companies did a decade or more ago, when Cloud-based solutions were still on the drawing board and it was common for employees to be issued a laptop and BlackBerry for work usage.
Prat Agarwal, director of business development at secure mobile printing leader Breezy, says that in today’s world, the key to a secure environment is locking down data – not vendor choice. There are many reasons that locking down device and software choices no longer work, he says.Read More
The U.K. analyst firm Quocirca warns that a growing gap between how business leaders and their employees view the value of mobile printing is putting many companies at risk of a costly data breach. In fact, the company says that 66% of financial services firms had at least one print-related security breach, and 90% of public sector organizations had at least one data breach related to printing.Read More
October is Cyber Security Month. Whether it’s the Department of Homeland Security with its Stop, Think, Connect posters, Wombat Security’s Anti-Phishing Phil training in how URL’s are constructed, or the National Cyber Security Alliance’s Stay Safe Online campaign to teach kids about cyber security, there have been dozens of public and private initiatives this month to raise awareness of online security and safety. Most businesses have a keen awareness of the threats they face, and are taking active measures to combat them.Read More
This Halloween, the cautionary warning for businesses of all size is: Beware of the cyber ogre!Read More
Frequently, when a prospective buyer contacts Breezy about adding a secure mobile printing solution to their BYOD or EMM solution, we ask them to describe the primary problem that they need to solve. Over time, three primary reasons have emerged.Read More
Now that mobile devices are rapidly becoming the primary end-user computing platform in many workplaces, the world of information security is undergoing a profound shift. That’s because securing corporate data and minimizing risk requires a different approach in a mobile first world than in a PC-centric computing environment. That’s the key message in a new white paper from Breezy partner MobileIron, which is available for free download at this link.
The 12-page white paper explains that there are two key reasons why IT needs to adopt new strategies for securing corporate data on mobile devices, as compared to PCs. First, IT has reduced control over mobile devices. The Mobile First era is all about the end user. They get to pick a mobile platform that best meets their personal preferences, with the expectation that the device should also work in a business context for the full range of apps and content needed to stay productive.
This is in stark contrast from the PC era where IT offered end-users an approved PC with a set of pre-selected apps. End-users had very limited say on what the PC was able to access and IT had the ability to control every aspect of the corporate-owned device from physical ports, to software and application versions. For mobile, end-users make the decision for many of these variables and IT can only recommend devices and applications. IT has no way to enforce a standard OS, device or app across the organization. In fact, the more IT tries to lock down devices, the more end-users will try to by-pass policies, increasing risk to the organization, the report says.
Second, old security models are no longer relevant. In the PC operating system scenario, the agent-based security method worked well. This involved a piece of software residing on the PC that controlled the process and data belonging to other applications. Unfortunately, this agent-based security model cannot be used to secure Mobile because of the differences in the way these operating systems are designed.
Mobile operating systems are designed using a sandboxed architecture which enables for isolation of apps and associated data which can only interact and share data through very well-defined mechanisms. This allows for greater security than the open-file system used by PC OS, and needs new tools that leverage specific security capabilities made available by the device vendor itself.
Different Threats Require Different Responses
Prat Agarwal, director of business development at secure mobile printing leader Breezy, agrees with the new MobileIron white paper that mobile devices expose company data to different threats. “Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) tools help companies minimize risk and protect data without interfering with end-user productivity,” Agarwal says. “The methods are different than those used in a PC-only environment, because the threats are different.”
The differences include device-based threats such as:
- Always-on connectivity which could allow unauthorized parties to access business data.
- Software vulnerabilities that allow “jailbreak” or “rooting” of devices, compromising data security.
- Portable form-factor making the devices susceptible to theft and misplacement.
In addition, mobile devices are always connected to the Internet, and users often rely on untrusted public networks that provide a way for malicious parties to access and intercept transmitted data using rouge access points, Wi-Fi sniffing tools, and sophisticated man-in-the-middle attacks. Agarwal says, “The only proven way to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks is on-device encryption. That’s why Breezy encrypts every file: so the simple act of sending a document to a printer doesn’t open the door to this kind of attack.
For more information about the kinds of threats posed by mobile devices, and how to combat them with proven tools, download the new MobileIron white paper, or the mobile threats infographic available at the same link, watch this video from Breezy, or download The Definitive Guide to Mobile Printing, a free ebook from Breezy.
Graphic credit: The graphic is part of an infographic called Security in the Mobile First Era by MobileIron; ©2014 MobileIron.