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What’s Different About Mobile Security?

Posted on Tue, Oct 21, 2014

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.

 

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Tags: mobile security, MobileIron, Breezy for Enterprise

Making EMM FUN

Posted on Thu, Sep 18, 2014

A Screw’s Loose is one of the more interesting technical blogs out there. Katz, a Director of Mobility Engineering at Sanofi and a widely recognized thought leader in enterprise mobility, wrote a great post recently on the a continuing gap between what users want and what IT delivers – and noted that the cause of that gap is the way IT views the users.

In the post, Katz writes that IT shouldn’t view employees as IT users, but as IT customers. Changing the definition makes a big difference in how products and services are developed, rolled out, and supported. “Whenever people talk about creating apps the conversation turns to delighting the customer. Companies build apps that will delight people. They will have a great user interface (UI) and an even better user experience (UX). They will enable people to do what they want/need to do. We learn from day one when you walk into a company it’s all about pleasing the customer. That’s why we build consumer apps the way that we do,” Katz wrote.

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Tags: mobile security, enterprise mobility, EMM, mobile app development, IT mobility planning, mobile apps

Why School District 1:1 Mobile Device Programs Fail

Posted on Tue, Sep 09, 2014

As schools around the country kick off the 2014-2015 school year, the headlines seem tell a story of one school district after another abandoning highly touted programs to put laptop or tablets into the hands of every student. Here are just a few recent articles that seem to mark these programs as failures:

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Tags: secure mobile printing, mobile security, mobile device management, mobile devices, education, K-12 iPad deployment, K-12 1:1 mobile device deployment, Breezy in education, Chromebook K-12 usage

The BYOD War is Over & Users Won: Now What?

Posted on Wed, Sep 03, 2014

IDC says that 1.2 billion workers were using mobile devices at the end of 2013. If there was a battle about whether or not mobile devices were welcome in the workplace, the war is over and users won. In fact, IDC says that the adoption of mobile technology is moving at unprecedented speeds, putting the needs and experience of end users at the forefront of any company's mobile enterprise strategy.

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Tags: mobile security, mobile device management, BYOD, Gartner, Radicati,, IDC

Changing Questions Posed to Analysts Highlight “Absurd” Pace of Change in Securing Mobile Devices

Posted on Fri, Aug 15, 2014

Four years ago, in June 2010, Forrester Analyst Michele Pelino wrote a blog post that summarized the top questions that Forrester clients asked about mobile devices and mobile applications. Pelino wrote that in the previous 12 months, 700 of the 22,000 inquiries that Forrester analysts fielded from clients were related to enterprise mobility issues, a jump from 360 in 2007.

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Tags: secure mobile printing, mobile security, IT security, mobile devices, Forrester Research,

Keyloggers & Other Business Center Security Worries

Posted on Tue, Jul 15, 2014

When business travelers are on the go and need to print, a trip to the business center at a hotel, airport or convention center can be a lifesaver. This week, however, security blogger Brian Krebs published a memo from the U.S. Secret Service warning that criminals have been compromising hotel business center PCs with keystroke-logging malware, in a bid to steal personal and financial data from guests.

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Tags: secure mobile printing, mobile security, Breezy Partner Network

Mobile Security Threats Grow with Mobile Device Penetration

Posted on Tue, Jul 01, 2014

Every year, tech venture capital leader Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers (KPCB) publishes a report on Internet trends. And every year that report serves as a snapshot that developers, investors and CIOs use to help them plan ahead and check their understanding of important trends.

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Tags: mobile security, enterprise mobility

Mobile App Mistakes May Account for 75% of Mobile Security Breaches

Posted on Tue, Jun 24, 2014

According to Gartner, nearly 2.2 billion smartphones and tablets will be sold to end users in 2014. And it’s a good bet that most of them will wind up housing at least some data that belongs to the device owner’s employer.

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Tags: Android, iPad, mobile security, iPhone, mobile device management, MDM, Gartner, Android security, iPhone security, iPad security

What Google’s End-to-End Encryption Move Means for Mobile Security

Posted on Fri, Jun 20, 2014

Earlier this month, Google announced a new Chrome browser add-on dubbed End-to-End, which is designed to make email more secure. While some media reports trumpeted the move as an attempt to “fly in the face of the National Security Agency”, most reported it simply as an added layer of security for messages delivered via the Internet.

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Tags: mobile security, Breezy, encryption, Google End-to-End encryption

Mobile Security Lessons IT Can Learn from FIFA's World Cup

Posted on Tue, Jun 17, 2014

Football – not the American-style game played with a pointed ball by men in helmets and pads, but the global game played with a round ball by men in shorts --  is suddenly a hot topic in U.S. IT circles.

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Tags: IT, mobile security, IT security, BYOD, 2014 World Cup

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