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4 steps for mobile data loss prevention

With so much importance currently being placed on the ability to work from anywhere, mobile technology is quickly becoming one of the most prominent tools in the enterprise. Along with the increased use of mobile devices comes a greater number of mobile applications, the use of which often leave companies vulnerable to malicious actors and the potential loss of sensitive data.

No matter what mobile operating system a business relies on, they all have faults. A careless user can open the door to malware, endangering networks and critical information. A common scenario involves an employee losing his or her mobile device in a public place without a screen lock or password. Even if users are careful with their phones and tablets, cybercriminals are always looking for backdoors into enterprise networks where they can slip in undetected and infect corporate systems with malware.

Luckily for businesses, these types of major breaches can be avoided through the implementation of data loss prevention tools. Securing employee mobile devices is an important step for every company to take in their security program, but there are four main points to keep in mind when deploying a mobile data loss prevention solution:

1) Stay ahead of malware attacks
Every mobile OS brings with it a specific set of vulnerabilities, as well as its own security features. While iOS has a reputation for being safer than Android, for instance, there are also a variety of iOS security features that interfere with user functionality and cause people to migrate toward Android devices. Mobile security is different for every device and a well rounded policy covers all aspects of defense.

2) Containerization

Although still not widely utilized, containerization is one of the most reliable data loss prevention tools IT departments can deploy today. This application security mechanism allows admins to deliver individual apps to a mobile device while maintaining control over security. Using mobile device and application management, IT decision-makers can enforce and manage the security containers.

Using mobile device management, businesses can require mobile users to enable device locks and encryption protocols, and admins can set application-level security policies for a totally customized defense solution. Under mobile application management, encryption can be enforced at the app and content levels, and IT teams can decide what virtual private network tunnels are able to connect specific programs to the enterprise network. Employing these types of security measures allow applications themselves to become secured containers, greatly improving protection.

3) Split BYOD devices into dual personas
One of the most common reasons hackers are able to breach enterprise networks through employee mobile devices is because users don’t adequately separate their work and personal data. A dual persona approach, which is being implemented by major vendors like BlackBerry and Samsung, allows users to keep their business applications in a secure, virtual box on a device. Unmanaged applications cannot be stored in this box and corporate programs can’t be moved outside of the box, creating a secure perimeter around business-critical systems while still making them accessible on an employee device.

4) Document sharing and open-in management
Creating a dual persona for employee devices is a great way to increase enterprise security, but it doesn’t keep workers from needing to share information between the two types of programs. When such a scenario occurs, policy management services within MAM and MDM tools should dictate which applications can connect with one another in order to mitigate the risk of a breach.

About The Author

Suzannah Hastings

Suzannah is interested in all things digital, from software security to the latest technological advances. She writes about ways in which the increasingly internet-driven landscape and windows technologies like steady state alternative that change our lives, and what we can expect in the future.

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