Mobility and Security Go Hand-in-Hand

“By the end of 2017, market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT.” Gartner

The reason for Gartner’s prediction of a fast growing industry is that more and more organizations across multiple sectors are adopting the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) culture. With most functionalities going digital, many employees have started to use their mobile devices not only for communicating with their peers but also for storing and accessing business-critical data on and off company premises. While this has added a lot of ease and reduced time to respond, it has invariably led to a laundry list of issues, especially regarding security.

The Vulnerabilities

While organizations are worried sick about hackers stealing critical data, they have come to realize that often the enemy lies within. Employees who can access business data over their smart devices may—knowingly or unknowingly—share critical data with competitors or simply lose their devices that may have accessible data. Such data in the wrong hands may prove to be very costly.

These problems have made employers lose sleep, worrying and fretting about the safety of their data. Even though these problems may be resolved by a seamless implementation and integration of a robust security system with firewalls and servers that allow communication via mobile devices, there are still many security threats that loom large.

Banking and financial sectors along with organizations dealing with security need to be the most careful about such events, and must try to curtail losses ASAP. As per SafeNet’s Breach Level Index, “…not all breaches are reported and many, especially those involving insiders, may go unnoticed or take a long time be discovered.” Furthermore, regardless of the number of incidents, SafeNet’s report claims that insiders account for more than half of the actual information lost.

The more the time taken for the realization that crucial data has been compromised due to an internal threat, the more severe the losses will be, which may be monetary or related to loss of reputation. Both could eventually lead to loss of a customer base.

When it comes to insiders, “ignorant users” are known to be the biggest threat. However, almost 70% of IP thefts are committed by disgruntled, grudge-bearing employees or by employees that are looking for monetary gains. Emails are another common method by which employees can steal data. With all the company data now available on their smart phones there is a huge security concern with these employees. With the explosion of social media—Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and every other new information-sharing app—in addition to their heightened the accessibility by almost all employees, it is very difficult to control what critical information is being made public.

Apart from this, a lot of organizations are shifting toward storing (sometimes critical) data online using cloud-based platforms. In case such data is breached and is made public, it may result in enormous losses.

With organizations allowing external hard-disks and USB access to employees, this may in fact turn out to be the easiest means of data theft in the electronic format unless it is controlled and supervised. Coming to the more physical aspect of data theft, unsupervised printouts seem to be an obvious choice.

What Is Needed?

Mobile DLP helps prevent data leakage from mobile devices and safeguards unencrypted information. It acts as a gatekeeper to control confidential information from compromised and unauthorized access by routing the traffic through a corporate virtual private network (VPN) server.

Mobile DLP also allows access restriction for applications. The solution can help enforce a restriction on usage of select applications by blacklisting them or exceptionally allowing some applications to users by whitelisting them based on user business requirements and approvals.

Further, mobile devices connected to the corporate network can be monitored for voice chat activities through control of HTTP/HTTPS and can also log all outgoing text as well as multimedia messages to prevent data leakage. DLP solutions act like control centers for sensitive data, user profiles and device information.

With enhanced security and business flexibility, Mobile DLP offers the perfect combination required for securing data on mobile devices. Protecting the 3Cs—content, credentials, and configurations—is an essential element of any data security strategy and Mobile DLP helps address all the possible channels for vulnerabilities.