Mobile Often Overlooked as a Security Vulnerability

When many CIOs think about mobility in their enterprises, they focus on apps, user enablement, asset management, or carrier cost reduction. In most service providers’ sales decks, you see a heavy focus on lifecycle management or expense management. It’s rare that you see anyone mention security, but that can be a big mistake.

While it’s true that Android and iOS are more hardened than most desktop operating systems, the ubiquity and always-connected nature of mobile devices has made them more and more a target of attackers. Even with your devices managed by an EMM platform, there are still threats from phishing, app malware, and network-based attacks. Given the amount of sensitive corporate data that exists on our phones today, these threats are significant.

These risks are only going to increase, so it’s prudent to consider adding a Mobile Threat Defense (MTD) platform to your mobile strategy. These platforms monitor apps and network traffic to detect security threats, and either block the threats or prevent the device from accessing corporate data. Because many of these platforms monitor network traffic in real time, they can apply advanced AI to detect suspicious activity that could represent a zero-day attack. That real-time network monitoring means they can also enforce content policies that might otherwise be hard to capture via simpler EMM configurations.

We work with a few MTD providers, each with their own particular strengths. Wandera and Lookout route traffic through a secure VPN to inspect the actual network flow and block suspicious or malicious traffic. Better Mobile utilizes a managed DNS-based system to prevent access to likely threats. In all three cases, agent apps loaded on the device communicate app metadata back to central systems that will flag devices with malicious data.

In future posts we’ll dig into some of the specific attacks these platforms protect against, both to explain the nature of the risk as well as to describe how MTD systems address it. If you’re concerned about mobile security, set up a call with us. We can talk through your concerns and help construct a strategy to protect your environment.

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