Risk
5/13/2011
01:58 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Mobile Security Needs Executive Involvement

IT managers need a plan for managing a highly variable fleet of devices through mobile device management, according to panelists at InformationWeek Analytics Live sessions at Interop 2011.

If you missed the InformationWeek Analytics Live sessions at Interop 2011 in Las Vegas, a UBM TechWeb event, you definitely want to check out the slides--there's a huge wealth of information that you can use when you are preparing to discuss mobility with executives.

Below are some of the salient points that you may want to consider from the consumerization and midmarket mobility and security presentations.

-- The next time that you start talking mobility strategy, you might want to grab the graphically presented stats that Grant Moerschel, analyst and VP of Wavegard, got from Infonetics Research. They clearly show, in an objective manner, the staggering growth trend of mobile devices. For executive business management or IT staffs to ignore such a trend would be foolhardy.

-- According to analyst Mike Davis, who is also CEO of Savvid Technologies, "platform fragmentation makes effective risk reduction and management just about impossible without a heterogeneous device management platform." In other words, IT needs to know that standardizing devices is going to be impossible, and has to plan for managing a highly variable fleet of devices through mobile device management (MDM). We had strong agreement on this. A riff on this that I threw into the mix that I've learned from other IT leaders is that you really want to bundle the cost of MDM into the ongoing opex of the device. That is, nobody's going to give $50,000 annually to IT to run MDM, but it is relatively simple to negotiate with business units to pay $5 to $15 a month on top of their mobile bills, especially when you explain the benefit.

-- There's some disagreement, even within our ranks, about the desirability to focus on remote-control tools as the primary way that users interface with corporate data. Others say that this secures the device, with no data at rest. I say, sure, that's true, but it completely ignores the reason that the device was purchased in the first place: a truly mobile user interface, simpler apps, ability to work offline via cloud file sync tools, quicker access from the time you turn it on to the time you get work done. If folks wanted Windows, they'd buy netbooks, not iPads or Android tables. Ever try to right click from a tablet?

-- More than ever, IT folks are trying to wrap their arms around this realization that they can't do it alone. In the same way that ERP projects fail without executive involvement, I believe that mobility initiatives won't work without some level of executive involvement. Davis did a nice job of laying out the threat environment--everything from GSM being cracked, to defects in kernel code, to malicious apps from the app store that surreptitiously call Russian pay-by-the-minute numbers or send SMS messages that result in extra charges on your phone bill. Execs need to be educated regarding the threat environment. But so do end users. Davis said that he's had a lot of success in compliance when he educates folks that basic security practices not only protect the corporation, these practices also protect the employee's photos, personal information, and in some cases, personal finances.

Jonathan Feldman is a contributing editor for InformationWeek and director of IT services for a rapidly growing city in North Carolina. Write to him at jf@feldman.org or at @_jfeldman.


Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading December Tech Digest
Experts weigh in on the pros and cons of end-user security training.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2037
Published: 2014-11-26
Openswan 2.6.40 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and IKE daemon restart) via IKEv2 packets that lack expected payloads. NOTE: this vulnerability exists because of an incomplete fix for CVE 2013-6466.

CVE-2014-6609
Published: 2014-11-26
The res_pjsip_pubsub module in Asterisk Open Source 12.x before 12.5.1 allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (crash) via crafted headers in a SIP SUBSCRIBE request for an event package.

CVE-2014-6610
Published: 2014-11-26
Asterisk Open Source 11.x before 11.12.1 and 12.x before 12.5.1 and Certified Asterisk 11.6 before 11.6-cert6, when using the res_fax_spandsp module, allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (crash) via an out of call message, which is not properly handled in the ReceiveFax dia...

CVE-2014-7141
Published: 2014-11-26
The pinger in Squid 3.x before 3.4.8 allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information or cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds read and crash) via a crafted type in an (1) ICMP or (2) ICMP6 packet.

CVE-2014-7142
Published: 2014-11-26
The pinger in Squid 3.x before 3.4.8 allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information or cause a denial of service (crash) via a crafted (1) ICMP or (2) ICMP6 packet size.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Now that the holiday season is about to begin both online and in stores, will this be yet another season of nonstop gifting to cybercriminals?