7/7/2016
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Ripping Away The Mobile Security Blanket

Upcoming Black Hat USA talk will highlight vulns in Good Technology platform and discuss the dangers of overreliance on enterprise mobility security suites.



The advent of the enterprise mobile security (EMS) suite has done a lot to assuage security practitioners and IT executives about the risks of mobility and bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives. However, the assurance EMS brings may have swung a little too far into overconfidence, according to one researcher bound for the podium at Black Hat USA in Las Vegas this year.

Vincent Tan, a senior security consultant for Singapore-based VantagePoint Security, in his session at Black hat will take a look at a number of vulnerabilities he found in the Good Technology EMS platform and use these to frame his warning that no EMS platform should be a set-and-forget mobile security blanket. He believes that too many enterprises think that once they install an EMS, they're all set for mobile security and don't need to worry about new vulnerabilities.

"A lot of companies I’ve encountered, they implement these enterprise mobile security solutions and think that it’s a magic shield that will protect them from all sorts of threats. But basically, what they don’t realize is that by blindly trusting these vendors, they actually open up their organization to different risks," he warns. "They have to remember that this is just one layer of security and they have to have other layers on top."

Tan took a look at Good's platform from two major perspectives, namely on its device-level policy enforcement and jailbreak perspective as well as its enterprise application management features -- both of which provide the major protection benefits enterprises generally seek when it comes to mobility. On each front, he found vulnerabilities that neutralize those benefits.

"So the issue in jailbreak and rooting protection is most of these solutions don’t implement a comprehensive detection measure---they can easily be bypassed by just cancelling out one or two functions. So it’s not really that difficult for malware to do that," he says. "[And] it is relatively simple for anybody to disable the entire security policy that is set by the organization."

While Tan's talk will focus on the technical details around the vulnerabilities he found in Good's products, he says that these are likely the tip of the iceberg for EMS solutions. Good and VMware's Airwatch are "actually the two most comprehensive solutions" out there at the moment when it comes to device policy enforcement and jailbreak protection, he says.

Black Hat USA returns to the fabulous Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada July 30 through Aug. 4, 2016. Click for information on the conference schedule and to register.

In addition, Tan also says he found vulnerability in the Good Dynamic Platform for building custom apps that exposes corporate applications servers on the intranet to public Internet connectivity.

"What I’ve found is that a malicious user is able to access the entire corporate intranet via a Good Dynamics application, which is not supposed to happen," he says. "So Good calls this the application VPN, and the idea behind this is for all enterprise applications to be able to connect securely back to the corporate intranet. The way they’ve done it has some issues, and because of those issues I’m able to use an application to connect back to the corporate intranet.

"The significance of this is that all application servers that they’re using are now somehow exposed to the Internet," he says.

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Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio
 

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