Securing mobile devices in a changing threat landscape

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly critical for business operations throughout both small and large organisations. Of course, with an increased uptake comes greater security risk – something that requires attention.

This article will take a look at the use of mobile devices within businesses and potential IT security risks as the threat landscape continues to change.

The growth of mobile

Smartphones have become an essential tool for businesses, growing to rival even the laptop and desktop in terms of necessity. With the modern smartphone, employees are able to stay in touch whilst on the road, share documents and photos from anywhere and operate remotely with a greater degree of freedom.

Simultaneously, tablets are offering robust computing experiences with a high degree of mobility, further negating the need for larger computers.

For many businesses, these tools represent a significant overhaul of traditional operations and this subsequently opens the door to new security risks.

It's essential that companies take all necessary actions to cut down on the chance of security breaches.

Mobile security risks

Mobile malware is growing at a faster pace than last year, according to the TrendLabs 1Q 2014 Security Roundup report from Trend Micro. The number of mobile apps at high risk of malware infection reached two million in this quarter alone.

The company explained that cyber criminal demand for malicious tools and services could be a primary driver of infection growth.

Organisations have a significant challenge ahead when dealing with smartphone security, as attacks can come from insecure applications installed off the internet. These apps could even be installed by staff unaware of the dangers.

However, strategies do exist for mitigating mobile threats, but they could involve a significant rethinking of security within the organisation.

There are two options for handling mobile device security. One is mobile application management (MAM), which involves the company securing only company-specific applications on a device, and the other is mobile device management (MDM). This process differs significantly, involving a company taking control of the entire device and securing every aspect.

While it would appear to be the most secure option, growth of other trends such as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) has meant staff are using their own smartphones – and companies cannot manage every aspect of an employee-owned phone.

As different security threats manifest themselves in the near future, staying on top of data protection for employees will need to remain a top priority. Of course, it's also going to be increasingly important to ensure that customers are safe from potential security threats.

A consequence of failing to deal with proper security is often reputation damage from losing data, and potentially a struggle to return to normal operations.

Any sort of push into mobile requires appropriate security consideration, and the necessary methodologies to deliver cohesive security solutions.

One of these solutions, SABSA, is comprehensive, and relatively easy to implement within an organisation.

Utilising SABSA

SABSA can play a critical role in the security of organisations, as it's a best practice method used by leading organisations across the globe.

Once IT staff have SABSA training, they're capable of ensuring security needs are delivered and subsequently supported.

For organisations wanting to find out more about SABSA, as well as other useful IT frameworks, speak to ALC Training today. Courses can be delivered to all major cities within Australia, as well as other key locations throughout the Asia Pacific and across the globe.

Taking the time to focus on security now is certainly preferable to dealing with the fallout of a significantly damaging security breach.