The 6 Steps to Mobile Security Optimization For Your Business

The 6 Steps to Mobile Security Optimization For Your Business

What are the 6 steps to mobile security optimization for your enterprise? How can you help your solution run as efficiently as possible? We explore below!

The 6 Steps to Mobile Security Optimization

1. Mobile Device Visibility

Mobile security optimization can’t begin unless you know all of the devices connecting to your IT network. Otherwise, your enterprise faces constant blind spots and unseen potential security vulnerabilities lurking within your connecting mobile devices.

Thus, your enterprise’s security team needs to perform regular audits on all existing mobile devices connecting to your network. Through these audits, you can analyze each individual device and its usage.

Additionally, audits can inform you as to what devices employees use and their potential security vulnerabilities—such as regular connections to public Wi-Fi. You also learn the number of devices in use; most crucially for mobile security optimization, you can learn whether these devices have received the latest cybersecurity software.

Ultimately, your mobile security optimization depends on maintaining visibility on your entire infrastructure. This principle applies to all of cybersecurity as well; you can’t protect what you can’t see.

2. Remember the Internet of Things (IoT)

As part of your efforts to ensure mobile security optimization, you must remember mobile security often protects more than mobile devices. Indeed, experts report a growing presence of IoT devices in enterprise networks, which present both great opportunities and serious risks.

The overwhelming majority of IoT devices possess no cybersecurity firmware whatsoever. Often, those which do prove difficult to integrate into traditional cybersecurity platforms, to update, or even to evaluate for patches. Therefore, hackers target IoT devices as potential entry ports into enterprise networks as part of lateral movement attacks.

Thus for mobile security optimization, your business must ensure your solution can account for IoT devices and traditional mobile devices. In fact, you may wish to select a solution specifically for IoT devices which integrates with your other mobility solutions; this shall depend on your own network and its devices.

Of course, you must first work to understand what IoT devices connect to your network. Also, you need to know which IoT devices your employees and users plan to integrate with your IT infrastructure. Many IoT devices can prove difficult to detect without some means of intervention.

3. Continual Patching

What worked once may not work 6 months from now or even next week. This proves true for traditional cybersecurity and it proves equally true for mobile security. Hackers continually innovate and evolve their cyber attacks and their tactics to achieve maximum success. Additionally, they also seek out new security vulnerabilities and gaps in mobile security solutions to exploit; even the most comprehensive solution can create esoteric gaps in its protections and your cybersecurity.

Therefore, part of your mobile security optimization must include continual patching of both your mobility solution and your mobile devices. The latter can prove challenging without visibility or a mobile device management solution.

MDM solutions can prove contentious due to employee privacy issues. However, they also allow your IT security team to secure, manage, and monitor employee devices. You can mandate stricter security policies on employee devices for consistent protections.

4. Data Management on Devices

Mobile device management doesn’t just mean managing the software and applications downloaded onto mobile devices. Concurrently, mobile security also means more than protecting just those programs. It also means protecting the files and data traffic which interact with those mobile software programs and applications.

After all, the sensitive files downloaded to devices can linger in those applications long after their initial use. While some apps remove files from mobile device storage and memory after a remote session ends, others don’t. This can obviously make it difficult to know the location of certain files or who has access to them.

Your business needs to control who has access to which files through mobile security optimization. Thankfully, you can achieve this by mandating automatic file removal after remote sessions. Also, you can implement serious control over the initial file downloads and improved visibility on data flows to mobile devices.

Additionally, your mobile security optimization plan must incorporate remote device wiping and disabling in case of device theft or loss. If there’s a chance for recovering the device, you can also choose to target wipe the corporate data from the device to prevent project compromise. However, you should ensure the implementation of these wiping tools fits your enterprise business processes and your employees’ privacy demands.

5. A Positive User Experience

Mobile security optimization needs to recognize that mobile devices by themselves don’t cause the majority of cybersecurity problems. Instead, the employees using these devices tend to be the root of the problem. Thus, you need employee participation to best achieve mobile security optimization; if they don’t participate in your mobile device management policies, your solution can only do so much.

You can help achieve this through positive user experiences. This includes:

  • The ability to access data and apps on any device with personal settings.
  • Self-service provisioning through an enterprise application store with single sign-on.
  • Automated controls on data sharing and management.
  • Convenient syncing and sharing of files from any device, as well as securely controlled but easy file sharing.

Above all, a positive user experience facilitates collaboration and security while remaining in compliance.

6. Employee Education

Of course, the user experience can only facilitate participation if employees understand the principles of mobile device management and security. In fact, a Verizon survey found enterprise regard employees as a threat—whether malicious or due to negligence—to their mobile security. However, 14% of respondent enterprises had no form of security training for their employees.  

You need to remediate this problem immediately. This requires engaging and continual education and the reinforcement of that training through corporate actions.

For the former, one-and-done lecture formats won’t do. Your employee’s attention spans won’t permit it. Instead, you need to embrace gamification. Gamification improves mobile security performance, awareness, and corporate culture by turning the training into a “game.”

As to the latter, your higher-ups must also demonstrate the principles of mobile device management security in their business processes. “Do as I say, not as I do” philosophies can only result in employees neglecting their responsibilities.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of mobile security, you should check out our free 2019 MDM Buyer’s Guide. We profile the top vendors in the mobile device management, their key capabilities, and our Bottom Line for each.

Ben Canner

Ben Canner is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He previously worked as a corporate blogger and ghost writer. You can reach him via Twitter and LinkedIn.