Avoiding gaps in mobile security
SECURITY FOR EVERY MOBILE USER
The 2016 Symantec Security Threat report was another reminder – if any was still needed – of the growing risks around mobile devices. Last year saw a staggering 214 per cent increase in new mobile vulnerabilities and an across-the-board rise in malware, phishing and web attacks that specifically target mobile users. No surprise that Symantec recommends that businesses invest in mobility management tools to support their mobile strategies, but the challenge is finding one that covers all bases.
Some providers offer a web-based proxy approach, a gateway where they sift out dubious traffic in a bid to stop shady sites and services reaching employee devices. The challenge with this approach is where you set your parameters.
Only analyzing HTTP traffic, for example, might seem comprehensive but it reflects a here-and-now approach to security when what you really need is to have one foot in the future. Symantec reports a 125 per cent increase in zero-day vulnerabilities, so new mobile threats are a guarantee.
While HTTP (aka web browsing) and the TCP/IP protocol are responsible for most of our online activity, it’s not exclusively what we use. Take UDP (User Datagram Protocol), for example. Unlike HTTP, which is an application layer protocol, UDP operates at the transport layer.
Because it provides a connectionless mode of data transport, it’s less reliable which means there is a risk that some data packets will get lost along the way. This makes it unsuitable for most applications, but ideal for others. Real-time applications like music streaming or Voice over IP (VoIP) use UDP because it doesn’t matter if some data drops as long the bulk of the media is delivered. (Take a look at our blog on Unified Communications)
Streaming services and VoIP are likely to grow dramatically over the next few years, which means UDP usage is going to increase. If you rely on a proxy/gateway for securing mobile traffic that doesn’t monitor all internet protocols, the upshot is that you risk leaving yourself exposed to emerging threats.
With Asavie Moda it’s never an issue because we go about security in a different way. Data connections are secured with policies set on a SIM-by-SIM basis, where our customers can permit or deny access to 25 categories of website, covering 900 million domains. So if you want to simply prevent access to a video streaming service you can do it. (Look back to our recent blog on how strong SIM based mobility management security solutions can help protect your business)
The security features in Asavie Moda are about proactively managing all types of web traffic, not just the everyday protocols. This is why we developed our mobile device management solution from the SIM up, blocking access to the 3.4 billion malicious requests that happen on a monthly basis.
Rather than rely on a gateway/proxy that sits between the internet and employee devices, we believe our SIM-based approach is the best to way to proactively manage a mobile workforce. Any security expert will tell you that being proactive is an important part of combatting cyber crime, so don’t depend on a solution that only does part of the job.
If you are concerned about the security of your company data, take a look at the latest Asavie EMM eBook.