How Insecure Are Your Enterprise Apps? Top Threats To Consider
Original featured on Appindex
Gartner predicts that by 2017 25% of enterprises will have their own enterprise app store. However, as enterprise mobility adoption grows, many companies are still struggling to put together an effective Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) strategy.
One of the biggest obstacles that companies are facing is how to handle potential threats to corporate security and data. This becomes particularly complicated when taking into consideration the great number of devices, platforms and operating systems that need to be considered.
However, there are increasingly more options available to companies to prevent these kinds of threats and to easily manage the enterprise mobility eco system. In this article we focus on one of these solutions – Mobile Device Management (MDM) systems – and look at how they can help you prevent some of the main security threats to the enterprise.
In this article we outline the main enterprise app security threats to the enterprise and how MDMs can prevent these and send you on the path towards enterprise mobility.
Security threats to enterprise mobility adoption
1. Virus and hacking attacks
One of the most significant worries that companies are facing is the possibility of security threats from hacking or virus attacks. This is unfortunately a very real threat due to the nature of the Internet.
However, an MDM system can help your company prevent this by offering you app security measures such as strong password protection and an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certified network. SSL certificates ensure that all data passed between a website and a visitor’s browser remains private and secure by encrypting it, thereby preventing hackers from stealing it.
An MDM system also allows you to manage all your devices in one place, ensuring that the network is secured across all of these.
2. Data leakage
External attacks are not the only source of data leakage; for instance data may be leaked accidentally.
MDM systems can help in this case as well by offering additional levels of encryption to files and email attachment protection. This ensures that corporate information cannot leave secure mobile devices or be leaked into personal email.
3. BYOD-related threats
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives that are now proliferating (90% of workers in the United States are using their personal smartphones for work purposes) are bringing added challenges. Although these initiatives help companies save large amounts of money and often better suit employees’ needs, they are not without their risks.
The main risk is the need to ensure that every single device being used for corporate purposes is being managed centrally. Companies need to know how many devices are being used and what they’re being used for in order to control that no data is leaked.
One of the main ways in which companies can avoid data leakage from corporate devices is by literally controlling what these devices are being used for.
MDM systems can help companies do this via SSL certificates or by forcing all connections to go through a VPN server.
The amount of control companies have in doing this varies from company to company and according to MDM solution and company policy, but generally an MDM system will allow you to:
- Locate any mobile device.
- Block or require apps.
- Limit device access to corporate email and internal resources.
- Encrypt mobile devices.
- Require a specific software version.
- Require employees to set up a password of access to corporate data.
Some MDM systems also allow you to create two separate profiles in your device for personal or corporate use, ensuring that you are only accessing corporate data while logged into the corporate profile.
Another important part of device management is what happens if the user loses the device. MDM systems come in handy here too, as they provide a feature that allows companies to literally wipe all corporate content from the device.
This is a selective wipe function that can even restore all enterprise content if the device is found. It also ensures that personal content is left untouched, maintaining user privacy.
This is also useful when it comes to employees who are leaving the company; preventing them from accessing any enterprise data once they have left can further diminish the risk of leakage.
Although enterprise app security threats are real, there are increasingly more options to help companies prevent them or deal with them if they do happen.
Considering the great benefits of enterprise mobility, companies who are too concerned about threats to move towards adoption will be missing out and potentially stay behind the competition.
At the end of the day, companies need to determine whether the risks of embracing enterprise mobility outweigh the benefits rather than adopting an overcautious approach that prevents them from innovating.