Are you managing your mobile devices or securing them?

Mobile device management (or MDM) has become a hot buzzword. Google, Apple and Microsoft have been adding more device management features, and more and more organizations are deploying MDM solutions to “protect” their devices.

However, there is one important question: what do we need to protect our devices from?  Our mobile devices face threats from all angles:

  1. device loss
  2. insecure and permissive applications
  3. malware and viruses
  4. data loss
  5. phishing

MDM does a good job of protecting against some types of threats, such as device loss and insecure and permissive apps. The key features all MDM solutions offer include:

  • Centralizing remote management to apply policies and monitor device usage
  • Creating policies to control access to phone software or hardware features like the camera, Bluetooth or messaging applications
  • Locating, locking and and wiping devices in the event they are misplaced, stolen or compromised
  • Managing applications by distributing company approved apps and adding access to a company managed app store

What MDM doesn’t protect is the data in transit to and from the device, which is arguably the most important piece to protect – and the area the most malicious threats are targeting.

Some stats:

  • 45% of businesses with less than 1000 employees spent more than $100,000 on mobile security data breaches in 2012. *
  • 52% of large companies spent more than $500,000 on mobile security data breach incidents in 2012.*

Today’s hackers are looking for information: personally identifiable information (passwords and usernames), customer data and confidential corporate information.  Businesses need to protect confidential business information and processes. MDM solutions aren’t proactive about preventing data threats and data loss.

MDM solutions typically do not include:

  • Protecting the network (or the path) data travels to and from the device
  • Monitoring the permissions an application requests or the types of data the application sends
  • Ensuring safe pathways for data through firewall capabilities

For companies that need to do more than lock and wipe to secure their data, they need a mobile security solution that protects critical company data on the device and in transit through the network, identifies anomalies, and blocks malicious threats. For effective mobile security, you need both device management and data management, across native and third-party applications.

To learn more about enterprise strategies for managing risks and identifying solutions, check out our white paper “Mobile Security and Threat Landscape.

Our CEO, Garrett Larsson will be talking about MDM and mobile security at Interop on April 2 – if you’re going to the conference, be sure to stop by our session!

interop 2014

* Checkpoint 2013 Mobile Security Study

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