Security Challenges of Enterprise Mobility

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Mobility is the main concern for the Enterprise of late. Every organization is trying to mobilize Organizational data in Mobile devices, trying to create a Mobile Workstation. Mobility increases productivity of an employee drastically, helping him take timely and informed decisions. However the transition into Mobile Workspace from Desktop workspace have seen a major issue of Security for Organizations. The security of working in the encrypted network of the Company’s own server is pretty challenging to achieve in mobile devices. Let us talk about what are the Drivers and Security challenges, the Enterprises are facing in today’s world of mobility.

Drivers of Enterprise Mobility:

The main driving force of the Enterprise Mobility is its own Employees. Employees are demanding more flexibility in their work. Providing basic applications anytime, anywhere have empowered them to take better business decisions and timely executions. If we look simply at what an employee wishes to do without working in a traditional desktop or laptop, we get a long list of possibilities, be it booking for facilities in their own company, or applying / approving for leaves of his group members.

12% of the Enterprise’s concern is how they couldn’t stop BYOD from happening, and employees have started bringing their own device and they get the opportunity to choose from company provided to self owned.
These charts provide us with the insight about which application is most used by the Employees while using their Mobile devices. The organization can either replace them with their own replacement apps or they can simply provide their own apps out of the box.

Major points which comes to question are:
Employee flexibility: With the onset of superior mobile devices and tech savvy nature of human, we are seeing an impressive growth in mobile device adaptability. Now employees want their organization to be adapting to the Mobility revolutions.

Productivity gains: Indeed, the use of apps inside and outside the organization has seen many breakdown of works into smaller parts. Now employees don’t need to go the traditional way of addressing the issue from their own conventional desktop.

Employee Availability: Providing mobile devices and access to network increases the employee engagement and availability. Now the employees are available from anyplace, anytime.
Telecommunication & Remote work: Mobile devices help provide communication, be it Social media interaction, orofficial communication via secure devices.

This following graph shows us a Statistic of Work break up when employees are using Mobile Devices.

Let’s have a look at Security Issues of Mobile Enterprises

The major security issue of Enterprise Mobility is leakage of Confidential Company owned data. The main reasons they can happen from any device without security are listed below.
1) Insecure or unnecessary client side Data Storage.
2) Lack of Data Protection in Transit.
3) Personal Data Leakage.
4) Failure to allow resources with strong authentication.
5) Failure to implement least privilege authorization policy.
6) Client – Side injection.
7) Client – Side DOS.
8) Malicious Third Party code.
9) Client – Side buffer overflow.
10) Failure to apply server side controls.
If we look into the list we can come up with security issues and how then can easily be handled by proper implementation. Some points are self indicative, let us talk about the technological parameters.
Strong Authentication: This will be done on the Client Machine (Mobile device), where the user will be validated before being presented with the data. Implementations which are proper force the user to provide authorization before using Enterprise Apps.
Least Privilege Policy: Data is not meant for everybody, and such is the implementation. Data is provided to users who are privileged to access the data.
Client – Side Injection: These are code injections which are injected from Client Machine. Leading to anomaly behavior of the Enterprise Apps, and may undermine the functionality of the apps.
Client – Side DOS: These are similar to Client Side injection. In this case programs are used in hacking the Enterprise Apps.
Client – Side Buffer Overflow: These issues occur when there is mismanagement of data stacks. Data will be left unattended on client machine and may lead to leakage. This is ensured and controlled by the Enterprise app.
Server Side Control: The organization server should provide the data it needs to share, and should avoid sharing data which is not relevant to the user.

The figure below gives us the possible loss of data scenarios and how Data Loss occurs. It also gives us the process of how we are going to eliminate such instances, just in case.

Addressing Security Concerns inMobile Enterprise

Enterprise Backend Security:

Enterprise Backend Security issues can be handled by enabling Mobility via MEAP (Mobile Enterprise Application Platform). MEAP enables the development of Mobile devices by managing the diversity of the devices, network, and user groups at the time of deployment and throughout mobile solution lifecycle.

A MEAP solution is generally composed of two parts: A Mobile Middleware Server and a Mobile Client application. The mobile middleware server is a solution which handles all the request, queries the application sent from the mobile device to the server, and hereby in this process provide security to the application. Its acts like a communication between the Mobile application and the server and also behave like a firewall providing security from third party mobile app intrusion.

Securing Mobile Devices:

Device management policies needs to be enacted, prohibiting certain features of the mobile to be disabled as soon as the user logs in to the Organization’s secure network. Based on the security requirement, device features like camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi can be blocked from unnecessary access. For enterprise devices, blocking of these features lead to compromise in usage, so employees prefer BYOD (Bring your own device).
In BYOD the enterprise needs to separate the user data from the organization data. Furthermore the enterprise is aware that all the features are enabled for these devices and take sufficient precautions for the same.

Device Management Policies:

Policies to me maintained in Mobile devices and apps which are crucial for providing Enterprise apps to employees.
• Password: Password is a basic level authentication to check user validity, and prevention of unauthorized usage. Password policies like certain strength in Password, can be mentioned so that it’s practically harder to crack the password which can help the application security greatly.
• Encryption: Encryption is the term used, when a data is sent from the server with its contents encoded with a key. Now the client machine provides the same key for decoding the information and gets the original information. Encryption is a secure way of data transmission and should always be encouraged to use.
• Size & format of information: A very important feature, to prevent loss of data by naturally long data.
• Device Management & Hardware Management: A thorough control should be taken against certain Mobile device hardware like Camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Infrared, Device sharing and removable storage.
• Application management: Can restrict certain apps when logged in into Server, by either not letting them start, or simply isolating the Enterprise application by a security layer.

Every organization should create some clear roles for using mobile devices and those rules should be followed strictly if BYOD is setup. The management should create a mobility managing plan so that there’s no confusion regarding the corporate guideline policies. The mobility management policy should have rules and regulations regarding devices, legal issues, and bandwidth.

Enterprise mobility in the workplace environment and its challenges should not be an obstacle. Organizations should address these issues and implement best practices to produce maximum productivity.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather