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News

Symantec Details Best Practice For Securing Enterprise Mobile Devices

Symantec : 11 February, 2011  (Technical Article)
As mobile devices including smartphones are becoming more data-rich and valuable to commercial organisations, Symantec advises on the best way of ensuring that access and data are adequately protected
Several recent media reports have highlighted the risk posed by mobile malware threats and the increasing number of these threats. It is important to remember that while malware targeting smartphones and other mobile devices certainly is a concern, these threats are still in their infancy and have not reached their full potential yet. For the time being, the greatest risk to mobile devices remains data breach due to theft or loss of a device.



Modern mobile devices carry enormous volumes of data and connect across devices and networks using a wide array of connectivity standards. This combined with the fact that millions of mobile devices “go missing” every year paints a clear picture of how improperly managed devices put business information at risk and expose enterprise networks to a dangerous world. The loss or theft of a device can result in direct revenue loss, legal ramifications and brand damage.



To ensure mobile devices and the valuable data on them remain secure in the event of loss or theft, Symantec recommends enterprises follow these best practices:



* Passwords: By policy, all employees should be required to password-protect their mobile devices and they should be instructed to change the passwords frequently to make it difficult for hackers to gain access to sensitive information.

* Encryption: Passwords alone, however, are inadequate security when a thief or hacker has the opportunity to maintain physical possession of the device over a long period. Mobile encryption technologies provide protection for data communicated through and stored on mobile devices.

* Mobile device management: By increasing IT efficiency with over-the-air deployment of applications and updates, management solutions help ensure that devices and the software on them is kept up-to-date. This not only improves end user productivity by managing mobile device health, but also ensures security vulnerabilities are not present on the devices. Such solutions can also empower enterprises with remote wipe and lock capabilities in the event of loss or theft.

* Network access control: Mobile management solutions that include network access control capabilities can help enforce compliance with an enterprise’s security policies and ensure that only secure, policy-compliant devices can access business networks and email servers.

* Authentication: Most enterprise networks require a username and password to identify users, but usernames and passwords can be compromised. Using two-factor authentication technology provides a higher level of security when users log in to the corporate network from mobile devices.
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