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Why you need security experts to help with mobile device management [Symantec]

Enterprise Software | Posted on July 20, 2011

With more employees are bringing their personal mobile devices into work and expecting to use them —  an additional layer of security is needed to protect the corporate network.

But comparing mobile security to desktop security is like comparing apples to oranges. With so many different devices (and different versions of those devices) coming into an organization, security can get complicated.

So when it comes to securing mobile devices, it means enforcing security policies by managing the devices’ native security functionality (which is the case for Apple, Android and BlackBerry, while Windows Mobile and Symbian have specific third-party agents available).

But there are a lot of misconceptions about mobile security that can lead to a false sense of how secure your organization really is. Here are a few of the most common myths surrounding mobile security:

Myth: Having a core security solution in the office means IT assets and data are safe everywhere.
Fact: Without a mobile management solution in place to enforce company policies, you have no way of ensuring that your company’s intellectual property (or patient files or customer information) is not going to be downloaded, emailed or lost when personal devices are not connected to the corporate network.

 Myth: Existing mobile security programs are already good enough, and don’t need further investment or long-term planning.
Fact: The mobile landscape is changing daily, so you need consistent visibility into your mobile assets and the ability to adjust on the fly. In other words, you need a scalable solution that has the ability to change as the industry does.

Myth: We use BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server), so we’re covered.
Fact: While RIM has purchased a mobile device management vendor to manage iPhones, iPads and Android devices, this integration will take time. Clearly, there’s a need to manage all of your devices today, not tomorrow. But some vendors in this space offer mature platforms with BlackBerry integration — and still provide that “single pane of glass.”

While today we may be more interested in management functionality, such as enterprise activation and password enforcement, tomorrow we will definitely be thinking about security, from anti-virus to data loss prevention. So it makes sense to look for a vendor that not only provides a mobile management solution, but also specializes in security, in order to future-proof your network.

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