How to Integrate Mobile Device Security Into Your Endpoint Security
By Ben Canner
Your enterprise can’t put the genie back in the bottle concerning mobile device security. Instead, your business needs to embrace mobile device security and integrate it with your endpoint security solution. Mobile security encompasses the protective capabilities for portable devices and the data they contain; they work to deflect and deter malware attacks and unauthorized users attacking mobile devices.
These portable devices can include smartphones, laptops, tablets, and wearables.
Moreover, enterprises increasingly face a proliferation of mobile devices connecting to their networks. Bring-your-own-devices (BYOD) cultures flourish because employees prove far more productive, but they present their own cybersecurity obstacles.
So how can you integrate mobile device security with your endpoint security solution? Here are our suggestions!
How to Integrate Mobile Device Security and Endpoint Security
1. Enact Password Standards and Rotation
Technically, password security falls under the category of identity and access management. However, endpoint security must also integrate identity and access management to achieve full optimization—your mobile devices have passwords, after all.
Mobile device security still relies on passwords, especially when concerning smartphones, to prevent unauthorized access. Therefore, you need to enforce strong password strategies on all of your devices. First, prevent password repetition—users often repeat their passwords, and every iteration reduces their effectiveness. You can assign passwords or mandate complicated passwords through required standards at password creation.
Additionally, your enterprise can enforce password rotation to mandate the passwords to stay fresh continually. The fresher and more distinct the password, the less likely hackers can guess or crack them.
Finally, you should consider bolstering your mobile device security with other authentication capabilities. These can include two-factor authentication, multi-factor authentication, and biometrics.
2. Application Control
Mobile device security must also confront applications (apps) as they profoundly affect your business processes. Of course, your applications must stay up-to-date to enjoy the benefits of current threat intelligence; updates contain critical security patches responding to specific mobile security threats and malware.
However, apps could also conceal potential security threats to bypass the digital perimeter. Without monitoring, users could unwittingly download malicious apps and thus threaten your entire business. Thankfully, endpoint security can enforce application control on all of your devices. This prevents users from downloading unknown applications without security team approval. Also, application control can monitor the applications themselves for malicious behaviors.
3. Prevent (Or Secure) Public WiFi Connections
Here’s the challenge of mobile device security: your employees and users can use them anywhere. On the one hand, this allows your employees to work from any location and at any time. It can facilitate workflows and business processes, and therefore it facilitates the bottom line.
On the other hand, this means users often connect over public WiFi…and this leads to serious threats. Hackers can exploit public WiFi to breach mobile devices and intercept data traffic. Ideally, this would lead employees to avoid public WiFi. However, they may not have many choices; you never know when they might need to submit something while in the field. Preventing public WiFi connections may not prove to be an option.
Thankfully, endpoint security can help protect your mobile devices by enacting virtual private networks (VPNs). A VPN functions as a secure connection between a less secure network and a more secure one; it allows devices on a public network to operate as if connected to a private one.
Through a VPN, employees can send and receive data even on shared networks with private network security. Additionally, VPNs typically use encryption to prevent interception.
This leads neatly to the next critical mobile device security integration.
4. Different Encryption Modes
For mobile device security, you need to encrypt your devices and your traffic. Endpoint security can provide multiple encryption options to fit multiple mobile security needs. For example, full disk encryption encrypts the entire device and all of the data it contains. This makes it a strong option for corporate devices. Yet it can struggle with securing data when it leaves the device via traffic.
Meanwhile, folder encryption protects specific folders and applications, helping to facilitate secure traffic. However, this type of encryption can leave your device as a whole unsecured.
Therefore, you need to consider what kind of encryption capabilities may suit your business and your mobile processes.
5. Control Your BYOD Policies
You do need to control your BYOD policies to integrate your mobile device security and endpoint security. As such, you need to control which devices can connect to your secure network; employees can’t just connect any device they want to your network. Instead, make sure your IT security can approve each device connecting to your network.
Also, you need to make sure the devices connecting to your network have proper security protocols. Ideally, these cybersecurity protections should integrate with your existing endpoint security to ensure a consistent level of protection throughout the enterprise.
Finally, your endpoint security needs to facilitate your visibility over all of the mobile devices connecting to your IT infrastructure. You can’t protect what you can’t see, as the old cybersecurity adage goes. This applies doubly to mobile devices, each of which could become a potential gateway for hackers.
6. Be Prepared to Lock and Wipe Devices
One of the risks of mobile device security concerns how easily these devices could become lost or stolen. If this happens, you must be prepared. Your IT security team should be ready to lock or remotely wipe stolen or lost devices so your data doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.