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Tighten mobile security for the enterprise with new strategies

It's important to update your organization's mobile security strategy. Stay informed with new security methods, such as biometric authentication and edge gateways.

Security is an integral part of any organization's mobile strategy, but in an ever-changing industry, IT pros must stay ahead of new security techniques.

Here's how to get up to speed on the latest trends in mobile security for the enterprise.

Communication is key

Before IT pros implement any new policy, it's essential to ensure that every employee is prepared to take on the challenge. Mobile security for the enterprise is particularly vulnerable to issues when someone isn't on board, which is why IT must communicate changes to the entire organization.

IT pros shouldn't let the daunting task of forming a security strategy keep them from staying ahead of the game; proactive security policies are crucial as hackers and security threats proliferate.

Biometrics for mobile security
Biometrics for mobile security

Keep the discussion interesting by focusing on the benefits of a new security campaign -- for example, the features of enterprise mobility management that boost productivity, such as a simple interface for accessing apps. As the security versus productivity conundrum continues to endure, it's important to assure employees that their work remains high on the priority list.

Weigh pros and cons of MFA

Passwords simply aren't enough to protect against modern mobile security attacks. If an enterprise has an app that stores or accesses sensitive data, IT pros should consider implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) -- a security approach that requires a user to enter multiple credentials to use an app and that is, therefore, more secure than the traditional username/password method.

An MFA implementation comes with a few challenges, however. End users need to manage more information to access their apps, so productivity levels could drop. Also, developing and managing MFA requires additional DevOps resources.

Approach security like a secret agent

Like MFA, biometric authentication can tighten mobile security for enterprise apps. The method uses genetic information, such as fingerprints, face scans, iris scans and voice identification to enable users to access apps.

Passwords simply aren't enough to protect against modern mobile security attacks.

Unlike MFA, biometric authentication doesn't require users to remember multiple credentials – a quick, convenient scan is all it takes to gain access. But any new technology will face a few speed bumps before its adoption is ubiquitous, and biometric authentication is still in the earlier stages. For starters, biometric authentication technology is expensive. Plus, it can cause false positive and negative matches, and a simple smudge can compromise its accuracy.

Manage IDs with a single platform

A robust mobile security strategy should include authentication, authorization and accounting. Authentication verifies identity, authorization defines which functions a user can access, and accounting logs what happened and when. An identity management system incorporates all three tenets of security.

Authentication: The future of mobile security

These platforms authenticate users and specify which privileges they have, providing a centralized location for the data and offering additional granularity to IT. Some ID management systems boast features such as self-service provisioning and integration with existing directory services.

Get on the edge

As internet of things initiatives grow and nontraditional devices like wearables, connected sensors and tablets become commonplace, IT pros will have to deal with new security challenges. Those devices may not be able to run security software due to lower processing power, so IT should turn to different initiatives to combat issues in mobile security for the enterprise in these instances.

An edge computing gateway, which runs security and analytics processing closer to the source of the data, is one example. Edge implementation isn't an easy task, however, and it requires additional infrastructure upgrades and maintenance. The technology is so new that even experts are unaware of what the future may hold and what challenges could await for early adopters.

In addition, unified management and threat detection services can secure data, but IT pros must extend mobile security strategies beyond devices to support both networks and applications.

This was last published in February 2018

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