Flood of BYOD devices challenges IT security pros

As mobile devices received as gifts flood the enterprise this month, IT security pros should insist that these devices have the most up-to-date mobile operating systems and enterprise mobility management products have top notch anti-malware protection.  

So advises Paula Musich, senior analyst for enterprise network and security at Current Analysis, in a blog. IT security pros should also ensure that basic security measures, such as strong authentication, use of passwords and remote lock and wipe for device, are in place.

"So, as enterprises grapple with creating policies and programs around BYOD, IT security pros should lobby to require that those endpoints employ solid ant-malware protections.  Policies should also dictate that employees using their Android smartphones and tablets at work maintain the most up-to-date versions of the mobile OS to ensure known security issues have been patched," she writes.

The security risks to the enterprise are particularly marked for Android devices, because malware writers are targeting them. As I pointed out in an Editor's Corner last year, numerous studies have shown a dramatic increase in malware targeting Android devices. "Android malware can place a company's future at risk by exposing strategic information or stealing passwords," cautions security firm Sophos.

According to Musich, some of the questions IT shops should ask when selecting EMM tools include: "How deep are the research capabilities of the organization selling the mobile anti-malware? How does its mobile anti-malware stack up in independent tests? How much visibility into the endpoint does it afford to IT security pros?"

Mobile devices are a popular way for hackers to gain access to enterprises data centers in order to steal confidential data, Musich concludes.

For more:
- read Musich's blog

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