Want to Secure Your Mobile Enterprise? Start with a ‘Never Trust, Always Verify’ Mentality

As mobile becomes the preferred platform in the enterprise, it’s clear that corporate IT departments need to retool their conventional security policies. Luckily, Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions integrated with Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) platforms are helping teams bolster their security programs. Together, these applications streamline the management of devices and apps, help maintain compliance, and provide threat monitoring. However, according to security experts, there’s still a ways to go. IBM’s recent Cost of a Data Breach Report found that security breaches are more likely in integration-rich IT environments – especially when a company is managing several disconnected mobile platforms. (Source: IBM). 

Does your organization have BYOD-friendly policies? Do you have a lot of remote or traveling employees? Do teams need access to multiple cloud apps from their smartphones and laptops? If yes, it may be time to look for new ways of boosting security and managing user identities. Let’s dig deeper. 

Consider a Zero Trust Security (ZTS) framework 

A ‘never trust, always verify’ approach allows organizations to address these modern security challenges even when traditional network perimeters are nearly obsolete. A Zero Trust Security (ZTS) framework is also an optimal security posture for companies managing multiple operating systems, endpoints, apps, networks, and cloud infrastructures.  

So, how does zero-trust security work? Read on. 

  1. Focus on identity – One of the underlying principles of this approach is understanding who a user is in your IT environment. Beyond IT systems that use username and passwords, a ZTS framework uses techniques like multi-factor authentication to identify users. 
  2. Knowing the device – After identity, a zero-trust framework also recognizes the device attempting to connect to the network. For example, if Susan is an employee, a zero-trust framework understands what devices she typically uses to connect to the network – i.e. an iOS smartphone and MacBook.
  3. Following the ‘least amount of access’ model – Another element is giving users the ‘least amount of access’ needed to do their job effectively. For example, an account rep may not need the same access to Salesforce as a regional manager. Limiting access to an ‘as-needed’ basis as a starting point gives organizations the highest level of security. 

Zero-trust in action 

MobileIron is one software company that is using a zero-trust framework as part of its Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) platform. The software leverages zero sign-on (ZSO), multi-factor authentication, and mobile threat detection capabilities. It’s built on a four-step process to securing data and identities:

  • The software provisions devices for specific users with appropriate apps, profiles, and policies.
  • Solutions grant access based on ‘the complete picture’ looking at the user, device, network, app, threats, and location and time of access.
  • The framework makes each app a secure container – where data is encrypted and protected against unauthorized access.
  • The system enforces consistent but adaptable security policies. 

A new world order

Companies relying heavily on mobile devices, cloud services, and highly-integrated IT systems can leave themselves unintentionally exposed. That’s because these areas are now companies’ fastest-growing threat surfaces. This new world order is pushing enterprises to leverage modern identity-based security and zero-trust principles to minimize growing risks and protect data. If you want to explore your options around mobility, security and identity management, talk to Telapprise! We’ve helped hundreds of SMBs and enterprises get smart about upgrading their security posture. Don’t wait!

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