Security Framework for New New World of Smartphones

19th December 2013 | By Mouseworld Now Correspondent |

vishal-guptaMost technology experts predicted that the last year and 2012/2013 are going to be years of the handheld devices. As more information gets accessed by these handhelds and stored on the cloud, information security will have to adapt some practices and create new ones. This post looks at options for creating a security framework for the “new new world”.

Smartphones are goldmines of personal and professional information and are constantly targeted by hackers, spywares and malwares to get sensitive information. The challenge of providing security for handheld devices is that, very often, the device and the data are owned by different entities i.e. the device by the individual and the data by the enterprise. This is in stark contrast to traditional desktop / laptop based computing environments where devices, applications and data are owned by the same entity and therefore security systems can be completely driven by enterprise’s preferences. Coupled with this is the challenge of much more frequent device loss / theft.

“People represent the weakest link in the security chain and we are chronically responsible for the failure of security systems.” – Schneier (2004)

The characteristics of a security solution :

1. Should provide for enterprise control of data
2. Should provide for individual control of device
3. Should prevent breaches in case of theft / loss of device
4. Should be phone / OS agnostic since enterprises will not be able to control the individual device preferences of users.
5. Should take into consideration the handheld’s form factor and computing resources.

IRM presents a unique solution to solving the handheld security challenge. Enterprises can control data which is resident on end user devices (reminds me of BYOD !!) and still allow authorized individuals to use it whenever / wherever. The challenge of device / OS independence is however not small.

The priority however is not for security as a stand alone goal but to provide security without hampering on the individual’s productivity. The WebConnect platform already provides a device / OS independent method of accessing confidential information. The framework provides app developers an easy integration with FileSecure so that apps related to securing information and accessing secure information could be provided easily to the customers. Situations like device theft, employee status change and device vulnerabilities are easily dealt with the IRM systems.

In conclusion, handhelds provide a great opportunity and a great threat to provisioning information and the right combination of collaboration and security technologies have to be used to achieve the sometimes mutually conflicting goals of security and collaboration. IRM technology has the potential to help enterprises achieve these goals together.

 

By, Vishal Gupta, CEO of Seclore

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