Mobile Security: Shedding Light On A Topic Usually Shrouded In Dark


Gold said there are seven critical steps to successful mobile security.

The first is to have a proactive, not a reactive, strategy. "You don't want to build a strategy after an attack," he said.

The second is to know what users will do with mobile devices. Gold illustrated the point that a company's CEO treats mobile devices differently than others in the company by citing the case of a customer whose CEO has lost three iPads. When asked what data was on those three iPads, Gold said he was told that the CEO didn't know for sure.

The third is to realize that security requirements vary from device to device, and that while installing anti-virus and anti-malware software might work for a PC, it does not work for other types of mobile devices.

The fourth is to have a mobile device management strategy that accounts not just for the devices, but also for the applications and data. Losing a device might cost a company $200 to replace, Gold said. "You can always wipe the device," he said. "But it's the data that's critical."

The fifth step is to stay flexible and manage diversity, as the devices used constantly change, Gold said. "If you think BYOD is challenging, just wait to see what else is coming," he said.

The sixth is to understand the return on investment and the total cost of ownership related to mobile security.

The seventh is to ensure security is supported properly, Gold said.

Mobile security offers a variety of opportunities to solution providers, Gold said.

These include offering services and support as most businesses do not have the right people or resources to handle it themselves, providing analytics to help educate customers about security risks and threats, and offering cloud-based security as a service, he said.

Untangled Solutions' Johnson said Gold did a good job of making the point that solution providers need to move quickly to deploy mobile security.

"We need to peel back the onion layers of security to help customers understand the need for mobile security solutions," he said.

PUBLISHED MARCH 4, 2014