Mobile Solutions Security: an Effective Way for Companies to Safegaurd Data

December 21, 2012

With more than half of Americans and 1 billion people worldwide owning smartphones, according to a recent Mobile Future report, it is safe to say the mobility movement is in full effect.

"From mobile social networking to leading-edge devices and faster service, the 2012 mobile marketplace is a true model of success in today's innovation economy," said Jonathan Spalter, chairman at Mobile Future.

In a recent blog for RCR Wireless, Joseph Quickle, vice president of anti-fraud products at InAuth, suggested that companies focus on mobile solutions security to enhance fraud prevention. He wrote that the mobile web comes with several different security concerns and that third-party apps run the risk of downloading malware.

Mobile security requires new measures
Quickle wrote that mobile solutions "can be the most secure channel," but only if users take a mobile-centric approach rather than "treating it as a one-off from online." Because mobile apps and the mobile web behave differently traditional internet connections, different cybersecurity measures are needed.

At the same time, the full-scale bring your own device (BYOD) revolution means that it isn't just personal information that's at risk. With so many laptops, tablets and smartphones being used for work, corporate networks and sensitive data are increasingly vulnerable.

There are mobile device management (MDM) programs out there – Gartner recently predicted that nearly two-thirds of organizations will have adopted MDM by 2017 – and mobile application management is rapidly gaining popularity. However, too many companies are ignoring the importance of educating their employees on how to safely practice BYOD.

"A secure mobile experience is a critical factor in determining if people will trust their phones and use them to the fullest potential," said John Hering, CEO and co-founder of Lookout.

A recent Lookout study highlighted several security strategies that mobile device owners should practice, which companies may want to point out to their employees:

– Only download mobile solutions from trusted sources, as third-party apps increase the risk of infecting devices with malware and viruses.

– The phrase "the best offense is a good defense" applies here. Authentication PINs and passwords make it harder for someone to break into a lost or stolen phone, and certain security apps allow people to wipe their devices clean.

– Always download the most up-to-date operating system as soon as it becomes available.