The data that extends to a smartphone points to the need for more focused ways to protect networks from security breaches.
At IBM Pulse this past week, IBM Threat Intelligence Manager Tom Cross said the need for enterprise management is a hot topic for IT managers. Citing IBM's own research, Cross said IBM surveys show that 90% of IT managers are investing to secure end points in the enterprise.
Data that people have access to and can store on the device is the greatest concern among IT managers. Cross said vulnerabilities and attacks exist but exploitation is not prevalent. This concern stretches into how people use devices for personal purposes. Right now, the enterprise is pretty wide open. About 73% of those surveyed by IBM allow nontraditional endpoints such as smartphones and tablets to connect to corporate networks.
Considering this, enterprises have to set policies for how data is managed on the tablet or the smartphone.
He makes five recommendations:
- Contain Smartphone VPN Access: Set a firewall policy. Smartphones only need access to certain sites.
- Control the installation of 3rd Party Applications: Do you allow unsigned apps?
- Establish screen lock password policies: Did you lose a $400 phone or a million dollar contract?
- Procedures: Establish procedures for employees to follow in the event that phones are lost or stolen: Can you wipe the phones remotely?
- Protection: Evaluate smartphone anti-virus solutions.
Exploitations are rare but it's more of a concern how the data flows and the ways it can be at least monitored to prevent unnecessary intrusions.