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Protecting Corporate and Personal Information From New Attacks on Mobile Devices

by Juniper Employee ‎02-14-2012 01:45 PM - edited ‎02-14-2012 02:17 PM

In its latest report, the Juniper Networks Mobile Threat Center found that mobile malware has reached a new level of maturity, with spyware, worms, Trojans and other malicious applications that target smartphones and tablets beginning to pose meaningful challenges to users, enterprises and service providers. You can view the full report here, and related blogs from our head of mobile threat research, Dan Hoffman.

 

Despite the report’s findings, the mobile threat landscape is far from ‘all doom and gloom.’ Mobile service providers and security companies are increasingly rolling out mobile device security offerings that extend secure connectivity and protect mobile devices from malware, loss and theft and even spam, as well as providing parental control of children’s devices and usage. With these new tools, safer mobile device practices and an understanding of the threats, individuals and organizations can confidently protect critical information on devices.

 

Consumers should subscribe to these services and install on-device antimalware software to protect against malicious applications, spyware, and malware. They should avoid third-party app stores whenever possible, and only download applications from official app stores. To guard against new social exploits like Fake Installers, mobile users should especially watch out for apps requesting small fees, payable via SMS, for application installation, malware protection and other services. And, lastly to avoid a complete loss of their device, or personal data stored on it, they should subscribe to a remote locate, track, lock, wipe, backup and restore software or service.

 

Parents should protect children against mobile-based cyberbullying, cyberstalking, inappropriate use and other online threats, by utilizing a software or service that allows monitoring of SMS and e-mail message content, call logs, pictures, new applications, and location.

 

Business and government organizations have the ability to deploy comprehensive mobile security, centrally managed in a SaaS model, that protects their networks and sensitive information from misuse, theft or other exploitation – and allows them to adopt Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), the rising trend that increases employee productivity while saving costs to their employers. When implementing mobile security, organizations should consider the following strategic framework that enables them to securely connect, protect and manage their mobile devices:

 

  • Connect:  The ability to securely connect and access corporate networks, public and private clouds, and sensitive applications and data from remote mobile devices is readily attainable on Apple iOS, Android, Blackberry and most other platforms. SSL VPN and Network Access Control with strong authentication are key technologies that enable this.
  • Protect: Protecting mobile devices and data – not to mention the networks, clouds and resources supplying the data – from hacks or exploits through on-device anti-malware software should be a prerequisite for any device before it’s allowed to access any business information or applications. Additionally, on-device host checking to assess device’s real-time security posture will help ensure continuous security compliance. Organizations with more sensitive data  may want to consider device activity monitoring to ensure zero tolerance for inappropriate use and/or data leak prevention.
  • Manage: Centralized remote management including configuration, monitoring and reporting to ensure that all mobile devices meet a baseline of security and access control is the first step in compliance, especially when implementing BYOD. Further, control over mobile applications to allow only the “right”, approved apps and remove any unauthorized apps should be enforceable by IT, preferably without any user intervention where the platform supports such a feature. Of course, centralized remote locate, track, lock, wipe, backup and restore capabilities should not be forgotten as the past year’s data shows that almost one in every five users reported a missing device.

 

Juniper’s Mobile Threat Center and its team of experts actively monitors malware alerts, reports and trends from Juniper customers, and monitors and scans publicly submitted malware samples, partner feeds, underground and public malware bulletin boards, website, newsgroups, and the like for any recent malware. All of that research then goes into the creation of new malware signatures and scanning technologies used in Juniper’s mobile device and network security products. Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite customers’ mobile devices are continuously updated with these new signatures and updates protecting them against new security threats before they even happen. And, this same research is used to prioritize and develop new features and services that can further enhance mobile security across all of the three dimensions i.e. Connect, Protect and Manage.

Read the Juniper Mobile Threat Center report to get an in-depth understanding of the mobile threat landscape. And check out Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite  for more information on how to protect your corporate-issued or personal mobile device, your network and applications.

 

 

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