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SYOD: Secure Your Own Data

by JayKelley on ‎07-23-2012 11:57 AM

Let’s face it; reality today is the majority of us have a mobile device – typically a smartphone, or even a tablet.


Plus, we all use our mobile devices to access and store “data”. The problem is what typically is this “data”?


Most of us think of “data” as something really important and critical, like a bank account, debit card or credit card numbers and other information of this nature. Also, often times when we hear “data”, we think of work-related stuff, such as sensitive e-mails and attachments, secret plans or programs, or maybe even ultra-sensitive information like intellectual property that could mean disaster if it fell into the “wrong hands,” such as a competitor.


Yes, all of that information, which can be accessed, downloaded, transmitted and stored on our mobile devices, is data but so are online banking and social networking account user names and passwords, or our corporate or e-mail access user names and passwords for which we leverage the auto-complete function on our mobile devices. Some of us even access, download and store sensitive medical or prescription records on our smartphones or tablets. Even pictures of our families can be sensitive data, not to mention private emails to or from our personal email accounts.


I as in Boston a couple of weeks ago with my family. As we got into a taxi to go to the restaurant for dinner, I found an iPhone on the seat, and gave it to the driver. Turns out the taxi driver had just dropped a friend off at the airport for a flight, and his buddy left his iPhone in the cab. The driver wanted to get in touch with his friend’s girlfriend, in case his friend called her from the airport worried about where his iPhone may have ended up. But, his friend’s iPhone was locked. The cabbie complained about the iPhone being locked, and wondered aloud why anyone would need a password on their mobile phone.


It was the wrong question to ask with me in the cab. I started listing for him all the reasons why anyone – better yet, EVERYone – should have a passcode set on their mobile device.


Wireless Medical Devices – Don’t Forget to Secure Them!

by skathuria ‎07-09-2012 10:16 AM - edited ‎07-09-2012 10:17 AM

The healthcare industry is beginning to adopt technology to better assist patients, gain easier access to medical information and to administer medication. In particular, certain practitioners are either considering or have started adopting wireless (a.k.a., mobile) medical devices, such as implantable medical devices, external medical devices, or portable computers such as iPads, tablets, and smartphones, for such purposes. However, this isn’t without risk, according to The Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It recently announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), responsible for regulating medical devices, cannot regulate mobile medical device use or users, including how users are linked to or configured within networks such as private/public/hybrid clouds (managed data centers) which house medical data.


For the benefit of organizations that are considering adoption of mobile medical devices, an article published May 23, 2012, outlined five risks suggested by the DHS that should be considered:

1)      Insider Theft – Employees stealing data via network transfer (e.g., e-mail, remote access, or file transfer).


2)      Malware – Examples are keystroke loggers, Trojans, and other spyware designed to uncover, capture, and transmit to malicious third parties easily accessible sensitive data once inside the network.


3)      Spearphishing – E-mail based attack where customized e-mails containing malicious attachments or links are sent to key personnel; these e-mails are especially convincing because they appear to be sent from a legitimate source.


4)      Web – Methods such as silent redirection, obfuscated JavaScript and search engine optimization (SEO) poisoning, as well as legacy threats such as data communications interception and rogue access points can be used to penetrate a network, then ultimately access an organization’s data.


5)      Lost or stolen equipment – If a smartphone or tablet is lost or stolen, and then compromised, it can be an entry point into a health entity’s network and records.


To mitigate risks from adoption of wireless medical devices, healthcare providers should deploy security on these devices. Access control should be applied on a user level, based on the user’s role, so that irrespective of which device or location the user connects from, he/she is given access to only that data which is required for the applicable business purposes. Anti-malware and Web protection should be enabled for every Internet-connected mobile device, whether it is a medical device or a personal smartphone or iPad used to access the network and increase user productivity. Furthermore, in case a device is lost or stolen, it should be possible to remotely lock the device and/or wipe all its content, including logins and passwords, so that no one else can use the device to gain access to any sensitive data or exploit stored information. To learn about Juniper’s mobile device protection and management solutions, visit: Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite


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