Securing the deployment of mobile devices is often discussed in the context of employees using their personal smartphone or tablet for basic work-related activities such as email and collaborative tasks. The primary purpose is flexibility, productivity and the ability to remain connected while traveling, working from home or working after hours.
In some industries, the use of mobile devices goes much deeper and intersects with core business processes. In healthcare, clinicians use tablets to capture, review and update patient information on the bedside or at home, read vital data and make critical decisions. In banking and online retail, mobile payment is being deployed as a way to lower costs and gain market share. As the use of wireless and mobile technologies becomes more pervasive, the scope of the security needs must expand from protecting pointed interactions to covering a myriad of use cases that impact hundreds of mobile applications, and the enterprise data they access.
Both startups and large vendors have jumped on the opportunity and put forward innovative solutions such as MDM, encryption, SSL VPN connections, containers, and more. Combining several of these is typically required to ensure a sufficient level of security.
However, the network, being the only common link between enterprise applications, data, mobile devices and users, remains the best location to enforce enterprise-related security policies. By starting with network security as the foundation, and leveraging next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) that are capable of identifying users and applications, businesses can ensure that only proper devices have access to sensitive information and maintain consistent security throughout the organization.
For highly regulated industries such as healthcare, the implementation of containers or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) can isolate and protect highly sensitive data, even keeping the application and its data within the data center in the case of VDI.
Network security based on NGFW adds further protection by tightly controlling access to the data center to virtual desktops.
The unique ability of NGFWs to identify network traffic by application, user and even content brings an additional dimension to any company’s security strategy for mobile devices. Palo Alto Networks, the leading provider of NGFW, invites you to learn more about why network security must be at the core of your mobile security strategy with the following resources and easy reads on our company web site here.
A version of this post also appeared on IronBow’s Welcome to the Tech Highway blog here.