For most Americans, mobile devices have become a ubiquitous facet of daily productivity. It comes as no surprise then, that our reliance is only expected to increase in the coming years. Current projections estimate 11.6 billion mobile devices by 2020, a 60% increase since 2015. And while this expanded connectivity will improve communication, and the efficient exchange of information, the recent emergence of the “Krack” exploit is a necessary reminder that wifi-connected devices are far from impenetrable.
In the first quarter of 2017, Mcafee reported 1.5 million new incidents of mobile malware, roughly one tenth of total malware cases. Mobile devices, particularly smartphones, are especially vulnerable to these attacks. While there are many vectors for infection, hacks often begin with spyware that is embedded within apps. Historically, mobile security management has not been a top priority in app design, and both Apple and Google have lacked transparency when removing problematic apps from their stores. Like many forms of malware, this embedded content may be slow to reveal itself, leveraging its new-found visibility to slowly collect user information. This proliferation becomes problematic for businesses that employ an informal BYOD, bring your own device, policy. In these working environments, private company data is often opened in, or transferred to, personal devices that are not fitted with the necessary security infrastructure. This inadvertently puts company and client information at risk, and has the potential to jeopardize long-term productivity.
This begs the question – must mobility be sacrificed?
From a purely pragmatic standpoint, most companies cannot afford a stationary workforce. The International Data Center predicts that mobile employees will increase from 96.2 million, in 2015, to 105.4 million, by 2020. To account for this inflation, businesses need an IT infrastructure that enables a secure, cloud-based working environment. This is where Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security comes in. Microsoft EMS combines identity and device management, while monitoring threats to users and data. The outcome is a single sign-on, that provides secure access to cloud and web based applications. What results is a system of automatic, consistent managed mobility that:
Enhances the security of your on-prem AND cloud enabled environments
Protects information from unauthorized access – both internal and external
Enforces policies to improve data security
Uses behavior based analytics for proactive cybersecurity intelligence
For a quick overview of Microsoft EMS, see the following video: