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It’s an Insecure Mobile World Without Least Privilege

Posted August 23, 2011    Peter McCalister

It’s hardly a stretch in this day and age to say that every one of your employees has a mobile device, whether it is company issued or personal, but either way these devices can be the culprit of accidental insider threats more easily than ever before.

A recently released mobile threat report estimates that between half a million and one million users were affected by mobile malware in the first half of 2011, and for anyone that uses their device to access corporate email accounts or VPNs, an infected device could open up an entirely new world of concern around corporate data loss.

Malicious damage from a Trojan on a mobile device is capable of deleting files from the device and allowing personal and confidential information to be collected, without the user even being aware that it’s happening. If employees have sensitive data on their phones from email archives or in the form of corporate documents that have been downloaded directly to the device, the higher the risk that information can be leaked, should the device become infected. This is where having the right privilege management policies in place – ensuring that only the people who absolutely need access to information regarding certain elements of the business – is a critical first step to protecting your organization from this specific type of insider threat.

Part of developing best security practices around mobile phones takes place on the device itself, such as ensuring the software is always up to date and being cautious about downloading applications and clicking on links, but it’s also critical that organizations are implementing the best possible privilege identity management policies to mitigate the risk of an accidental insider threat breach from a mobile device.

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