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Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Putting Mobile Security in a Different Light

Posted April 19, 2011    Peter McCalister

The increasingly popular bring your own computer to work model seems like a good deal for everyone.  You get to carry one device that fits you best and IT saves a lot of work buying and provisioning hardware.  But the highly publicized problems with Droid Dream malware highlighted the vulnerability of the Android platform and raises some fundamental questions about who controls employee owned devices that may contain or have access to sensitive company data.

As I said in my previous post, it’s not that Android is particularly insecure.  We have seen these kinds of problems on desktops and servers.  Control of access to the administrative account is a critical part of the security model on every platform.  In fact, Google is doing more to make Android as secure as Blackberry’s and I phones.

Other vendors are responding to these needs as well.  Headlines get companies like BeyondTrust to pay attention to a market.  Many solutions exist today for mobile devices that do a good job on the basics of access, asset and expense management.  Microsoft is extending its system management tools to Apple and Android devices.  And Motorola recently announced they are working to fill the security gap in Android smart phones.

But even if the technology for mobile devices catches up and future versions of Android have a stronger security model, we need to address a key question for any business that has their employees using their own devices for company business.   Who has control of the permission model for what happens on the device?   Even if the device has the capability to control root access, enforce data encryption or wipe a lost phone, does that assure compliance with company security policies if the end user has control over these functions as the owner of the device.  On the other hand,  do you want your company having access and control over your personal data?

The bring your own computer to work model puts company security in a different light.  I don’t think there are any easy answers, just some tough choices about limiting the flexibility of your employees or buying them a device you can control.

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Additional articles

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

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Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

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patch-tuesday

December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

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