Mike Scovetta
Mike Scovetta

As we approach the end of 2012, nearly all large enterprises have at least partially adopted smartphones and tablets for business purposes. Nearly three-quarters of them have started to implement bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs. As device adoption continues to grow, the importance of implementing a secure enterprise mobility program cannot be understated. There are many aspects that should be included in a successful program: A mobile device management (MDM) solution should be implemented to protect enterprise data from loss via untrusted devices. As well, a process for developing and deploying secure mobile applications must be put in place.

Over the past few years, MDM solutions have gained significant traction in the enterprise, and should now be considered critical components of an enterprise security program. Choosing the right MDM solution for your organization can be difficult, especially at the frenetic pace of the mobile market. 

First, ensure that the solution provider has a track record of supporting a range of current mobile devices, even if you only plan to support specific platforms right now. As new devices come on to the market, you want to be sure that the solution will grow with your needs.

Next, base your MDM configuration on existing security policies, especially for data encryption, password strength and remote wiping.

As well, consider using a transparent, on-demand VPN. Since many users will be accessing mobile applications from untrusted wireless locations, the use of a VPN to secure traffic out of the device can serve as a stop-gap against vulnerable applications.

This can be a difficult time to choose a mobile application development architecture – with standards like HTML5 quickly evolving and device capabilities and form-factors advancing just as rapidly. Regardless of the architecture you choose to implement, it's important to ensure that enterprise data remains protected on mobile devices. 

It's imperative to include mobile applications and API endpoints in existing vulnerability management processes. Remember that mobile applications can be affected by most of the same vulnerabilities as traditional desktop and web applications.

The enterprise mobility space has expanded enormously over the past few years and shows no sign of stopping. Threats to enterprise data continue to increase, and protection of that data is paramount. The use of a comprehensive MDM solution and a secure mobile development program can significantly reduce the risk inherent in these powerful devices to help your organization to realize their benefits.

Safeguarding data -
To further protect enterprise data, Michael Scovetta advises that administrators maintain a comprehensive security threat model for the use of mobile devices in the enterprise. 

Get policies in place -
This threat model should include information about jail-broken devices, platform-based malware, infrastructure espionage and attacks against certificate authorities.

Automate processes -
Further, Scovetta recommends developing a common set of hardened mobile software components for functions like authentication, caching, error logging and data sharing.

- Layer protections -
And, finally, leverage an MDM solution to securely deploy applications. But, Scovetta says do not rely on an app being installed on a device as the sole method of authentication.