In a recent survey by the Ponemon Institute, 70 percent of respondents indicated that the failure to secure company data on mobile devices had likely resulted in a data breach. Sixty-seven percent of respondents also said it was certain or likely that employees using their mobile devices to access the company’s sensitive and confidential information had resulted in a data breach.
Given these numbers, organizations need to make implementing a mobile security strategy a top priority. And one of the first orders of business should be to deploy a virtual private network (VPN) for mobile devices.
A mobile VPN benefits organizations in a number of ways, but most importantly, it secures a device’s internet connection to keep data safe, even when connecting to unsecured networks outside the organization through constantly changing endpoints.
How a Mobile VPN Works
A VPN (virtual private network) secures network communications by creating an authenticated, encrypted tunnel to pass data over public networks. However, mobile VPNs face a number of challenges that traditional, remote-access VPNs don’t — most notably, constantly changing endpoint connectivity. For instance, mobile users frequently lose connectivity or change their connection endpoint, such as by moving from public Wi-Fi to cellular to a secure WLAN.
Given these sorts of “roaming” challenges, in order for a mobile VPN to keep network communications secure, it must maintain a persistent connection with both the network and applications. While all of this may sound complicated, there are a number of MDM solutions and third-party providers that offer mobile VPN solutions. These solutions are typically easy to install and only require a single login from users. Look for a VPN solution that can handle the challenging mobile environment, even on applications such as voice over IP or streaming video that have higher bandwidth requirements.
The most crucial benefit of deploying a VPN is the ability to keep data secure by funneling all network traffic through a secure IP address. Doing so ensures that no matter where your employees access the internet, from the coffee shop down the street to their own homes, corporate data remains secure.
For enterprises where security is a high priority, the Samsung Knox platform offers additional end-to-end security. The Knox solution supports top VPN providers such as Cisco AnyConnect, F5, strongSwan and Pulse Secure, among others. Additionally, the Knox platform also integrates with leading MDM providers. Specifically, for those enterprises running on BES12, implementing Knox with BlackBerry Secure Connect Plus (BSCP) establishes a secure, AES-256 encrypted tunnel between the Knox Workspace container and the corporate network, providing seamless access to behind-the-firewall resources. This arrangement provides the following benefits:
- Allows security-minded enterprises to leverage an existing secure and seamless VPN solution, saving on costs, time and resources
- Eliminates the need to open an inbound firewall port for inbound ActiveSync connections
- Eliminates the need for a costly device-wide VPN
- Removes the need for a DMZ component
- Doesn’t require changes to existing firewall rules in place to support BES12
These same benefits apply to other Knox-supported MDM providers with VPN solutions, such as AirWatch.
Comprehensive Mobile Security
While VPN benefits greatly enhance mobile security, they’re only one strategy of many to keep corporate data secure. A comprehensive mobile security strategy should consider not just the safety of data as it traverses the network, but also end-user vulnerabilities such as lost or stolen devices, and should incorporate two-factor authentication, remote wiping and the use of secure container solutions such as Samsung’s Knox Workspace. When combined, these strategies will help you provide overarching mobile security that ensures the safety of all company and employee information.
For enhanced security, it’s essential to upgrade your devices. Samsung has partnered with top MDM providers to create a secure end-to-end solution for upgrading your aging fleet.