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Mobile Malware Proliferates – How to Protect Your Information

phone-shield

As the lines between corporate and personal mobile devices continue to blur, with more and more people choosing to use a single mobile device for both, not only is personal data at risk, but corporate data could be too.

Recent IBM research into the top tactics behind today’s cyber attacks, shows that mobile malware is becoming more prevalent, especially on Android devices. As Android continues to gain in popularity – IDC research reveals that Android has nearly 80% of global smartphone market share – cyber criminals are focusing their attention on these popular devices.

The IBM report states that, “As the number of users who own and operate Android devices is rapidly expanding, so too have malware authors increased their effort to take advantage of this larger market. Older mobile devices are even more vulnerable as only six percent of Android devices are running the latest version of the platform which has the security enhancements needed to combat these threats.”

If businesses adopt a Mobile Device Management (MDM) only approach to controlling corporate devices, they can’t guarantee the safety of their data. While MDM is important to ensure compliance and manageability of the device, MDM alone cannot guarantee the safety of data on a device if it’s compromised. Once compromised, an attacker can remove MDM controls or at the very least circumvent them so that their intrusion can carry on unnoticed.

If businesses focus on a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy, using containerization – keeping business apps and data encrypted and separate from the rest of the device – organizations are able to effectively secure corporate data that’s held on the device, providing protection of corporate data and applications. As mobile malware continues to become more and more prolific, this approach can help businesses stay one step ahead of cyber criminals when it comes to protecting business critical information on personal devices.

Make sure you continue to check out our website for our latest developments in these spaces and, as always, share your thoughts and comments with us below!

 

Strategic Issues in Systems Management Part 2: Mobile

Kaseya BYOD containerization

If there is one IT issue C-level managers understand it’s the connection between mobile devices and workforce morale, productivity and agility. After all, most of them are big smartphone users themselves. That raises the question of what to do about BYOD.

One challenge is platform diversity. Gone are the days when IT could enforce a Windows-only or Internet Explorer-only standard.  So IT has the management challenge of how to bring all these devices together in a single holistic view with a common set of metrics and controls despite their differing technical attributes. The other alternative — having a different management view for every platform — defeats the purpose of unified system management and in fact would be unworkable.

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Strategic Issues in Systems Management Part 1: Compliance and Security

IT directors looking to engage their company’s C-level leadership on issues of strategic relevance might wish to consider systems management as a worthy topic. Few other activities offer as much enterprise leverage — whether you’re talking compliance, security, mobile, or distributed environments. Here is part one we are going to look at compliance and security:

Compliance

Systems management is how you enforce compliance when handling information across the enterprise — and a key part of that is policy automation. The ideal scenario is a single dashboard that provides one unified point of control over all IT assets, including remote endpoints such as employee laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Policy automation, as part of that scenario, means you assert control in a scalable, auditable and timely way — especially if your management tools come with “out-of-the-box” scripts you can tailor rather than build from scratch. Such “out of the box” system management can, for example:

  • Assign multiple policies to each machine
  • Determine which policies are obeyed or ignored if a conflict arises
  • Check that each machine assigned one or more policies is in compliance
  • Show policy status across the organization on a consolidated dashboard
  • Enable manual policy overrides

Security

One of the fastest ways for IT can attract C-level attention, and not in a good way, is to be the target of a successful cyber attack. Yet, even though data security is an obvious strategic concern, there’s a temptation to regard the issue as “handled” once a tactical solution, namely data security software, has been adopted. The reality is, however, that addressing data security at a strategic level calls for marrying data security with comprehensive systems management.

In fact, system management and data security solutions have a complementary relationship. Data security solutions can, for example, detect wireless intrusion, control system access, manage passwords and protect against viruses and spyware. What it can’t do (but good system management can) is provide a single holistic view of system health, including any security alerts generated by the data security software. That also includes monitoring suspicious spikes in utilization of bandwidth or other resources — conditions that might indicate an attack in progress. And it can also provide detailed logging of critical events across all IT, which, among other things, would be vital for reconstructing everything that occurred leading up to a security event. But perhaps most importantly, what good system management is uniquely qualified to do is monitor the software update status (including virus signature updates) and enable patches to be applied easily and automatically across the entire enterprise as needed.

Join us for Part 2 when we talk about how to handle BYOD and most importantly how to secure employees’ personal mobile devices within enterprise system management — without ruffling employee feathers over privacy or ruffling the business’ feathers over data security.

 

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IT Operations Need Integrated APM Dashboards & Packet Data

There are many proposed approaches to Application Performance Management – one approach is collecting performance data from the application itself while the other is collecting application data from packet data by sniffing on the network. Fetching metrics from the application process itself yields valuable data such as memory, buffers, cache and other such application data which cannot be obtained from the wire. On the other hand, performance metrics from the network itself gives a good breakdown of response times and delays from the different components of the entire service.

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2 Major Headaches for Enterprise IT Security Pros

Today’s enterprise IT manager faces two major headaches: unplanned network growth and increased mobile device use. These all-too-common pain points complicate the lives of already-overwhelmed IT managers who know that a security attack can bring a lot of misery to themselves and their companies.

Successful security attacks occur at a rate of 1.8 weekly*, making the job of securing enterprise IT a daunting task. Doing the job right hardly gets you noticed by top brass, but when something goes wrong, IT managers are put under scrutiny as they drop everything to fix the problem. Of course, a security breach is when you least want to be noticed.

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The Kaseya Platform: Born to Be Secure

Today’s enterprise network requires multiple layers to defend against zero-day attacks, advanced persistent threats, targeted attacks, phishing, worms, and a never-ending stream of viruses. Security, therefore, has to be a core function of any IT systems management platform, and that is precisely what enterprises get with The Kaseya© platform.

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CTO Jonathan Nelson Shares His Best Practices for IT Network Management and Discovery

In an earlier post, we talked a little about the importance of IT network discovery, the process of cataloguing and bringing assets on your network under management. Discovery gives you a picture of your network at a particular point in time and is the crucial first step toward proactive IT network management.

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NYSE Revisits Disaster Recovery Plans: Lessons for IT Pros

 

Disaster Recovery Plans for IT pros

Approximately 14 months before Superstorm Sandy walloped Manhattan and shut down the NYSE, the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene had made NYSE put disaster recovery plans in place to keep the big board operating, even if its Manhattan trading floor was inoperable or inaccessible.

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Shadow IT Data Protection – Resistance is Futile, How Do You Cope?

Remember the days when you had full control of your IT infrastructure? No hardware or software could be brought into the business without the IT seal of approval. Business users had neither the knowledge nor the resources to acquire or maintain data protection technology. Things have changed.

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