Just like businesses, state and local government agencies are becoming more dependent on mobility to get work done. In fact, most agencies now allow staff to use smartphones for work-related tasks. Whether mobile devices are employee-owned or government-issued, they create increased risk and need to be managed.
For years, hackers seemed content to focus their efforts on desktop computers. However, as mobile devices have become the top option for performing many critical work functions and accessing the resources, mobile threats have increased in number and sophistication, putting sensitive data at risk.
Types of Mobile Threats
Mobile threats affect different areas of the device, from applications to the browser to connectivity. For example, malware in an application can perform actions on your phone without your knowledge. Similarly, spyware collects data such as call history, text messages, contacts, email and user location to commit fraud. However, applications that collect data for legitimate purposes, especially old apps that haven’t been used or updated in a long time, can also be risky because that data could be compromised.
Phishing scams sent via email, text and social media often trick users into handing over sensitive data or clicking malicious links. Hackers also target vulnerabilities in your mobile browser or operating system, as well as public Wi-Fi networks with unencrypted connections. Of course, lost or stolen devices are always a problem because of the data they contain, especially if the device isn’t protected by a PIN or biometric authentication.
Keys to a Successful Mobile Security Strategy
Mobile security is not just about protecting a device from different types of threats and having visibility into device activity, although both are important. It’s about controlling how data is accessed, shared and stored to minimize risk and ensure security policies are being enforced. A robust mobile device management solution allows you to remotely view, configure, manage and change these settings through a centralized management platform.
Is the VPN being used correctly? Is a user viewing sensitive data on an unencrypted Wi-Fi network? Is a device being accessed from an unusual location, and does the activity on that device seem suspicious? These are the kinds of questions you should be able to answer and potentially act upon if you have an effective mobile security strategy.
Cisco Meraki Mobile Device Management
Cisco Meraki offers unified management of mobile and desktop devices – Android, iOS, PCs and Macs – through a centralized dashboard. All devices are automatically identified and classified so you can see every device on your network without the need for special configurations. Reports on device activity are then automatically generated and delivered to you regularly.
With Cisco Meraki Systems Manager, you can remotely monitor thousands of devices, enforce security policies, deploy applications, troubleshoot devices, and lock down and erase devices that are lost, stolen or otherwise compromised. You can also view helpful metrics related to hardware and software usage and device location and restrict access to risky applications and content, such as social media and gaming.
Network settings for connectivity, security, remote VPN access and more can easily be defined and deployed without manually configuring each device or relying on end-users to configure them. With built-in support for bring-your-own device initiatives, all features and capabilities can be applied to employee-owned devices.
Cerium helps state and local government agencies take full advantage of mobile without compromising sensitive data. Let us show you how Cisco Meraki can simplify the management of thousands of mobile devices.