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Sunday, February 26th, 2017

Security

How IT can safely provide ‘anywhere, anytime’ access to data

Email and password data for more than 68 million users of the Dropbox file-sharing app – leaked through a data breach in 2012 – were put on sale by a data trafficker in a darknet website earlier this month. This follows similar incidents where hundreds of millions of MySpace, Tumblr and LinkedIn account details that were stolen several years ago were advertised for sale online.

Although these confidential user account information may not have been used for some time, the login details are likely to have been reused by their owners to access other online services, including mission-critical ones at the workplace or financial institution.

Clearly, these leaks on social media or file-sharing sites will have an impact on IT organizations already grappling with how to provide secure access to company applications, data and resources, from any device, without compromising the security of the network. The proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace has made this challenge even more daunting.

According to the 2016 Annual Threat Report, malware for the Android ecosystem continues to rise. Not only has Android-specific ransomware gained popularity, but Android malware writers have been quick in finding creative ways to evade detection and analysis.

Given that the digital worker requires access to sensitive data at all times of the day and week from any location or device and more than half of them have access to personal customer data regardless of whether they need it for work, according to a Forrester report, organizations must secure this access to improve customer engagement and productivity of mobile and remote users while mitigating the risk of a data breach.

Policy-based control

To provide workers using smart phones, tablets or laptops with fast, simple and secure access to business-critical assets, the SonicWall Secure Mobile Access (SMA) enables organizations to set BYOD security policies to protect their corporate networks and data from rogue access and malware.

Against the rise of malware for Android systems that evades detection and analysis, the SonicWall SMA features that could detect malware infection and fake mobile apps, which allows IT administrators to safely control and extend their remote service to Windows, iOS, Mac OS X, Android, Linux, Kindle Fire, and Chrome devices.

SMA allows administrators to quickly provision role-based privileges to authorized remote workers, contractors, vendors and temps for policy-enforced SSL VPN access to approved mission-critical applications, data and resources on a global scale. Additionally, security compliance with stringent industry and government regulations, such as the FIPS and Suite B cipher support, is particularly crucial for users in regulated industries such as government, finance and healthcare.

"The SonicWALL SMA portfolio addresses the need for organizations to quickly minimize the window of exposure for remote and mobile workers before an attacker can potentially cripple the organization by gaining access to corporate data either in-flight or on the mobile device itself,” says Patrick Sweeney, vice president of product management and marketing at SonicWall. “It provides our customers with completely secure mobile access to any data type, through any device, to any authorized users as dictated by their IT administrators."

Balancing productivity and security

Despite mobility and BYOD boosting productivity in the workplace, IT organizations must balance between users’ freedom in mobile access and in using their device of choice with the demands of mobile security.

"It’s a balancing act for IT to keep employees productive, with the flexibility to access corporate data whenever and from wherever they are on the devices they choose, while ensuring that business assets and the organization have the level of security needed to fend off today’s shapeshifting threats,” Sweeney adds.

Although some organizations deploy one or more of technologies such as mobile device management, mobile application management, SSL VPN and network access control, only a converged solution that combines the best of these management and security capabilities can enable IT teams to efficiently protect resources from threats with powerful granular access control capabilities while enabling mobile worker productivity.

The SonicWALL SMA portfolio includes vital features such as:

  • The SonicWALL SMA provide context-aware authentication; meaning, only authorized users and devices can access your network. Easily configure policies to interrogate mobile devices for jailbreak status, device ID, certificates and more.

  • provide a single gateway and common user experience across all platforms — including iOS, Mac OSX, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows® and Linux® — whether from managed or unmanaged devices.

  • Deliver an "in-office" experience for remote users of iOS, Android and more. In addition, SMA appliances also feature browser-based access for Symbian®, BlackBerry® and WAP.

  • Administrators now can establish policy that designates which mobile apps are allowed access to the VPN — without app modification — speeding deployment and reducing costs.

Ultimately, by integrating policy-driven secure mobile access within an enterprise-wide advanced threat protection and intelligence framework, organizations can quickly detect anomalous behavior and confidently respond to the threats posed by malicious actors armed with stolen user login credentials.

This is a QuestexAsia feature commissioned by SonicWall.