Being Mobile Modern Secure Means Expanding Zero Trust Security to All Mobile Endpoint Devices
By David Cohan, Mobolize | Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder
The US Department of Homeland Security recently announced a cybersecurity alert due to the escalating situation in Ukraine. In this alert, it warns of coming attacks against governmental and commercial infrastructure that could affect us all. Current events teach us that history repeats itself and bad actors use the tools available to achieve their aims. If cyberattacks are coming, then how should large and small business owners prepare? Where should we look to insure that all vulnerable points are protected?
First the good news. The cyber security industry has been hard at work upgrading and re-working approaches to thwart hacking, phishing and ransomware attacks. The best example of this is zero trust. This approach identifies and confirms the identities of the users and the devices being used before allowing access to a corporate server. And the best form of protection for this approach is Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). Because the cyber threats are coming at us via the network, it’s best to have our networks fully protected. ZTNA is the modern approach to how employees should be connected when remote.
Now the challenges. While ZTNA is great for fixed corporate networks and the endpoints that operate underneath these internet connections, the odd man out is mobile devices. Why? Because when users are mobile or working from home they don’t have corporate network protection. Plus, being mobile means our devices hop networks. Users work from home or move from home to a workplace. Devices are on roaming connections or switch from Wi-Fi to cellular networks.
Why be concerned? With today’s trend of work from home, all mobile connections are now vulnerable because employees are using mobile devices for business when not at the corporate site. Importantly, mobile doesn’t just mean phones. Employees use laptops and tablets too, so the definition of mobile includes all three types of devices. That means phones, laptops and tablets used as mobile connections are all direct avenues for hackers to exploit and gain access to corporate servers for theft or ransomware programs.
Mobolize recognized that increased employee mobility would expand to include laptops and tablets. We already had developed a SmartVPN® that modernized the traditional VPN architecture without negatively impacting device performance. The result is our patented, on-device Data Management Engine that uses a common code base across all mobile endpoint platforms making execution and management of software requirements much easier. Our engine allows our partners to extend their ZTNA coverage to all types of mobile devices and to do it in a manner that preserves device performance and delivers consistent user experience and a rapid time to market – all important variables in security adoption.
Right now, we have partners who are using our Data Management Engine to deliver their ZTNA technology to all their corporate customer’s mobile endpoints. They understand that to protect business data, security requirements must expand to full mobile device coverage. The Ukraine situation reminds us that being mobile means we need to act to protect all vulnerable endpoints including laptops, tablets and smartphones with the most modern and secure approaches available right now.