Look around your office. How many of your colleagues have iPods and thumb drives tucked into their briefcases? How many employees are routinely using Blackberries, iPhones and other “smart” hand held devices? Mobile phones have become hand ‐ held Wi‐Fi computers; and portable devices now have disk storage capacities that can go over 100 GB. As each of these innocuous items comes into contact with your network, it becomes an endpoint, a new point of vulnerability.
Empowering employees to work collaboratively in real time from almost anywhere is both an opportunity and a risk. Securing networks used to be easy because nothing was very mobile. Now computing technology has become extremely open, flexible and portable. Data now travels via these many paths: all potential points of entry for viruses, and exit points for data to quietly leak out of your organization.
If you still think this problem is only for “large” companies and financial institutions, you might be interested to know that on average, the combined volume of critical information now stored or copied locally on employees’ portable technology exceeds the total storage capacity of their organization’s entire network. (Source: IDC, 2008) This comes at a time when there are an increasing number of regulations and laws to comply with regarding data integrity such as GLBA, HIPPA and SOX.
Moving from vulnerability to implementation a successful endpoint security strategy depends on 3 key initiatives: an enforced end user policy, effective management of which devices can have access to your network and wireless airspace, and an integrated security solution that streamlines the process so that it can be managed without increased headcount.
Eliminating mobile technology is not the answer. An effective endpoint security strategy just addresses a much broader spectrum of data security issues that is in step with how business is conducted today.