by April 26, 2012 0 comments

Tell us some of the important trends in mobile security?

There are three major trends sweeping through the enterprises which are transforming business – and forcing a fundamental shift in how security is developed and deployed. These trends are: a) the rapid rise of the consumer endpoint, b) the onset of virtualization and cloud computing, and c) the growing use of high-definition video conferencing.

The concept of a perimeter in an enterprise is blurring fast, and this has intensified the challenge of ensuring security across multiple access points. In the past, organizations had defined models and makes for phones, laptops or any other end points which they would allow onto their network. But, now times have changed and individual users have their own devices including smartphones (iPhone, Android, Mac, etc) which have to be given access to. Hence the device border is now broken. Likewise they would like to have a workplace experience from where ever they connect — home, airports etc. And this user access needs to be fully secured without compromising the policies of the enterprises. Hence the location border is broken to drive flexibility, productivity and the changing business needs.

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More and more organizations are in the journey to implement working environments due to blurring borders. This changing usage of the company infrastructure and the proliferation of social networking is leading to increased security threats to an organization.

Further, a combination of rapidly changing customer expectations and radically different technological advancements is driving a new generation of on-demand security services which are transforming the way organizations operate and innovate. These trends are making the demand of network security grow across industries. Customers are asking us to innovate to address new network and security dynamics and develop new security architecture and solutions rather than pushing the same old point product strategies. It has become imperative for companies to build protection with secure usage practices and policies in their risk management strategies.

What are the security implications of increased use of mobile devices?

While it’s only beginning to percolate, one trend is clearly emerging: cybercriminals, are looking for new opportunities outside the PC environment. They are investing more resources towards developing exploits that specifically target users of mobile devices. Taking advantage of the rapidly multiplying number of mobile users worldwide makes business sense. Lesser developed nations are particularly ripe for opportunity.

Due to vulnerability exploits in various Windows PC operating systems, Microsoft has improved security in Windows 7 and taken a more aggressive approach to patching vulnerabilities. This makes it tougher for scammers to infiltrate Windows 7 effectively; having reached the Windows vulnerability “tipping point”, they have moved on to other operating systems, applications, software services, and devices such as smartphones, iPads, and iPods. Just as important in driving this trend is the embrace of mobile devices and applications by consumers and enterprises.

The worldwide adoption of mobile devices presents more opportunities for intrusions and theft for both enterprises & SMEs. According to research firm IDC, the number of mobile devices – from smartphones to tablet PCs – accessing the Internet by 2013 will surpass 1 billion, creating more opportunities for cybercrime.

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Suggest some ways to mitigate mobile security threats

As we all know organizations are fast adopting advanced security solutions to protect end-points, network admission control, application security and security monitoring and event co-relation and this segment is growing at double the rate of traditional security solutions.

The goal of IT managers is to have an IT infrastructure to create systems that can detect and protect against unauthorized access while providing timely access to legitimate users. Simply denying access in the face of an attack is no longer acceptable. Today’s networks must be able to respond to attacks in ways that maintain network availability and reliability and allow a business to continue to function. In many respects, the goal of security is to make networks more resilient by making them more flexible.

The way forward is lesser client-based endpoint security services and more cloud security based linkages from a thin endpoint connection manager.

Cisco’s Borderless Networks is the architectural approach required to meet all challenges outlined above. The solution is based on Cisco’s wireless networking and security solutions. These solutions deliver a unified approach to dealing with wired and wireless clients entering an enterprise. It is Cisco’s holistic, next generation vision and architecture that deliver the Borderless Experience. This experience allows employees, customers, and partners to connect and communicate anytime, anywhere, on any device in a manner that is seamless, secure,
and reliable.

Cisco SecureX Architecture

  • Cisco SecureX architecture is a context-aware, network-centric approach to security that enables consistent security enforcement throughout the organization, greater alignment of security policies with business needs, integrated global intelligence and a much simplified delivery. The result is an automated security enforcement end-to-end that is seamless to the end-user and more efficient for the IT organization.
  • Cisco SecureX blends the power of the Cisco network with context-aware security to protect today’s organization no matter when, where or how people use the network.

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