Mobile device analytics are opening up new frontiers for mobile security

By Becky Lawlor

Securing mobile devices has long been a challenge for enterprises. As Gartner points out, the consequences of ineffective mobile security measures are becoming more severe, as these devices are now storing more sensitive data than ever before. As the proliferation of devices continues, so does the potential threat.

Traditional mobile security tactics, such as mobile device management and mobile application management solutions, offer companies the ability to secure data through remote wiping and the containerization of personal and business data, but they don’t address the entire ecosystem.

By tapping into mobile device analytics, companies are now able to gather critical intelligence about how data is being transported on smartphones, tablets and even wearables to help determine whether their communication channels are secure. Because threats are coming from a variety of different directions — originating from malicious apps or websites, unsecured networks and devices themselves — enterprises need a complete view of security breaches in order to better secure their mobile platform.

Using analytics to reduce risks

It’s clear that analytics can provide intelligence and visibility. But this information can also help to pinpoint insightful details concerning where attacks are happening, what time of day they’re taking place and the specific types of apps that are running on each attacked device. These details can in turn help security administrators gain a full view of the ecosystem.

Analytics can uncover a wide array of problems in a proactive manner. This information can be used to identify app security risks, detect devices that are infected with malware, identify jailbreaks and pinpoint cases of users accessing blacklisted apps or restricted websites. As such, it’s clear that analytics give security administrators the necessary intelligence to remediate attacks and mitigate risk before their enterprise data is compromised.

Developing a mobile security framework

To take advantage of analytics, security administrators can deploy a mobile framework that uses this information to report on security breaches. Then, when a security breach is detected, they can route this information to a security information and event management system.

At that point, security administrators can use the data, which includes endpoint information and data derived from traditional network-based events, to draw meaningful correlations and analysis. Through analytics, administrators can drill down into the data to see threat trends, event and log data, usage behavior and attack fingerprints — all of which help to identify targeted attacks.

In addition to proactively and reactively addressing threats, the analytical data provides insights that can help influence future mobile security investments or policies. With better governance practices in place, it becomes even easier for enterprises to proactively identify, understand and manage threats.

As time goes on, the threats to mobile devices are only becoming more and more hostile. To stay ahead of these threats, security administrators need to leverage every tool available to them. As such, the industry’s reliance on big data, including mobile device analytics, is growing rapidly, and will continue to do so.

Written By

Becky Lawlor

Technology Writer

Becky Lawlor is a freelance technology writer specializing in mobility, cloud computing, unified communications and collaboration solutions. She develops and writes content that helps technology buyers understand and evaluate technology solutions, modernize their IT infrastructure…

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