Three ways mobile transformation has improved enterprise security

By Jonathan Hassell

As mobile devices proliferate, IT directors and staff continue to grapple with the ever-present question of security. The good news? Mobile developments have made better security tools available to the masses and at a lower price tag than ever before.

How has the trend toward mobility helped IT directors reduce security risks? The following are three examples of how mobile transformation has helped improve enterprise security:

1. Two-factor authentication

Mobile transformation and, specifically, the proliferation of mobile devices has made two-factor authentication much easier to implement and deploy in enterprises. Two-factor authentication refers to the process in which users logging in to a service or application with a traditional password must also provide a one-time code that is sent to them through a secure method.

Because you no longer need to supply each user with a specialized fob or other token to receive one-time codes, two-factor authentication is much more accessible. Simple voice calls from an automated system or short SMS texts with one-time codes make authenticating users much easier and lets more enterprises mitigate the risk of insecure passwords or password leaks. Deploying two-factor authentication is perhaps the biggest bang for your buck in terms of improving your company’s security posture.

2. Containerization on mobile devices

In the past few years, mobile transformation has spurred the bring-your-own-device phenomenon, where consumers connect their personal mobile devices to enterprise resources. The big question, of course, becomes how to secure corporate data that lands on those devices without touching a user’s personal data such as photos and videos.

Containerization is a mobile development that mitigates the security risk of a lost or stolen device. It creates a partitioned-off sector of a device’s storage, encrypts it and places the contents of that secure area under the direct control of the enterprise. In the event a user leaves the company or a device is lost, the enterprise can wipe that secure area.

3. Biometric authentication and authorization

Platforms such as iOS and Android have recently ramped up their own security, encryption and token technologies so their digital payment environments are rigorously secured. These improvements generally entail a fingerprint reader integrated directly into the smartphone or tablet so only authorized individuals can log in to or make purchases on the device.

Biometric authentication has long been hailed in the movies, starring retina scans that help enter sensitive facilities and palm readers that verify identity, but the technology to actually implement a biometric scan right in front of the user has typically been prohibitively expensive and clunky. However, the mobile transformation has put devices with biometric authentication capabilities right into users’ hands, and this feature has dramatically improved the security of apps and mobile devices. Best of all, it comes at little to no additional cost to the enterprise or user.

Written By

Jonathan Hassell

President, 82 Ventures

Jonathan Hassell runs 82 Ventures, a technical writing and consulting firm based in Charlotte, NC. He centers his focus around network administrator, security, the cloud, and mobile technologies.

Other Articles by Jonathan Hassell
See All Posts