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Dell Software's position on mitigating mobile threats

07 Sep 2014

Resellers can help customers mitigate mobile security threats and increase company productivity, says Ian Hodge, Dell Software ANZ managing director.

The mobile worker trends we’re currently seeing can open businesses up to corporate data loss, malware and the loss of productivity. Management expects IT to keep workers productive while keeping complexity and network security threats to a minimum.

The channel has an opportunity to provide businesses with solutions that reduce the complexity of managing a mobile workforce, whilst keeping security threats to a minimum. In addition, by asking a few key questions about an organisation’s needs, resellers can provide expert knowledge and advice, providing a solution that achieves the business goals. In doing so, the resellers can become an invaluable partner to these organisations.

Considering which applications an organisation’s mobile users need access to, not only now, but also in the next quarter, or even next year is the first step in enabling mobile worker productivity while remaining secure. The next step is to determine whether the corporate applications and resources to which mobile users want access are web-based, client/server-based or host-based, or are they looking for access to back-connect applications like VoIP or VDI?

Each of these will help channel partners determine which technologies will be the best fit for securing back-end networks. To best meet mobile worker needs, it’s important for resellers to look for secure access control solutions that enable access to the apps and data required for today and tomorrow - not point solutions that will limit the business workloads that can be supported.

Second most important step to ensuring worker productivity and security within an organisation is to determine which devices its workers will use to access applications and resources. Again, you need to consider not only the immediate need, but also what devices an organisation expects to use in the coming months.

Most businesses will have requirements to support a hybrid environment consisting of legacy laptops and PCs, plus smartphones and tablets using varying OSs and platforms. Resellers must provide a solution that supports the breadth of devices that come in across an organisation.

Regulatory requirements

When developing an organisation’s mobile security strategy, considering the regulatory requirements for securing data is crucial. If company data is subject to regulatory requirements, IT will likely need to enforce device password lock, on-device data encryption, and possibly require secure containers to separate corporate data and applications from personal apps and data stored on the device. By knowing a company’s regulatory requirements, resellers can better determine IT’s needs and provide the right solution for them.

Finally, suggest that organisations deploy layered security to protect from hidden malware, so their users and the devices accessing the corporate network are trusted. Increasingly, the traffic going over the network is encrypted, so businesses need to not only be able to inspect traffic that is unencrypted, but also to decrypt the encrypted traffic.

The little bit of data on a phone that’s lost on a train isn’t likely to harm an organisation’s network, but there is potential for that lost phone to be used as a conduit to hack into the network. As such, every organisation’s most important goal should be to protect the back-end applications and data.

By educating customers, resellers have the opportunity to become businesses most valuable partner and up-sell. Don’t let your customers take security for granted, make sure they have the education and end-to-end security they need to mitigate the risks.

By Ian Hodge, Dell Software ANZ managing director