Monday May 05, 2014

Identity Enabling Mobile Security

Authored by Suresh Sridharan, Business Manager, Security

Smart Connected Device Growth: The growth of smartphones and tablet devices has been phenomenal over the past 4 years. Global smartphone shipments have grown extensively from approximately 100m units in 2010 to 725m units in 2012, reaching 1b devices in January 2014. Simultaneously, tablet shipments have grown from 5m units in 2010 to approximately 125m units in 2012. Tablet numbers are likely to touch 400m units by 2017.

This explosion in the shipment of smart connected devices has also led to a significant change in users’ behavior and expectations.

In a corporate environment, the phenomenon of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is gaining momentum. Gartner predicts that 38% of all organizations will have an “all BYOD” policy by 2016, up from 6% today (2014). If the same device is being used for both personal and work purposes, users will expect the same experience across corporate and personal apps. Further, employees regularly use similar apps for both business and personal purposes examples include: WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook..

Mobile devices present benefits both for organizations and for individuals. Surveys show that a BYOD policy helps employee gain an extra 37 minutes of productive time every week. To increase sales productivity, some of our customers are mobile-enabling sales teams to ensure that they have access to the latest information when they meet with customers.

Security is one of the most significant mobile device challenges both for consumers and for enterprises. Although mobile-commerce is growing rapidly (to $25b in the US alone), 60% all retail transactions that get to the checkout stage are abandoned with security as one of the main causes, according to recent data.

As corporate data on the device co-mingles with user data on a personal device, it becomes challenging for enterprises to impose restrictions on the use of devices. About 40% of adults do not protect their smartphones with a passcode, with married adults that number goes up to 45%.
In order to address security challenges, IT should be able to define and enforce policies that meet security and privacy standards to protect intellectual property, other corporate assets and optionally, personal employee data.

There are three things to consider while implementing security in the new mobile age:

  1. Implement a strong identity management system that allows one to manage users and ensure that they are able to access information based on the principle of least privilege to carry out the necessary tasks.
  2. Implement an access management solution to secure data based on who is accessing it and the risk profile of that specific transaction.
  3. Implement a mobile security solution that will help secure data on the device and ensure corporate security policies are enforced on the device from which assets are being accessed.

In essence, organizations need to ensure that application data is secured based on the user accessing it and the device and location from which it is being secured. Securing the device and the user identity, in isolation, is not sufficient.

Interested in following security blog more closely, check out the Oracle Identity Management blog here

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