It may be something that’s often considered ‘out of sight, out of mind’, but a cornerstone of IT security today is the idea of layers. Whether we’re talking about the OSI Model, which is the architectural foundation of communication and computing, or virtual disk images which isolate the OS, application, and data components for end users, it’s clear that layering is a crucial component of IT, especially in the realm of mobile security, where both technology and mobile threats evolve on a daily basis.
Every month there are more phones and more apps, and every day there are new threats that IT organizations and end users have to contend with. These threats can include unpatched zero-day exploits, malicious apps, man-in-the-middle network attacks, and plenty more. This is why when you’re looking for effective Mobile Threat Defense, the name of the game is Holistic, Layered Mobile Security.
With a holistic, layered approach to mobile security you’re leveraging intelligence across multiple monitoring layers, while combatting threats across multiple threat vectors, where all of these components are communicating seamlessly together. When deploying mobile threat defense, there are three layers that are essential to rapidly identifying and protecting against mobile threats:
1. Device: Having an application running locally on a mobile device, which can do on-device analysis and proactively alert the end user (or IT) to potential issues is key. In many cases, this can mean software updates are deployed much quicker, and malicious activity can be stopped immediately in its tracks. The device also hands off incremental analysis to the server, as necessary, to prevent battery drain and poor user experience.
2. Crowd-sourced intelligence: Each device also acts as a sensor that captures and uploads threat data to the cloud. This creates a global, crowd-sourced intelligence gathering apparatus that powers proactive, real-time monitoring so that each device you’re monitoring benefits from the data gathered by every other device worldwide. All of this results in rapid identification of threats that might otherwise go unnoticed by traditional detection methods, and is an essential component to combat zero-day exploits.
3. Cloud Server: A cloud server collects data from all of the global sensors for analysis and powers real-time, proactive threat assessment. When a new threat is detected, the cloud server can alert any device which may be affected in real-time. In many cases, a strong mobile threat defense platform will alert users to important OS security updates before the OS vendor does, which gives IT a huge advantage against zero-day exploits.
The layers here are, of course, important, but the holistic part is key, too. Not only should the solution be unified into one single solution as compared to three different solutions, it should also provide a holistic solution against all mobile attack vectors:
• Malicious apps may steal data, log key strokes, listen to a user’s mic, track their movements, etc. Whether it is a repackaged version of a legitimate app or designed from the ground up to be malicious, these apps look and feel like “real apps” so users may be unaware they’ve been breached.
• Network-based threats, such as man-in-the-middle attacks where a spoofed WiFi hotspot secretly captures and relays all the data coming from an end user’s device. 40% of mobile devices will be exposed to a network attack within the first three months of security monitoring.
• Device vulnerabilities, particularly when users wait too long to update their phone’s operating system, leaving it open to attack.
• Physical attacks, where the device itself is at risk due to weak (or no) passcodes or recent user account data breaches. Skycure’s Q1 Mobile Threat Intelligence Report shows that 31% of all mobile devices still do not use passcodes.
With so many avenues of attack, leveraging a solution that seamlessly ties together the device, crowd, and server layers is key in today’s mobile world. Holistic, layered mobile security delivers the breadth and depth that IT organizations need to provide mobile threat defense that protects devices across the entire threat vector spectrum.
Skycure’s unique approach to mobile threat defense combines all three layers (device, crowd, cloud) to ensure that your IT department is best protected against all threat vectors. The device and server layers combine to make sure your end users get real time protection without draining their battery or slowing their device down. On top of that, Skycure’s crowd-sourced intelligence layer makes sure that all of your users can take immediate action when a new threat is detected anywhere in the world.
It is important to pick a mobile threat defense solution which will properly protect your organization and your end users. To find out for yourself, request a free enterprise trial or check out all of the other unique capabilities that make Skycure the leading Mobile Threat Defense solution.