Context is Key for Mobile Security

BrandPost By Stan Gibson
Apr 17, 20153 mins
Mobile Security

As enterprises rush to empower employees with a new mobile workstyle, the context of data access is changing. To enable the highest level of productivity while keeping corporate data secure, you must understand the context. The best place to start is by asking the five “Ws:” Who is trying to get in? What are they accessing? When is this happening? Where in the world are they? Why do they need access?

The answers to these questions will guide you to the right approach to enabling contextual data access – and determining just what data is allowed to reside on the mobile device. That may mean prohibiting all live data from the device, or it may mean allowing some data onto the device if certain conditions are met – and then ensuring encryption. There is a broad spectrum of possibilities and they all depend on context.

Desktop and application virtualization technology will enable you to keep sensitive data on the server so that it never resides on the device. There are several contexts in which this is the way to go. Here’s one: an industrial design team member often travels to a country with an active hacker population. If the plans for an industrial component can never be downloaded from the server, there’s far less chance they will be stolen. Here’s another: a hospital wants to enable doctors to bring their own devices – and is able to do so because confidential patient data remains in the datacenter and can never be stored on those personal devices.

In addition to virtualization, a tool you will find essential as you answer your five Ws is Enterprise File Sharing and Security (EFSS) software. Here’s how Citrix ShareFile – an EFSS technology – works: Citrix ShareFile software resides on the mobile device – whether company-issued or BYOD – and it connects with the service in the cloud – whether a public cloud or a company’s private cloud. It enables people to synchronize their data between all of their devices so it is always available. It’s also integrated with directories as well as governance and compliance policies so that the rules controlling access to data are implemented automatically. ShareFile policies determine things like who has access to the data, when it should expire, or when it needs to be wiped from the device. Users don’t have to think about what they’re supposed to do. They just get the data they need to do their work.

The new mobile workstyle is revolutionary and your approach to productivity and security must also be revolutionary.  Too often, companies focus on protecting the data, but in turn, thwart collaboration. Instead, implement technologies that take into account the context of data access in all its facets, thereby enabling higher productivity, protecting user privacy and keeping data secure.