Securing data: An Apple and Android security guide

Securing data for dummies

There are tons of reasons why enterprise IT is nervous about the influx of consumer devices, but securing data is at the forefront.

Now that the line between corporate and consumer device is so blurry, the risks associated with smartphones and tablets connected to corporate networks are more abundant. Even in cases where IT doesn’t have a lot of oversight, there are some general best practices for securing data that IT and users alike should follow. Additionally, there are specific ways that IT can manage Apple and Android security. This guide will give you the skinny on mobile device management (MDM) and device-specific issues, plus other mobile security tips.

Table of contents:

Securing data

There are general guidelines for securing data that can help IT and users keep mobile data secure. Use these tips and tricks as a foundation for your device security and MDM systems, and then you can build on these basics to craft a security program that works for you and your users.

Enterprise mobile device security best practices
Mobile device security should be a major tenet of any enterprise mobile strategy. Make sure your company requires device encryption and has remote-wipe capabilities. If you can’t enforce screen protection on your end, ensure that users are locking down their devices and securing data.

Mobile device management market offers mobile device security options
In many companies, employees use a broad range of personal- and corporate-owned devices, which creates issues for IT pros looking to choose a MDM system. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a good way for admins to make a decision about which of the device security options is best.

Smartphone malware protection: Six steps for fighting cybercrime
Consumer devices in your company can bring all kinds of malware into the corporate network. To protect enterprise assets and personal devices, roll out an MDM program, install smartphone malware protection on devices and educate users about securing data and responsible device-use practices.

Training mobile employees on protecting data and device security
Sometimes mobile device security isn’t within IT’s control: It’s literally in users’ hands. Teach employees about protecting data and device security so they can help control the safety of corporate data and their personal devices.

Mobile data encryption techniques: On-device and on-the-go
Encrypting data is one of the best ways to keep sensitive information out of the wrong hands. Good mobile data encryption techniques, including encryption for both on-device and transmitted data, can help in securing data and preventing corporate data from being compromised.

Apple security

Apple devices have a relatively strong reputation for securing data, but there are still some ways in which devices and data can be compromised. Unfortunately for IT, there’s not a good MDM option for iOS yet, so much of the responsibility of Apple security falls to iOS users themselves.

How an iOS virus can infect the enterprise and what to do about it
There isn’t malware that attacks iOS yet, but that doesn’t mean that Apple security is perfect: iOS devices can host viruses. An iPad or iPhone can carry an iOS virus that attacks enterprise devices when connected to the network. For now, there isn’t much that IT can do in terms of securing data and protecting against iOS viruses.

iPhone's Siri security flaws: Is IT powerless?
Siri, Apple’s voice-recognition service, circumvents iPhone security features. If a corporate user’s phone is lost or stolen, hackers can use Siri to access data on the phone -- even if a screen lock is in place.

Enterprise iPhone security issues and how to address them
Because there are a few different ways that the iPhone can present Apple security risks to the enterprise, it’s important for IT to have a good grasp on potential iPhone security issues. The more admins know about the problems they may encounter in securing data, the better prepared they’ll be to handle any issues that arise.

Android security

Securing data, app security and device management are the biggest Android security issues. In the past, Google has had trouble keeping viruses out of its Android Market (recently renamed Google Play), but the company is trying to address the problem with Google Bouncer. Third-party apps can encourage devices and the enterprise to get along.

Why Android malware protection is so important in the enterprise
Android’s app store doesn’t have a reputation for hosting apps that are iron-clad against malware, and users can download apps from anywhere online. It’s important the devices connecting to the corporate network have Android malware protection to keep phones, tablets and the enterprise inoculated against infection.

Android tablet security: OS features and Android security apps
Some Android security features are built into the operating system, but IT and users can’t rely solely on those features for securing data on devices. Android security apps can help keep viruses at bay while boosting overall Android tablet security.

Android security issues in IT
There isn’t a great MDM option for Android devices yet, and there are concerns surrounding app security. With these Android security issues, IT may be cautious about letting the devices into the enterprise, but there are things admins can do to manage the devices. Plus, recent OS updates offer some new Android enterprise features.

Android management features improve, but still no home run
Recent versions of Android's operating system have improved management and Android security features, including encryption and remote-wipe capabilities. But IT can only create a comprehensive Android management program with the addition of third-party apps.