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FCW : October 2015
Work is much more mobile these days, and technology has risen to meet the mobile demand. While laptops and notebook computers have been part of the mobile infrastructure for some time now, the challenges of managing and securing these mobile computing platforms remains as much a priority as ever. Notebooks and laptops have main- tained their position at the top of the mobile computing pyramid primarily due to their storage capacity and pro- cessing power. They are true desktop replacements that modern workers use in their offices or anywhere they need to be present and productive. Tablets and smartphones are ubiquitous as well, but lack the power to truly bring productiv- ity applications to the forefront. Tablets, smart phones and other smaller mobile devices are better for consuming data, says Steve Taylor, solution architect for Intel. Laptops and notebooks have the storage and capacity for creating data. They’re far better suited than smaller mobile devices for productivity applica- tions that generate data, such as spread- sheets, presentations and documents. “No one wants to run a presentation from their phone,” says Taylor. That has led to the ubiquitous presence of laptops and notebooks in any organization’s infrastructure, and the host of challenges when it comes to managing and securing those systems. “There’s a whole set of unique problems,” says Taylor. “The number one challenge is data loss. Any laptops that are outside the organization are susceptible to theft or loss. You also have the issue of laptops being misused, whether accidentally or deliberately.” Viruses, malware and malicious attacks are always a possibility, as with any device that connects to the Internet. Then, of course, there is the human element and the simple pros- pect of misfortune. Losing a laptop or having one stolen is a possibility any time a worker brings one out of the office. Having the ability to lock down or remotely wipe a hard drive is there- fore an essential aspect of a security plan. “The ability to mitigate the risk of an asset that is lost or stolen has got- ten better,” says Taylor. “But people still lose devices at airports or have them stolen from cars.” Disk encryption and remote disk wipe are critical functions, especially in instances where organizational policy allows workers to maintain potentially sensitive data on their laptops and notebooks. It’s also important to have appropriate policies in place to ensure laptops and notebooks are able to remain updated. “The management console needs to provide secure communications whether [the laptop] is connected to the VPN or not,” says Taylor. When considering a management solution, look for one that provides role-based access control. “Not everyone requires the same level of access,” says Taylor. He point to the different roles in an organization like the administrators who establish and enforce policies, help desk operators who configure and deploy those policies and standard business users. All those users require differing levels of access and privileges. To ensure notebook and laptop computers are as secure as possible, it ultimately depends on having the combination of the latest hardware with a fast processor, enhanced security features and the latest most secure operating systems and security software, says Taylor. It’s not one or the other; you do need both. Mobile security: take nothing for granted GameChanger Game ChanGinG TeChnoloGy To meeT aGenCy missions SponSored Content MobiliTy sPonsoReD By The ubiquitous mobile computers continue to pose unique security challenges
September 30, 2015
November and December 2015