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Maximize Productivity and Minimize Risk for Customers with Managed Mobile Security

Communications solutions and mobile devices make your customers more productive. Learn how MSSPs can securely enable those benefits.

Fortinet Guest Blogger

January 7, 2020

7 Min Read
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We love our smartphones and our other mobile devices, but there is a downside for enterprises that have embraced bring your own device (BYOD) and remote work policies. With most workers now accessing corporate data and systems through their own devices, it can present risks in terms of data leakage, shadow IT, unpatched vulnerabilities, access management and more.

It is no wonder that mobile security is at the top of your customers’ list of concerns. A 2019 report shows that 83% of organizations agree that they need to take mobile security more seriously. But, at the same time, almost half admit they have sacrificed mobile security in the past to fulfill business objectives.

The story here is clear: The productivity benefits that your customers experience as a result of their unified communications solutions and mobile devices are simply too business-critical for them to give up. To allow their teams to continue enjoying those benefits, organizations must implement and monitor mobile security tools. This is where partners and managed security service partners (MSSPs) can help, providing value in a mobile world where security and productivity play an equal role in success.

Help Your Customers Get a Grasp on the Risks

Enterprise mobility has altered the modern workplace forever, but organizations now need to understand that’s not all that has changed. Even those who are no strangers to change–CIOs, for example–can be caught off guard in the ever-evolving world of mobile security. In fact, according to the aforementioned mobile security index report, 67% of respondents feel less confident about the security of their mobile devices than they do about the security of their other IT assets.

Where Do Your Customers Need Mobile Security Management?

Consider the modern workplace, and it is not hard to imagine what types of tools the remote/mobile workforce relies upon. But without mobile security management practices in place, it is hard to imagine how to secure everything. MSSPs can offer guidance and support on key mobile technologies in the following ways:

Connected Devices: Teams use their phones, laptops, and other mobile devices to access collaboration software, company docs and the communication apps that keep them connected and productive. This is the case whether they are on the go, sitting together in a breakout room or sitting side by side at their desks. Plus, many use devices made especially for their roles in their particular industry–think of medical staff who carry hand-held devices with them to help call up patient records and collect and manage data as they travel around a medical care facility. Every use case of a connected device presents a risk, and MSSPs can help secure them with solutions that offer visibility and management of those devices across their entire lifecycle.

Network Access Controls: Visibility is key in the internet of things (IoT). Security teams need to know who is accessing what (and how), amid a sea of devices designed for cost-effectiveness but not always for security. Deploying and managing network access controls (NACs) allows MSSPs visibility into every device running within their customers’ network, as well as visibility into which of these devices are most at risk.

Access/ Identity Management: As the majority of breaches happen because of compromised user accounts and users who were given access they do not need, ensuring your customers have access management controls in place is crucial. As various accounts and devices access the network from remote locations, access management helps ensure that your customers do not fall victim to data leakage or insider threats–malicious or otherwise.

Applications and Email: Teams, managers, stakeholders and vendors exchange emails and connect via various apps every day, all of which invariably introduces risk into the network. Cyber attackers are targeting the weakest link in company defenses, which still include users who practice unsafe behavior like clicking on malicious links sent in emails or bad password hygiene. An MSSP can help secure their customers’ apps and email operations with solutions that cover a wide range of security functions.

Secure Email Gateways: The majority of malware is delivered through emails, and email threats are increasingly prevalent and sophisticated. To prevent data loss, MSSPs can help customers stay aware of the ever-evolving email-based cyber threat landscape. Beyond understanding email-based threat trends, MSSPs can offer managed mobile security through the deployment and monitoring of secure email gateways.

Application Firewalls: As web apps become essential to business, cyber criminals are focusing their efforts on attacking this expanding surface. MSSPs can offer customers value by providing guidance and protection against these vulnerabilities leveraging AI-driven solutions that enables machine learning.

Cloud: By next year, less than 10% of business will remain cloud-free. But the cloud-first world brings risks that need to be addressed. Potential attack surfaces are expanding every day, it seems, often in an uncontrolled environment that makes security a big challenge. When there is no strategy in place, the ad-hoc development of a multi-cloud environment adds even more challenges to the security agenda. With multiple vendors in the mix, your customers are finding it hard even to know who is really responsible for different aspects of security. MSSPs can provide guidance, visibility, and clarity to maintain control over data and fight automated attacks.

Guidance on the Shared Responsibility Model: As they move forward with cloud adoption, your customers can end up with an unplanned cloud environment that is difficult, if not impossible, to secure. What’s more, they struggle to understand who is responsible for each part of the cloud security plan: their cloud vendors or their own security team. MSSPs can help clarify the blurred lines of shared responsibility in the cloud, and augment security controls where necessary to ensure compliance and data safety.

Public and Multi-Cloud Security: As cloud environments expand and company workloads are deployed across them, business-critical data becomes scattered across a distributed infrastructure that presents many risks if not secured properly. The tools that are used to secure each cloud adoption can behave differently, and each needs to be customized and configured separately. That can hinder visibility and make for a very inefficient deployment of services. Partners can help with a multicloud security package that offers broad protection for all of those disparate attack surfaces across public and multicloud environments.

SD-WAN: To enable edge computing needs, companies are cutting costs by implementing SD-WAN. The money they save by removing unnecessary routing hardware makes it too attractive a solution to ignore. However, their growing awareness of cyberattacks tells them that they must consider security, too. What organizations need to know is that there is indeed a way to secure their SD-WAN: by enlisting the help of managed mobile security services.

Extend Connectivity to Branch Locations: Your customers are seeking higher profits by extending better computing power to their branch locations in ways that are both cost-efficient and secure. Branch offices need to connect to their business-critical SaaS applications without having to worry about overburdening connections. Traditional WAN connections are no match for today’s complex digital networks, which vendors are quick to help companies replace with SD-WAN. But those vendors don’t always prioritize security, so many of your customers end up with security vulnerabilities they did not have before. Partners who offer managed mobile services can step in and close those security gaps, providing critical SD-WAN guidance.

The MSSP Value

In mobile security management, MSSPs have the chance to offer next-gen value to a growing sector that cuts across every vertical and occupies the minds of many key stakeholders. The distributed environments that are increasingly becoming essential to enterprise competitiveness and growth must be enabled with high-performing network coverage, but they must remain secure, as well.

The broad security that MSSPs offer for these environments, in addition to the integrated security fabric made possible by Fortinet products, should be part of any organization’s security strategy. MSSPs can help their customers monitor events to ensure detection and remediation while keeping mobile deployments fast and productive. Everyone stays happy.

Final Thoughts

More and more organizations are relying on a mobile workforce, which leverages access to cloud applications to stay productive and compete in an agile world. The fast-growing need to secure mobile workforces calls for a comprehensive security solution. Partners who offer managed mobile security have an exciting opportunity ahead of them: helping their customers navigate what has quickly become this pressing top security issue.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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