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Securing Mobile Data in the Event of Device Loss or Theft

September 4, 2014 at 6:00 am PST

As a business or technical leader, you know you need to protect your company in a rapidly evolving mobile ecosystem. However, threats are not always obvious. As malware and attacks become more sophisticated over time, business decision makers must work with technical decision makers to navigate security threats in a mobile world.

This blog series, authored by Kathy Trahan, will explore the topic of enterprise mobility security from a situational level and provide insight into what leaders can do now to mitigate risk. To read the first post focused on securing device freedom, click here. The second post, available here, focused on the risks that come with mobile connections. Kathy’s third post outlined three top considerations leaders must consider when examining their current mobile data security plan. The fourth post in this series highlights how security compliance is necessary for real-time mobile data access. – Bret Hartman, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Cisco’s Security Technology Group

Many of us have experienced that panicked “oh no!” moment when we’ve misplaced a mobile device or worse, found out it was stolen. The stakes are raised even higher when a lost or stolen device is company issued, or a personal device an employee uses for business purposes and contains sensitive data.

According to a recent report, more than 3.1 million smart phones were stolen just in America last year alone. This same report revealed that 34% of people took no security measures at all to protect sensitive information – not even a simple four-digit password. 51% of end users use their smartphone to perform daily business activities.

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Summary: Mitigating Business Risks

Organizations are rapidly moving critical data into the cloud, yet they still have serious concerns about security and other business risks. Read Bob Dimicco’s blog to learn several important steps companies can take to mitigate the risks of cloud services, such as uncovering shadow IT, assessing data security, and instituting cloud-specific employee policies.

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Securing Mobile Data: What’s Your Plan?

July 24, 2014 at 7:00 am PST

As a business or technical leader, you know you need to protect your company in a rapidly evolving mobile ecosystem. However, threats are not always obvious. As malware and attacks become more sophisticated over time, business decision makers must work with technical decision makers to navigate security threats in a mobile world.

This blog series, authored by Kathy Trahan, will explore the topic of enterprise mobility security from a situational level and provide insight into what leaders can do now to mitigate risk. To read the first post focused on securing device freedom, click here. The second post, available here, focused on the risks that come with mobile connections. – Bret Hartman, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Cisco’s Security Technology Group

The Cisco Visual Networking Index revealed an obvious truth that none of us can deny—mobile data traffic is on the rise and shows no signs of stopping:

  • By 2018, over half of all devices connected to the mobile network will be “smart” devices
  • Tablets will exceed 15 percent of global mobile data traffic by 2016
  • By the end of this year, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2018, there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per capita

With the explosion in the number of smart mobile devices and employees increasingly taking advantage of BYOD, securing company and personal data in a world where the mobile endpoint is a new perimeter presents technical and legal challenges for organizational leaders.

What are some of the most prevailing challenges? The personal use of company-owned devices happens more frequently than IT may realize and a complex legal environment can leave both employees and IT confused on how personal privacy is being protected. It is important for human resources to weigh in here as well.

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Emerging Cloud Models: Community Cloud

There is no disputing that both enterprises and service providers are embracing cloud.  What’s different today is that not only are telcos cloud providers, but enterprises and governments are also becoming cloud providers through a community cloud model.

A community cloud model is a collaborative effort where infrastructure is shared and  jointly accessed by several organizations from a specific group that share specific computing concerns such as, security, compliance or jurisdiction considerations. The community cloud can be either on-premises or off-premises, and can be governed by the participating organizations or by a third-party managed service provider.

A community cloud model   helps offset common challenges across universities, government agencies and enterprises,such as  cost pressures, technology complexity, and spending requirements, security concerns and a lack of sector specific services from service providers.

I recently had the chance to participate in a new Cloud Insights Video Podcast to discuss how CIOs can transform their enterprise IT delivery models and how Cisco is supporting service providers in developing their cloud execution strategies.

User Organizations Are Becoming Cloud Vendors

CIOs have recognized that greater business outcomes can  be delivered for their customers by working together to resolve common challenges and realize common opportunities. It’s also becoming clear to them that using a community cloud model for cloud services is an innovative way to help deliver  on these outcomes.

As we’ve worked with CIOs in governments and universities across various geographies, , we have focused on  building a shared understanding of what can be achieved by moving common services, which are not seen as differentiated to the business, into a community cloud model. For example, all universities offer human resources as a service, and student enrollment services and financial aid services are not considered differentiated. So why not have it as a shared community service that reduces cost outlay and redirects the savings to innovative learning experiences for students?

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How Anyone in Any Industry Can Get Started in Cloud

In today’s business landscape, cloud adoption and deployment is more than just a technical discussion. It’s really a choice about how to operate your business, regardless of what industry or vertical your organization is affiliated with.

However, as a former CIO, I understand that many CIOs are more concerned with the challenges they face when moving to the cloud than the benefits they can achieve.

For example, in the past, all of your company information and applications were locked-up behind a firewall. As such, none of your customers or remote employees could gain access to your network. Now, through clouds, you can put your business out in the world – where your customers, employees, partners and more can gain access. It’s truly making business more accessible, in an incredibly flexible way – but it can be a daunting process.

Recently, I had the chance to participate in a new Cloud Insights Video Podcast and share how all verticals face similar challenges when it comes to cloud. It probably comes as no surprise that the key areas of concern are security and privacy.

So, how can CIOs address these challenges?  

Go find the right partner.

Security and privacy are very real challenges, and it’s the CIOs job to address them, but he/she doesn’t have to go at it alone. Businesses should look for a cloud service provider to become a trusted business partner. When a business is looking for a cloud service provider to host its application or data, the main questions that arise are:

    • How are we going to ensure security?
    • How will I maintain control over the data and applications that I put in the cloud?
    • How do I maintain visibility?

When these questions about control and visibility are answered, it inevitably leads to trust. And when a CIO feels there is a level of trust for information and application security within the cloud, it ripples down through the organization, ultimately empowering customer relationships.

It’s transformational when a CEO can say to customers, “We do have that level of control and visibility and you can look to us to take care of your information.”

As organizations in various verticals look to move past security concerns, CIOs need to find a partner they trust and start a conversation, they may be surprised at how quickly some of their concerns can be mitigated.

Visit Cloud Executive Perspectives to get additional cloud insights for IT leaders and subscribe to the Cisco Cloud Insights video podcast channel on iTunes or via RSS.  Additional Cisco Cloud Insights videos can also be found here.

Follow @CiscoCloud and use #CiscoCloud to join the conversation!

Cloud Insights: How Anyone in Any Vertical Can Get Started in Cloud from Cisco Business Insights

 

Additional Resources:

In the same video podcast series:  How Cisco IT Solved Its Internal Cloud Dilemma by Didier Rombaut via #CiscoBlog

Cisco Solutions for Open and Secure Intercloud Workload Migration.  Join our webcast to learn how the Cisco InterCloud solution helps ensure the same network security, quality of service (QoS), and access control policies previously enforced in the data center are implemented in the public cloud.  Wednesday, May 14, 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time / 12:00 pm Eastern Time

Cisco Solutions for Open and Secure Intercloud Workload Migration. Join our webcast to learn how the Cisco InterCloud solution helps ensure the same network security, quality of service (QoS), and access control policies previously enforced in the data center are implemented in the public cloud. The webcast is available on demand.

Watch the Cisco Intercloud Workload Migration Webcast  (available on demand)

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