Blog | April 19, 2017

NetMotion, Samsung Team to Address Growing Mobile Threats

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

By Brian Albright, Field Technologies

Mobile Security Threats

NetMotion Software and Samsung announced a new security partnership that could help better protect enterprises using Samsung Galaxy Android devices.

Mobile security is starting to get more attention at every level. In late March, U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) sent a letter to the FCC chairman urging the agency to take action to resolve security problems with the SS7 system that wireless carriers use to communicate.

One vulnerability in the system allows anyone with access to monitor user activity using just a phone number.

According to the letter: “The continued existence of these vulnerabilities – and the industry’s lax approach to cybersecurity – does not just impact the liberty of Americans, it also poses a serious threat to our national and economic security. As such, the FCC must take swift action to address fundamental security threats to our mobile phones, which are no less dangerous than those cybersecurity threats that receive far more attention from other government agencies,”

A survey from Check Point and Dimensional Research indicates that 64 percent of respondents said they were doubtful that their company could defend against a mobile cyber attack, and 20 percent said they had already experienced a mobile security breach. Another 24 percent did not know if their mobile devices had been breached.

Malware was the most common type of attack (58 percent), following by SMS phishing (54 percent), man-in-the-middle attacks (54 percent), and mobile credential theft or keylogging (41 percent).

The cost of these breaches are roughly equivalent to the same type of attack against laptops or PCs, with 37 percent saying the cost would be $100,000, and 23 percent estimating they could cost more than $500,000.

Despite the high potential costs, more than one-third of companies in the survey have failed to adequately secure their mobile devices. Almost all of the respondents (94 percent) said they expect eh frequency of attacks to increase. Only 38 percent of respondents had a dedicated mobile device security solution.

According to the Check Point report: “Without a change to these trends, the frequency and success of mobile devices attacks will rapidly increase. The dichotomy of management trying to control costs and security professionals struggling with insufficient tools to repel attackers is not a new story line in most enterprises. Unfortunately, the story usually ends sadly with a huge, embarrassing event with the press blazing headlines of a costly hack and the company suffering brand damage and loss of customer confidence.”

These are the types of problems the NetMotion/Samsung integration are meant to address.

NetMotion has integrated its Mobility VPN product with Samsung Knox to provide more security and management options for Samsung devices.  The VPN supports traditional authentication options and can prevent users from logging in via unauthorized VPN profiles. With the Knox integration, the Mobility system can force the VPN tunnel on and keep it active so that users can’t send unsecured data.

“Enterprises rolling out mobile devices face a number of challenges in terms of security and management,” said John Knopf, Vice President of Product Development, NetMotion. “We’ve made it possible for administrators using the Samsung Knox platform to build and push out configuration profiles to their Samsung device users using their existing mobile framework. Very quickly Samsung Galaxy devices can be made suitably secure for the rigors of an enterprise environment.”

You can learn more about looming security threats in our recent IoT security coverage here.