Desktop Security Policy Enforcement - How to secure your corporate mobile devices

Contributed by Jason S. Meyer

As more and more corporate dollars are being spent on securing the network from outside intruders, the threat from within is being overlooked. The mobile devices and the wireless access to networks open up many new possibilities to expose the corporate network to intrusion and theft. As mobile devices are carried by employees from the safe corporate network to the unsecured wireless networks of coffee shops, bookstores and airports, the need for desktop security is higher than ever. What would you need to protect a mobile device from intrusion while away from the corporate network? Anti-virus software, operating system security patching, firewall software, antispyware software, file-encryption software and access-control lists are all items that can make up a comprehensive desktop security package. Each of these items require administration and maintenance that is usually far beyond the ability of the common user to handle on a regular basis. As a layer of the Defense in Depth method, it is the responsibility of the security administrators of a corporate network to secure the mobile devices even when they are not connected to the network to avoid a security risk being brought back into the network. This would be a desktop security policy enforcement that has many different names depending on which vendor is trying to sell it. This paper will discuss the items that make up a secure desktop security policy and explore a few of the available solutions from vendors that meet some or all of the basic requirements.

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