Taking a Mobile-first Approach to Network Security

May 30, 2017 10:21:21 AM

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As more corporate applications and data are being accessed via employee devices, cloud connections, and IoT, it’s no surprise that more cyber-attacks are being aimed at networks and the devices connected to them. Recently, network attacks hit one-third of executive devices. Hackers even created a new attack, the Mirai botnet, which leverages digital cameras, DVD players, and other IoT devices to launch sustained DDoS attacks – a weapon that was used to crash the websites of companies such as Twitter, Dyn, the Guardian, Netflix, CNN, and more. And of course, there's the WannaCry cyberattack that compromised thousands of Windows computers just this month.

To be successful at digital transformation, organizations must protect mobile communications from the device to apps and back. It's of dual importance: to protect your organization's data and to guarantee your users always have an amazing experience. Don't just meet your users' expectations, set a goal to surpass them.

In a mobile-first world, there are several security best practices you should follow:

  • Separate guests from employees: By establishing different portals for distinct user types, you reduce the risk of hackers being able to leverage low-level credentials to gain access to high-value data.

  • Use real-time data to validate access: With mobile employees constantly switching devices, moving around, and accessing new apps, it can be hard to determine exactly which activities should be allowed and which should be considered suspicious. By basing access policies on a matrix of real-time contextual data from user profiles, devices, time of day, location and/or behaviors, companies can stop more threats from the start.

  • Check device health before devices connect: This will block devices with malware and outdated security features from infecting corporate environments.

  • Unify wired/wireless networks for global control: Leaving these two infrastructures separate creates more work for IT security professionals and can create the types of security gaps that hackers love to exploit.

  • Integrate firewalls, IPSs, and other security devices: Clearly, organizations need coverage from as many appliances as possible to protect networks from attack.

The speed at which hackers evolve their attack vectors is astounding, and so is the amount of time and money needed to preempt sophisticated and zero day threats. To manage all the moving parts associated with mobile-first network security, we recommend the robust Aruba Adaptive Trust Defense. From the start, it collects contextual data from security appliances, mobility management systems, user profiles, devices, and more. It then transforms that information into intelligence that can be used to create and enforce sophisticated policies that govern access to corporate networks, data, and applications. 

With mobile threats mounting daily, it’s important to choose a solution that streamlines administration and lets you easily incorporate data from new security appliances, databases, and workflow systems as they are brought on line. 


The reality of the new digital economy is simple: if you have a tech-savvy company, you are poised to capitalize on new opportunity. If not—and your company fails to evolve or deliver the experiences that users and customers demand—it will get left behind. Undergoing digital transformation isn’t just important, it’s vital. Organizations must find ways to truly leverage their digital strategies to differentiate themselves.

For more information on network design and strategies for protecting communications at the edge, read our new solution brief, Networking Complexities Solved.

Download Networking Complexities Solved

Jennifer Hooper

Written by Jennifer Hooper

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