Mobile devices are as pervasive in the public sector as they are in the private sector. As the recent Report on Securing and Growing the Digital Economy from the President's Commission on Enhancing Cybersecurity explains, "The days of employees working only at an office using an organization-issued desktop computer fully managed by the organization are largely over."
At all levels of government, though, mobile device usage poses the same IT security risks as usage in the private sector. In fact, mobile devices can pose even greater risk in the public sector.
The Department of Homeland Security's Study on Mobile Device Security puts it this way. "The stakes for government users are high. Government mobile devices…represent an avenue to attack back-end systems containing data on millions of Americans in addition to sensitive information relevant to government functions.”
Is your organization positioned to manage mobile device threats?
Study on Mobile Device Security. Department of Homeland Security. April, 2017.Download the Mobile Threat Report
Mobile devices pose significant information security risks to government agencies. Through a variety of attack methods, such as compromising Wi-Fi connections, the use of malicious access points, attacks on mobile operating systems, side-loading of apps, and introduction of risky/non-compliant apps, cybercriminals can compromise devices to gain access to government networks and data.
The vast number of mobile devices used in conducting official public sector business creates significant threat landscape. Government employees and contractors use mobile devices for basic tasks such as accessing email but also for other productivity and information gathering needs requiring government network access. As a result, government IT security professionals must manage not only each government employee’s primary PC, but must also attempt to manage employee and contractor mobile devices. This effectively doubles the number of endpoints that need to be secured.
This complex challenge is unique to mobile since IT lacks device administration access and remains a guest on mobile devices, as in the case of BYOD environments, and therefore cannot ensure timely updates of app and operating system security patches.
Rogue network attacks are problematic even for government entities that have robust network access policies and procedures in place. Rogue networks can be disguised to appear as official networks, so even employees attempting to comply with network-access policies can be deceived. Disguised, rogue networks make devices susceptible to man-in-the-middle (MITM) and other surveillance attacks.
Mobile apps pose two kinds of threats. One relates to legitimate apps that nevertheless have code that makes them vulnerable to attack or leak data. Another type of threat is that from malicious apps, including apps that are deceptively named or contain deliberately malicious code in order to spy on users and compromise mobile devices.
With limited IT and security staff and resources available to government entities, protecting mobile devices and data poses a significant challenge. Zimperium’s easy-to-install mobile threat defense, zIPS™, secures today's and tomorrow’s mobile devices. zIPS provides autonomous threat detection and remediation for Android, iOS and Windows mobile devices against device and network-based attacks but also rogue application installs leveraging patented machine learning to ensure that detection and protection outpaces evolving threats.
Protecting against zero-day threats requires more than the ability to identify known malware. Our z9™ engine automatically detects and remediates issues on-device rather than requiring an Internet connection, admin privileges or tunneling to a cloud service. This approach keeps private user account data secure on the device without impacting performance. Threats and forensic details at the device, network, and app level are communicated to your InfoSec team for responsive issue resolution and compliance without compromising privacy regulations.
Zimperium solutions for government are available through partnerships under IT Schedule 70, CIO-CS, CIO-SP3, and SEWP V. Zimperium solutions are also available via sole source and direct acquisition. Contact us today for a custom evaluation to your specific needs.