Securing Mobile Devices on Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

With a myriad of mobile devices being used on a variety of new platforms (Android, Windows 8, iOS 6, etc.) – IT Professionals are beginning to raise concerns on how to manage and secure these devices. With more of the device processing occurring outside the company, these concerns are critical. What if an employee handed their company phone to another employee? In today’s environment, this second employee could take advantage of the situation and use the phone for non-approved activities. This could create significant employment issues for the first employee. On another level, there’s the potential threat from mobile malware that’s becoming more prevalent.

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Some businesses are seeing Employees bringing their own Droids, iPhones, iPads, and other Tablets to work and using them for personal and business purposes. While this may generate the perception that it’s e great for productivity, the invasion of personal smartphones and tablets in the workplace can cause a significant risk to your organization’s security. Without having a proper strategy you could be at risk.

When employees are given carte blanche on the corporate network with their mobile devices (installing Apps and use of Cloud storage), there is a significant potential for corporate data loss. Any time a phone is lost, stolen, or even simply sold or exchanged, the potential for compromising of data may occur. This can be prevented by implementing encryption, password restriction, and remote wipe and lock thru a Mail Server.

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It’s vital for IT Professional to secure access to corporate data. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or personal and corporate use can be managed by using third-party software (listed below) to secure data in your wireless phone and company. Investing in a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution that controls which devices can access specific applications on your network is a smart decision. By taking precautionary steps, files are secured with the highest encryption for file sharing.

On July 10, 2013, I was given an opportunity to attend an IT Security Seminar and have met some of these top MDM Vendors.

AirWatch
BoxTone
Eset Mobile Security
Exitor
FancyFon
McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management
Mobile Active Defense
Symantec Mobile Management
Trend Micro Mobile Security

Why secure BYOD’s? It’s not the devices that are causing lots of the problems. The challenge is employees wanting to use their own device for both personal and professional business. This creates a host of security issues, as mentioned earlier, and the reason to implement controls and security measures.

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What’s the Best Router…..the Final Update!

Well, it has been a couple of months now since I have blogged on What’s the Best Router….an update……The D-Link router has been returned to the Vendor which was a hassle free experience. It is now time to give my final update and progress of my new Netgear Dual-Band router.  So far it is performing great and we haven’t had any major issues. The setup is very easy, I had to do a manual configuration and it’s just my own preference but it might be easier for most of you to opt out of the manual setup and use the setup wizard which should take up to 2 minutes to setup, it’s as easy as 1-2-3.  This will assign automatic SSID and network security which is WPA2 and a complex pass-phrase, all you need to do is to write down the SSID and pass-phrase.

I will be focusing on some of the best features of Netgear and explain a little bit as to why these are important and might give you some good hints and decide to purchase a similar router with all of these great features. These are some of the most popular features of Netgear that you may also find on similar modern routers.

Parental Controls – Are you worried at your children’s (commonly teenagers) safety and not knowing the sites that they visit every day?  This is a big concern and this router has the advanced Parental Controls feature and it’s free of charge from Netgear. You may modify the default filter from Custom to High and restrict hours of use using the scheduler. You may white list and black list keywords, websites and domain names. You may also exclude certain computers that you do not wish to have the Parental Controls enabled.

Guests Networks  – Creating  different or multiples SSIDs  for your guests is a nice option to keep them segregated from your private SSID  and  not open to your wireless network to security risks. Make sure to disable “Allow guest to access My Local Network” to keep your shared critical and confidential network files not accessible at all from your house guests.

DLNA Media Streaming – One of the biggest trends in the industry right now is Media Streaming.  Web-based media streaming is the most popular one; you may subscribe to Netflix, VUDU, Hulu, Amazon Video, and the most popular one  is YouTube and stream them in your HDTV, Computer, Blu-ray, Tablets and X-box/Playstation 3.  If you intend to stream high-definition video, you should probably invest in an 802.11n Wi-Fi router which is the latest Standard. You must have either Cable or fiber-optic broadband internet to provide the highest speeds, and slickest streaming performance.

Simultaneous Dual Band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) – If you have multiple wireless devices, these two bands will run simultaneously for better network performance. Remember, to make use of the dual band you will need wireless network adapters that supports the dual band technology. Clients that supports 802.11b/g  can be set to run on the 2.4 GHz side of a simultaneous dual-band router without affecting the performance of 802.11n clients running at 5 GHz.

See for yourself and decide if you’ll need all of these features or not.  Similar features can also be found on the Modern Routers, old routers will not support most of these features.

  • NETGEAR Genie®—Easy dashboard control to manage, monitor, and repair home networks
  • Live Parental Controls with flexible and customizable filter settings
  • Simultaneous Dual Band—Runs both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands simultaneously
  • ReadySHARE® Printer—Wirelessly print from your Mac® Computer or PC to a connected USB printer
  • Two (2) ports for ReadySHARE® USB Storage Access—Wirelessly share a USB drive with Mac® computers and PCs
  • DLNA® compatible—Stream media to DLNA HDTVs, Blu-rayTM players and game consoles
  • Multiple SSID guest networks (separate security and access restrictions)
  • Broadband usage meter measures Internet usage

We have a few Posters/Members at Tech Support Forums lately asking us in Networking Forums if it’s worth buying a new, modern/advanced router. My reply to all of them is – definitely YES. It won’t be a waste of money at all and you’ll definitely benefit from all the enhanced network security and other great features.

There’s no need to spend a fortune for a good router; you don’t need a Dual Band router if there are not too many wireless devices running simultaneously in your network but will be good to be prepared in a near future if you decide to add more wireless devices and will be doing heavy video streaming.  Before buying a router, I’d suggest  to download the PDF Manual from the Manufacturer’s site to read the complete technical details of the router.  Again, reviews are also important, Trustedreviews is one good site that you may find honest reviews.

Here are some of my router  recommendations:

Buffalo Technology AirStation HighPower N600
Netgear WNDR3700 N600 Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Router
Linksys E3200 High-Performance Simultaneous Dual-Band
Asus Black Diamond Dual Band Wireless-N 600 
D-Link DIR-632 Wireless-N 8-Port Router
Netgear N300 Wireless ADSL2+ Modem Router 
TRENDnet 300Mbps Wireless N ADSL 2/2+ Modem Router
TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND Ultimate Wireless N

It has been a pleasure blogging my experience using  two different routers – the D-Link  which only worked flawlessly for two weeks and finally, the Netgear. I am happy to say that I have found the best router for me and it’s a keeper!

What’s the Best Router….an update…

I have blogged on ‘What’s the Best Router’ last month (January) and I want to give an update regarding my recent experienced on a D-Link DIR 655 Router. The setup took me only 10 minutes without any help from the CD installation that came with the package. The performance was so great and able to use a few great features that our old Linksys router don’t have.  It worked flawlessly for 2 weeks, but then after that it started acting up – all the wireless devices kept on disconnecting. I had to do a Power Cycle almost everyday, I have searched for the latest firmware but the router has already the latest firmware.  I have performed a hard reset to the factory default setting then reconfigured everything from scratch.

Guess what? It didn’t work! Could it be faulty,  it’s a brand new router?  I have waited for another two weeks to see if the issue will be alleviated and the answer is No. I had no regrets at all buying the D-Link router, these things can happen and it is a learning experience and it is replaceable. I have decided to return it to Amazon which is a hassle free return.  I just ordered a Netgear Dual-band Router and should be arriving anytime.  Hopefully it will work great for us because we have a few wireless devices and it would be nice for HD video streaming as well.

While we are awaiting for the Netgear router, we’re currently using the old Linksys G router  (which we’ve been using for a couple of years now). I wanted a new router to make use of all the new features that this old Linksys don’t have which I have already mentioned in my first blog (don’t want to be repetitive).

Finding the ‘Best Router’ for you will be a challenged and can be daunting. Again, reviews would help as well but not until you actually heavily utilize it and see the performance – the good and the bad.

I have shared my experience…Make sure that you buy from a reputable Vendor. I use Amazon and Newegg most of the time for personal and business use and so far all the electronic items that I have returned have been refunded.