Conversational Security / 25.07.2012

3 Steps to Overcoming the Security Challenges of Enterprise Mobility

With the influx of powerful mobiles devices, smartphones, Personal Digital Assistants and tablets, businesses are beginning to realize the enormous potential of enterprise mobile applications. CIOs across industries are seeking ways to leverage these devices in order to achieve quicker decision-making, cost cutting in pen-and-paper operations, and increased employee productivity. However, the benefits of increased mobility come with growing risks. Full-time connections via enterprise applications combined with local storage of data on mobile devices increase the potential for exposure of sensitive, confidential and legally protected data. Indeed, concerns about security and compliance are the number one challenge inhibiting the adoption of enterprise mobility, according to the CIO Research Centre.

To provide a strong security mechanism, businesses must adopt combinations of solutions at different levels based on their particular security requirements. There are many components of these security solutions, but our customers report 3 tools to be particularly helpful in meeting their security goals:

  • Encryption: The information that travels between mobile devices and the enterprise is often extremely sensitive, such as customer records, sales data, etc.  Businesses must therefore protect all forms enterprise data through end-to-end encryption process. This encryption must occur not only on the device itself, but also for any data that is in transit between the device and the servers behind the enterprise firewall.  With this approach, the business can create an ‘encryption container’ – extending from inside the firewall to the mobile device– irrespective of whether the device is corporate owned or consumer owned.
  • Remote Access Control: As mobile devices are portable, they are more likely to be lost or stolen. Therefore, it is critical that administrators have permissions to remotely erase the information on the device. Furthermore, the ability to erase this information should be restricted to a small group of administrators, whereas other, less security-intensive tasks like loading software can be delegated to a larger group of administrators.
  • User authentication: To prevent unauthorized usage of the device, typical phone unlocking programs require tapping in a short code or tracing a pattern on screen. While this level of security is sufficient for some organizations, others fear that these codes are also susceptible to theft. One strong alternative is Voice Biometrics, which uses two layers of security: biometrics, which recognizes the users unique “voice imprint,” and a password or pass phrase – which in this case is spoken not typed. The software can be localized on the phone so users can unlock their devices even when they don’t have network connections. In addition to unlocking the device itself, Voice Biometrics can also be applied for content access: To open any enterprise-related application, the user is prompted to authenticate their identity using their voiceprint. This form of authentication is also is compatible with every mobile device, from sophisticated tablets to basic features phones.

Whereas encryption and remote access control are well-known security tools for businesses, we often get asked many questions about Voice Authentication from new customers, specifically inquiring about successful case studies and policy guidelines. The fact is that given the growing trends and evidence around the technology, CIOs in India are now beginning to find comfort with this tool. For example, the 2008 IT Act has held that voice identification data is admissible in court. Furthermore, in many of their documents and guidelines, the Reserve Bank of India has begun to acknowledge the use and credibility of Voice Biometrics. Other regulatory agencies like SEBI and IRDA are following a similar trend. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, our prestigious customers are happy to attest the value that Voice Biometrics brings to their security processes and the important role it plays in their enterprise mobility strategy. All these factors together have given new customers the confidence to also embrace this technology, combining it with other instruments to securely achieve mobility in their businesses.

About Uniphore: Uniphore Software Systems is the leader in Multi lingual speech-based software solutions. Uniphore’s solutions allow any machine to understand and respond to natural human speech, thus enabling humans to use the most natural of communication modes, speech, to engage and instruct machines. Uniphore operates from its corporate headquarters at IIT Madras Research Park, Chennai, India and has sales offices in Middle East (Dubai, UAE) as well as in Manila, Philippines.