Best Practices on Security of Mobile Devices Recently Issued by NIST

by Mintz Levin - Privacy & Security Matters
Contact

The latest in a series of National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) publications is the Guidelines for Managing the Security of Mobile Devices in the Enterprise (the “Guidelines”), a comprehensive document to help federal agencies manage and secure mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets used by their employees for government business (whether organization-provided or personally-owned) against a variety of threats. In addition to extensively updating NIST’s Guidelines on Cell Phone and PDA Security issued in 2008, the Guidelines reflect comments received on a draft version issued last year.

The Guidelines are a valuable resource on enterprise mobile device security for all businesses, not just federal agencies, and are designed to be used by Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), and other information security professionals as best practices when designing, implementing, and maintaining enterprise-level mobile device security.

The Guidelines explain the security concerns inherent in mobile device use and recommend that organizations use a technology solution that centralizes mobile device management at the enterprise level to secure mobile devices used by employees. A centralized mobile device management solution allows organizations to control and manage the configuration and security of both organization-provided and personally-owned mobile devices and provide secure access to enterprise resources, such as an organization’s computer network.

The Guidelines provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of centralized mobile device management technologies, including an overview of the components, architectures, and capabilities of these technologies and offer recommendations for selecting, implementing, and using such technologies.

Other key recommendations for organizations seeking to implement and maintain a sound mobile device security program include:

  1. Instituting a mobile device security policy that is documented in the system security plan and that defines: (1) the types of enterprise resources that may be accessed via mobile devices; (2) the types of mobile devices that are permitted to access the organization’s resources; (3) the degree of access of the various classes of mobile devices (organization-provided mobile devices vs. personally-owned mobile devices) and how provisioning should be handled; (4) how the organization’s centralized mobile device management servers are administered and how policies in those servers are updated, and (5) all other requirements for mobile device management technologies.
  2. Developing system threat models for mobile devices and the organization resources that are accessed through mobile devices before designing and deploying mobile device solutions.
  3. Considering the merits of each security service provided by mobile device solutions, determine which services are needed for the organization’s environment, and then designing and acquiring one or more solutions that collectively provide the necessary security services.
  4. Implementing and testing a pilot of the enterprise mobile device solution before putting the solution into production by: (1) evaluating connectivity, protection, authentication, application functionality, solution management, logging, and performance for each type of mobile device; (2) updating/configuring all components with the latest patches following sound security practices; (3) implementing a mechanism for automatic detection of jailbroken or rooted mobile devices; and (4) ensuring that the mobile device solution doesn’t unexpectedly fall back to insecure default settings.
  5. Securing each organization-issued mobile device before allowing a user to access it by: (1) fully securing to a known good state already-deployed organization-provided mobile devices with an unknown security profile, and (2) deploying supplemental security controls such as anti-virus software and data loss prevention solutions, as needed based on potential risk.
  6. Regularly maintaining mobile device security by employing operational processes such as the ones listed below and perform periodic assessments (vulnerability scans, penetration testing, reviewing logs) to confirm that the organization’s mobile device policies, processes, and procedures are being followed: (1) keeping an active inventory of each mobile device, its users, and applications; (2) deleting applications that have been installed but subsequently assessed as being too risky for use or revoking access to such applications; (3) scrubbing sensitive data from organization-issued devices before re-issuing them to other enterprise users; (4) checking for, acquiring, testing, and deploying upgrades and patches, (5) ensuring that each mobile device infrastructure component has its clock synched to a common time source; (6) reconfiguring access control features as needed; (7) detecting and documenting anomalies, such as unauthorized configuration changes to mobile devices.

Lastly, Appendix A to the Guidelines lists the major controls from the NIST Special Publication 800-53, Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations, Revision 4 that are applicable to enterprise mobile device security and Appendix C provides a list of mobile device security resources.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Mintz Levin - Privacy & Security Matters | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Mintz Levin - Privacy & Security Matters
Contact
more
less

Mintz Levin - Privacy & Security Matters on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.