The Five Best Practices For Mobile Network Learned From The Cyber ShockWave

February 17, 2010 | By | 2 Comments

The Cyber ShockWave came and went. I know I followed the tweets as best I could, and I can’t wait for this weekend to view the “live” coverage which will be shown on CNN. So what did we learn from the Event? Quite a bit actually, so I’m going to share the details with you.

Cyber ShockWave was a simulated cyber attack exercise hosted in Washington D.C. by the Bipartisan Policy Center. CNN will be televising it on Feb 20th and 21st at 8pm and 11 pm EST. The exercise had key players who assumed key roles and had no idea what scenarios would be introduced. There were two scenarios, and the purpose of the exercise was to find how prepared we are as a nation and where our vulnerabilities lay. It’s an exercise to see where we need to strengthen our defenses, how fast we are to act, and how we react when we are in crisis. How will the public be addressed in times of crisis, etc. It’s like a fire drill in a way, and it gives us a chance to see where we are weak.

These are the five best practices that corporations and government agencies should learn from the simulation. SMobile Executive, Joe Hagin, commented saying:  “In today’s highly charged environment and with the incredible reliance upon mobile communications. It is of vital importance that anyone with exposure to cellular technologies, either personally or in their business, take proactive steps to protect themselves, their networks, their users, and their data from attack.” And who could disagree? It’s true, we have a responsibility to do so.

So these are the Five Best Practices that SMobile suggests to avoid the vulnerabilities that were exposed by the the Cyber ShockWave.

  1. Protect Mobile Devices with the same baseline security as pc’s. Mobile devices are more like miniature computers with voice. Antivirus and firewalls are just as critical for them as they are for your pc. Don’t wait five years to see proof they can hack it, be ready now.
  2. Recognize and take action to centrally control a heterogeneous mobile device environment. Enterprises and government agencies need to realize that many different types of devices exist within their mobile mobile population, sanctioned or not. It’s even common practice for employees to even use their own devices for work-related activities. It’s outdated to assume that one device fits all, now at days, a cross-platform customizable security solution is a necessity to  add control and security.
  3. Implement Technology to protect against all lost and stolen devices. By nature, mobile devices go just about everywhere with us: meetings, outtings, even vacations. While some systems such as BES allow this, we need something that covers all types of devices effectively.
  4. Embrace Productivity By Supplementing with security. In the past security was looked down upon because it severely maimed the device by limiting functionality. Yes, organizations should have a level of control over their devices. Ease limitations, look to a security solution that can deal with malware, monitor and control the apps installed, and monitor for employee misconduct across all platforms would allow for more productivity.
  5. Look to the Cloud for solutions.

Also announced after the Cyber ShockWave was SMobile’s new Secure Mobility Management Solution. This is geared toward government and enterprise level clients. This solution supports the following platforms: Windows Mobile, Symbian 60, BlackBerry, iPhone, and Google Android devices. The products services are hosted in a highly secure Networks Operation Center. This allows the company’s security experts to specific and customized solutions, policy configuration and management, 24×7 monitoring, customized best practices, and notification of global events and concerns.

Key features are:

  • Centralized administration , policy management, and reporting.
  • iPhone security management Pproactive malware detection and removal
  • Advanced protection for lost or stolen devices.
  • Monitoring and control of device messaging and online activities
  • Robust anti-spam capabilities
  • Application inventory and revocation
  • Firewall

I’ll be waiting for CNN’s display of the event, since I was really interested in the tweets. I don’t want to repeat them, or insinuate any of the possible scenarios as all I could do is read the tweets by the Bipartisan Policy Center. So what are your opinions about this? Would your feelings about your company phone be more enthusiastic if it weren’t so heavily “secured”? Would you like the idea of being able to be more productive with your device, no matter what kind of device it is? Do you see a need for this?

***Since writing this post, I realized there is also information about the Cyber Shockwave via PC World. In their article, they elaborate on how the scenario played as some smartphones had downloaded an app that had malware. As they connected the infected phones to their pc’s to sync, the virus spread and started sending huge video files across the internet which choked both the mobile networks and wired internet. The participants were at odds trying to figure out how to go about in addressing the crisis, as mobile networks were down, and internet. Not to mention utilities after a while. As the scenario played out and the crisis escalated as the attacks changed, the panel found themselves at odds and questioning responses because there are really no cut and dry policies addressing these things. One thing for sure was pointed out. The U.S. does not have a well-developed policy for responding to a cyber attack. ***

Cyber attacks are nothing new, and we don’t think they can affect us until they do. We rely on technology more than we think. For us Twitterers, when Twitter is down, do we not get ansy? When BIS and BES are down, do we not feel that sadness and isolation? Think about it, rely on it, we don’t even think about it, until we are separated from it.

As for personal use, I keep SMobile on my BlackBerry, with the antivirus and the backup/wipe option. I use my phone’s own firewall that’s enabled. I keep my home network protected and my laptop secured, so my BlackBerry to me is just as important. It’s even more of a concern for those with a company phone or using it for company business.

Let me know what you think. Are you curious about the Cyber ShockWave? How many of you are going to watch it with me?

[via: PC World]

Filed in: BlackBerry, Security | Tags: , , , ,