One of the big bugbears that used to come up, and still does, is the impact of mobile and virtualisation on security. These have been portrayed as new waves of poor security, and of massive importance to organisations.
Though in reality, and even specifically highlighted in the latest Verizon security report, is that true hacking attempts using these vectors just isn’t happening.
While a number of vendors will have you believe otherwise, the trend towards attacking the application layer, and the overall ease of phishing attacks make attacking mobile devices and virtualisation high effort, low payback.
In mobile, this is due to:
1. Overall improvement in security models – the per app security access model provides practical insulation from the most useful ‘root’ compromise.
2. Overall unreliable mobile networks make network based attacks difficult.
3. Bias towards content consumption on a mobile device makes valuable information harder to obtain
4. Basic activesync security has been available for a long time now on all mobile platforms. It’s very easy to implement, and if used half-way proactively, gives a real security boost.
As for virtualisation, VMWare has always done a decent job if protecting the infrastructure, but other vendors who aren’t as good aren’t been compromised all over the place either. Why? Because in reality, virtualisation doesn’t significantly increase the usable attack surface of the server, when your easiest targets are mid configured applications anyway.
The situation may change, and is worth watching, but right now there is no reason to invest any significant money in MDM or virtualisation security products for the enterprise.
However, there are still some things to think about, and I’ll go over a number of those in other blog posts.