Ask the Experts: Developing a Mobility Security Strategy

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle breaks down the challenges and opportunities around developing a mobility security strategy with Matrix’s Neely Loring. Find out more about network and mobile security from the Matrix team here:

Andrew: All right, guys. Welcome back to the studios again for yet another Ask the Experts session. Here with a good friend of ours and one of our go-to smart guys in the cloud, Neely Loring, CEO of Matrix out of Columbia, South Carolina. Neely, welcome back, man.
Neely: Hey. Good to be here. Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: You bet. You bet. Hey, I wanted to ask you one quick question about mobile device management. We’ve talked a lot about network and data security in this whole certification track we’re working on, and it’s been a fascinating conversation. Mobility, no question, is exploding all around us. The number of devices being used, the propagation of corporate information on mobile devices and how all that’s being controlled. It seems like it’s introducing a whole other level of risk for IT leaders.
You guys have a mobile device management practice, a mobility practice, and I wanted to get your take on how mobility is starting to change the security conversation. What are your thoughts?
Neely: My belief is that we’ve had the problem, a security issue out there of corporate data on all these mobile devices. And we’ve had it there for years. We started our practice about five years ago around support and quickly realized the gaping hole that is the data that sits … Look at your phone, Andrew. You have email on there. You have files. If that phone goes away, what happens then?
That’s true for everybody. We talk about millennials and bring your own device and all this data. You can have this awesome security program, and then somebody logs in with their phone and brings down mail and syncs files, and it’s a huge exposure. This is something that absolutely has to be talked about because I think most people are overlooking it. I think you’re right. I think now it’s beginning to be a conversation starter, but anybody that our partners in the field are out there talking to can turn to the person they’re talking to and say, “Look at your phone. There’s corporate data on there. How do you protect it?” That’s a conversation starter, and the answer is going to most likely be, “I never thought about that.” But that’s as dangerous as leaving your laptop in Times Square with the password open.
Andrew: It certainly can be, and so what are the solutions that are being implemented? There’s always this decision point that a customer’s got to make. Do I build it myself or do I use an outsourced, trusted third-party to do it for me? Why might a managed services provider be a much better and smarter choice for an IT leader when it comes to mobile device management?
Neely: I think what we found overall when it comes to mobile devices is the people that are great at supporting, securing, making sure the device does everything it’s supposed to are different than those that work on servers and PCs and laptops. I think it all gets lumped into the technology “bucket” at companies, but it’s really a different knowledge set. And so what we did was we built a team specifically for mobile. A couple of times, we’ve tried to transition people between those two teams and find that the skill set is enough different that it’s really an expertise each one is. And so I think that those are separate teams.
If you go to an in-house IT department and they’re also supporting mobile phones and servers and PCs, I think one of the pain points you’re going to hear every single time is, “It’s tough to support the iPhone from the CEO while I’ve got servers down.” Because the criticality on an individual basis of that mobile technology that you carry around is so important that it’s like, “Stop everything else and fix this.” And then you have to keep up with … I mean, everybody knows there’s a new iPhone every six months. And then you’ve got another 100 vendors competing with them. It’s really tough to keep up and to stay current on technology trends.
The other part of your question was about how do you secure it. That answer is probably like most everything else in technology. There happens to be software that addresses this. And you can pick; there are several flavors. That’s not what we’re here to talk about, but I think the important part about having the software is knowing how to use it, having operational expertise and finding somebody that can give you that accountability. It’s not enough to install the software. It’s way more to “What do you do then?” And you have to operate it. It’s a daily, hourly kind of thing because, if you’re protecting data and you’re protecting intrusions, you’ve got to know when there’s a problem. So you’ve always got to have eyes on.
Andrew: Got it. That’s a recurring theme in this whole certification track, Neely, as we’ve been talking a lot about how developing a security strategy overall, kind of a holistic security strategy. There is a technology, hardware, appliance, software solution, but that’s only a small part of it. It’s the other side of the equation, which is the people, the brain power, the staffing, the expertise to manage those technologies. One without the other is pretty flawed.
Neely: Absolutely. I mean, anybody can go and buy the software and much fewer than that have the fortitude to always be on it 24/7, 365.
Andrew: Yeah.
Neely: I mean, that shouldn’t be looked at any differently than the internet circuit that comes into your building. I mean, this is probably more vulnerable than that.
Andrew: Yeah. No question. No question. Neely, always great insights, my friend. Good stuff. The mobile device management opportunity is a big one for our partner community and love to have you chime in. Good wisdom, my friend.
Neely: Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: Guys, that’s Neely Loring, CEO of Matrix out of Columbia, South Carolina. One of our go-to suppliers for all things cloud, private and hybrid cloud solutions, desktop-as-a-service, managed services that will help you close big deals in the cloud. Check them out. Check out their learning center. Get smart about how they can help you close big deals, guys. We’re big fans. You should be, too. Good selling.