Content Filtering has been used by IT as a method of controlling internet usage on corporate computers for decades. But when it comes to corporate mobile, trust and privacy issues frequently arise.
Some forward-thinking organizations have realized the reward is far greater than the concerns raised by Content Filtering – which instantly dissipate once the right solution is implemented.
One of these organizations is a global financial services firm based in New York City. Following the implementation of Wandera, it learned just how effective the granular control offered by a leading mobile Content Filtering solution can be.
Without Content Filtering you are knowingly leaving yourself more exposed to security events
Beyond reducing inappropriate online mobile usage, the firm (who chose not to be named) was looking to reduce its security risk exposure. One of the most important benefits of Content Filtering is preventing security incidents that could otherwise be proactively avoided. For example, a damaging data breach resulting from the use of unapproved file-sharing services.
“As a financial services firm, we have a culture of risk mitigation. We started to look for ways we can proactively reduce our security risks rather than waiting around for a breach to happen.”Mark Edwards, Special Project Manager
The firm was using an EMM solution to restrict the use of dangerous apps on its fleet of 20,000 corporate owned devices. While this was a good start, the EMM couldn’t restrict the use of certain websites accessed through web browsers.
Pinpointing the IT security blind spot
The firm had experienced three data security incidents over the previous year involving file-sharing. These happened when employees were uploading sensitive company data to online document hosting or backup file storage services, either through incompetence or with more malicious motivations.
As Special Project Manager in the company’s IT team, Mark realized that the security incidents were almost certainly coming from mobile since the firm’s desktop security and internal networks were sufficiently robust and had surfaced no obvious relevant incidents.
Wandera was selected to address the problem, which not only filled the requirement to filter traffic at a data level but is able to do so in real-time and with different policies on different networks.
How to implement mobile Content Filtering blocks without hindering productivity
Gambling, adult and ad networks are by far the biggest risk for businesses. Not only do they pose the risk of vicarious liability arising from inappropriate employee activity, but they are usually built insecurely and can often expose PII or are host to unwanted malware. Wandera research revealed a staggering 80 percent of the most-trafficked adult sites were leaking some form of personally identifiable information (PII).
By proactively blocking these content categories using Wandera in line with existing desktop policy, the firm was able to proactively reduce its exposure to these threats.
“When you think about how many mobile apps and sites leak data and carry malware, even the ones that can seem legitimate and safe for work, it makes you feel very exposed. A device in the hand of an employee is effectively a gateway to the corporate network, carrying all our sensitive data and that of our customers.”Mark Edwards, Special Project Manager
The firm took a similar approach to third-party app stores, which are often entry points for dangerous or poorly-built apps and other threats. Wandera could be used to prevent this on two fronts. Download the case study to find out how.
Mark also took advantage of the file-sharing restrictions available through Wandera. These pre-populated categories ensured that access to all of the unsolicited mainstream filesharing services was limited, such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
Content Filtering proves to be a smart investment
With these new measures in place, the company was able to satisfy an internally-mandated compliance standard, helping not only to protect sensitive data on the devices but also to avoid any legal or HR risks that might arise from improper mobile use.
The firm saw 9,450 blocks to adult and gambling services in first six months after deploying Wandera. Additionally, it saw a 59% annual decrease in malware detected in the fleet. Read what Mark had to say about the results.
Regardless of whether your organization needs content filtering for compliance, security or cost reduction, the lesson here is that it’s highly effective in managing the most serious risks of enterprise mobility. The right solution can give administrators the flexibility needed to keep mobile device usage secure and compliant while respecting employees’ privacy and freedom.