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November 9, 2020

What Federal Mobile Security is Missing

Leading U.S. Intelligence groups recently issued a warning to Americans to not purchase Chinese-made smartphones. Companies like Huawei and ZTE are recognized to have close ties to the Chinese authorities, and U.S. Groups seem to have reason to suspect those groups of cyber espionage.

Recent trends display growing the willpower of overseas powers to disrupt as an awful lot as feasible the U.S. Political, military and social systems. Mobile devices—and social media—are a right away and exploitable assault goal.

The want to relaxed these devices, mainly the ones of presidency personnel, isn’t new. Yet these days’ common cybersecurity measures are mistaken. We need to reconsider our approach to preventing foreign cyber threats. This includes now not handiest understanding the weaknesses in these days’ safety features, however, leveraging different techniques to fill in those gaps.

Today’s Common Security Measures Are Flawed

Several federal policies govern compliance of devices that paintings on National Security Systems, the maximum outstanding being CNSS Policy 11. These policies require either use of Common Criteria or CSfC licensed solutions or getting approvals from NIAP/NSA for uncertified ones.

Yet the commercial off-the-shelf solutions presently to be had for federal and public sectors are a long way from best. Heavy modifications are regularly required to make and make certain those gadgets remain compliant. The degree of needed safety falls short for the maximum specialized telephones. Employees are reluctant to carry heavily modified phones and inn to wearing telephones (one company-owned and one personal), for this reason growing dangers for security breaches.

One opportunity is to apply specialized, hardened phones. Yet at the same time as this offer considerably higher security, they may be also very high priced, tough to preserve, and aren’t always up to date with the maximum current hardware and software program safety features.

The situation is simplest developing worse with time. More telephone fashions seem to pose safety risks through backdoors to overseas entities. The sophistication of attackers grows faster than the robustness of countermeasures.

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There are methods to cope with all above challenges with U.S. Technology and U.S.-made solutions. These solutions combine benefits of COTS telephones and specialized phones even as imparting superior degrees of cybersecurity. They fortify widespread COTS phones and pills with plug-in hardware-isolated computation and garage field which render current and destiny threats innocent even as preserving compliance with U.S. Government certifications and guidelines.

These answers are the missing piece to a lot of nowadays’s cybersecurity measures for mobile devices.

There Should Be a Layered Approach to Cybersecurity

“Missing piece” should be emphasized due to the fact cybersecurity shouldn’t depend upon the hopes of 1 grasp answer. Instead, businesses must use a multi-layered method that encompasses numerous security protocols. Specifically, modern-day cybersecurity has to contain 3 layers.

The first is the user’s not unusual to experience. Malware receives on a telephone in ninety-nine percent of cases via specific consumer permission. Government personnel wants to gain knowledge of and cling to agency guidelines. Of course, this “not unusual feel” technique best is going thus far. Restricting app permissions or continuously changing passwords don’t do a great deal if the cell tool is already compromised.

Enter the second layer, mobile tool control, where most of the heavy lifting of malware-fighting occurs. App-level policies, permissions, records analytics, site visitors monitoring, behavioral patterning and heuristics, and many extras.

The third layer is hardware safety, the remaining battlefield for high-price targets. Existing answers include hardened telephones, TrustZone enclaves, HW root of believe, relaxed storage, firmware encryption, and others. Hardware protection presents the strongest security of all alternatives to be had, securing the entirety from authorities employee devices to microfinance in developing international locations.

Combining all three layers of security doesn’t need to be intimidating or steeply-priced. Some U.S.-evolved hardware era offers higher degrees of protection than all current solutions without compromising on price, user enjoys or technological advancements. Foreign-based cybersecurity threats are getting greater common and extra invasive. We need to be the use of all the equipment at our disposal—consumer information, mobile control, and hardware—to protect ourselves

Craig Bowen

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