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What should IT look for in a mobile threat defense tool?

IT pros should consider using tools that can defend against mobile threats. The right tool should defend against malware, uncover compliance issues and expose shadow IT.

When shopping for a mobile threat defense tool, IT professionals must identify the issues the tool needs to address, including how and where their mobile users work and the types of attack surfaces they're exposed to. IT pros must determine the risks that specifically apply to their users and what it will take to protect against those risks.

With this information in hand, IT pros can look for a mobile threat defense tool that fits their needs, keeping in mind that mobile threat defense tools can vary widely from one to the next.

What to look for

A good mobile threat defense tool should provide more than just antivirus or antimalware protection; it should also address threats at the device, application and network levels. Only then can IT pros ensure that they're fully protecting their managed devices, data and network resources.

In addition, the tool should not be limited to threat detection alone. It should highlight user behavior anomalies, reveal device configuration vulnerabilities, and prevent and remediate potential threats. Some mobile threat defense tools also incorporate features such as uncovering compliance issues, revealing shadow IT implementations or using geolocation to prevent risky user behavior.

IT pros should keep in mind their specific security requirements when evaluating mobile threat defense tools.

An effective mobile threat defense tool also incorporates machine learning and other AI technologies to analyze user and application behavior to proactively protect devices and data. The tool must continuously monitor and inspect the devices and provide ongoing analysis to fully assess and mitigate risks based on the data it collects from across the network.

For many organizations, one of the most important capabilities that a mobile threat defense tool must offer is seamless integration with an enterprise mobility management (EMM) utility. Not only does this make it easier to deploy the mobile threat defense tool, but it also helps to ensure that IT treats mobile threat defense as an extension of EMM rather than as a replacement. The better the integration between the two platforms, the more effectively IT can protect its mobile devices and safeguard users against the types of risks EMM alone cannot address.

Each mobile threat defense tool takes a different approach to protect devices, particularly when it comes to the AI analytics that form the basis of many of those safeguards. Again, IT pros should keep in mind their specific security requirements when evaluating mobile threat defense tools, and they must be sure they understand the features that each one offers and how those features address their concerns.

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