Tactical Advice

Why Jailbroken Devices Are a Security Risk and How MDM Can Detect Them

Enterprises need to be on the lookout for jailbroken devices as they potentially put corporate data at risk.
Why Jailbroken Devices Are a Security Risk and How MDM Can Detect Them

Mobile devices have a number of built-in security controls that protect user data. Depending on the platform, these may include the restriction of applications to those installed through a centralized app store; limiting the capabilities of apps to access the underlying operating system; and preventing external connections to the device. Naturally, some power users dislike these controls, and the Internet is full of sites offering advice on how they can remove these restrictions by “jailbreaking” their devices.

As one might expect, jailbreaking mobile devices introduces a number of security concerns:

  • Jailbroken devices may be able to bypass the security controls that would otherwise be enforced by an MDM solution.
  • Vendor-issued security updates to a mobile device’s operating system may not be available to jailbroken devices.
  • Jailbroken devices may be able to run actions prohibited — for legitimate security reasons — on unaltered devices, including what’s known as a secure shell or SSH daemon that accepts inbound connections.
  • Jailbroken devices may also allow the “sideloading” of apps not allowed by the enterprise.

Without an MDM platform, IT administrators have no way of knowing if a user has jailbroken a device without physically inspecting it. But with MDM, IT managers can detect unapproved operating system configurations on altered mobile devices and can respond in a number of ways, ranging from removing enterprise data from the device to requiring that the user return the device for reimaging to a secure baseline configuration.

For more information on mobile-device management, read the CDW white paper, "Mobile Device Management: Not What It Used to Be."

Sign up for our e-newsletter

Security

Why Cloud Security Is More E... |
Cloud protection services enable companies to keep up with security threats while...
Securing the Internet of Thi... |
As excitement around the connected-device future grows, technology vendors seek ways to...
Tools to Maintain Mobile Sec... |
Far-flung devices pose serious challenges, but a variety of technologies can help protect...

Storage

The New Backup Utility Proce... |
Just getting used to the Windows 8 workflow? Prepare for a change.
How to Perform Traditional W... |
With previous versions going unused, Microsoft radically reimagined the backup utility in...
5 Easy Ways to Build a Bette... |
While large enterprises have the resources of an entire IT department behind them, these...

Infrastructure Optimization

Why Cloud Security Is More E... |
Cloud protection services enable companies to keep up with security threats while...
Ensure Uptime Is in Your Dat... |
Power and cooling solutions support disaster recovery and create cost savings and...
The Value of Converged Infra... |
Improvements in security, management and efficiency are just a few of the benefits CI can...

Networking

Securing the Internet of Thi... |
As excitement around the connected-device future grows, technology vendors seek ways to...
How to Maximize WAN Bandwidt... |
Understand six common problems that plague wide area networks — and how to address them.
Linksys Makes a Comeback in... |
The networking vendor introduced several new Smart Switch products at Interop this week.

Mobile & Wireless

Now that Office for iPad Is... |
After waiting awhile for Microsoft’s productivity suite to arrive, professionals who use...
Visualization Can Help Busin... |
Companies need to put their data in formats that make it consumable anytime, anywhere.
Linksys Makes a Comeback in... |
The networking vendor introduced several new Smart Switch products at Interop this week.

Hardware & Software

Visualization Can Help Busin... |
Companies need to put their data in formats that make it consumable anytime, anywhere.
The Tools That Power Busines... |
Ever-evolving analytic software can greatly improve financial institutions’ decision-...
XP-iration Date: Today Is th... |
It’s officially lights out for Windows XP as an operating system. Here’s how the world is...