Wednesday, February 5, 2014

BYOD Consumer Demand and Information Security - CYBR 620 Research Paper by Glenn Ford

My Notes on this paper: This is a MDM/BYOD paper I did for Cybersecurity Masters Program, CYBR 620 at UMBC Shady Grove campus.  The paper was to discuss problems and possible solutions with BYOD MDM. This paper was in APA format, with a few professor requested differences, but obviously posting to Blogger I lost some of the formatting. I'd love to hear feedback from any security people (or non-security for that matter).  I was very limited on the space allowed to write on this topic.  I know it could have been 100-200 pages and still not cover all the issues.  Please take that in mind when reading. In a related field?  Connect with me on LinkedIn --Glenn Ford

BYOD Demand and Information Security
Glenn Ford
UMBC at Shady Grove

Executive Summary

Having a BYOD policy without the proper security, device management and monitoring, and a positive user experience can put the enterprise at risk. Information can be monitored or leaked, devices and mobile infrastructure could enter into in an untrusted state, and users become frustrated and paranoid with the use of their device in the workplace. If the enterprise fails in their BYOD plan they will be at a competitive disadvantage for their current workers and ability to hire top talent.
Mobile security risks as well as threats by agents pose an ever growing and complicated problem to the information security of a mobile enterprise. Having the device compromised by authorized or unauthorized users or resources on the device, man in the middle, or end points compromised will lead to information being monitored or leaked. Other attacks such as DoS are at issue as well. Protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the mobile device and infrastructure is at the core of mobile security. Mobile device management, monitoring, and user experience that can work across many platforms and be scalable also pose challenges. With BYOD users, privacy of the user’s personal assets is a great concern.
By providing security through defense in depth there is a known understanding that any single solution may have vulnerabilities but by applying layers of security there are levels of redundancy to increase security. Specific layered security solutions from the moment the device is turned on until the device is powered off are discussed. Solutions are discussed for the supply chain and physical security of the device. Combining the discussed critical solutions in a security policy such as transient authentication and FIPS 140-2 for data protection, dual layer FIPS 140-2 encryption for data in transit, and web based non-resident data only for sensitive information.
With 4 in 10 enterprise level organizations having had a BYOD related security breach, there needs to be fast response to solving the problems in the immediate future.

Problem Overview

It has become apparent that Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is essential to the workplace with one report done by Unisys showing 44% of those who are seeking a job find offers more attractive if they support their device (Casey, 2012)(1) and according to Campbell (2013)(2), “More than two-thirds of businesses see boosts in employee productivity and customer response time [...] and more than half of companies feel they would be at a competitive disadvantage without BYOD”. The BYOD phenomenon has even reached to the highest levels of government security. According to Hoover (2012)(3), "Troy Lange, NSA's mobility mission manager, said in an interview. ‘This is about bringing efficiencies and capabilities that people are used to in their everyday lives and extending that to our national security mission.’”.
The essential problem that corporate America, the U.S. government and in fact the world face today is the same. How can enterprises allow BYOD in the workplace while keeping information secure. When mobile devices have access to privileged data security policy needs to follow the core information security principles of: Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability (CIA) (Goodrich & Tamassia, 2011, p. 3)(4). According to Hayes and Kotwica (2013)(5) four in ten enterprise level organizations have had a security breach related to BYOD. For any organization to have a successful and secure BYOD environment there are a number of challenges to overcome (see Appendix A, Figure 1). These challenges are discussed in more detail in the sections below.

Mobile Security Risks

Some of the greatest security risks (see Appendix B, Figure 2), as adapted from National Security Agency (2013, p. 24)(6) include: Voice and Data-in-Transit (DIT) leaks or monitoring; Malware or Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) on mobile device or infrastructure; Unauthorized modification of user equipment or infrastructure; Data-at-Rest (DAR) unprotected on mobile device; Authentication controls lost or stolen; Phone number leaked opening up vishing and phishing; disposal of phones with sensitive information; Denial of services done via battery drain or other means; Social media applications being used outside the policy of an organization; Unpatched Operating System, Applications, or Firmware and unknown vulnerabilities in these; EMI; Eavesdropping techniques such as Magnetic field coupling or Near Fielding Communication (NFC).
These risks evolve and change on an almost daily basis. For example it was recently discussed by Steele (2013)(7) where AirDrop on iOS7 can only be blocked when the phone is in supervisor mode which currently requires a physical connection to a MAC. This is a potential new vulnerability for many phones and MDM environments.

Mobile Security Threats

Dealing with agents that want to or can attack and harm an organization is another problem category. Some of the greatest security threats to mobile security (see Appendix C, Figure 3), as adapted from National Security Agency (2013, p. 24)(6) include: Attackers from rogue cellular systems; Modifications to devices hardware or software without authorization physically, remotely or in the supply chain; Attempted access to the data on the device, including RAM if was powered on, or infrastructure from a lost or stolen device; Masquerading as an authorized user to gain access to the infrastructure; Attackers attempting to disrupt service or gain access from devices or directly; Authorized users misuse of privileges; Authorized users attempting to use unauthorized applications or services; Infrastructure administration misuse of privileges; Malware masquerading in common applications installed from untrusted sources.

Device Management

Another major problem area is management of the device. It is imperative that an organization have methods in place to handle the problems: Password protection and reset; Management of mobile attached devices such as printers; Ability to disable cameras, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, SMS, and carrier data connections; Deployment, both local and Cloud or SaaS, with automated enrollment and provisioning; Wipe of entire device and selective; Configuration Monitoring and Auditing.

User Experience

    With any solution the user experience is important to have large scale adoption. Privacy of users in a BYOD environment as Steele (November 8, 2013)(8) discussed what users expect when it comes to their privacy and the legal ramifications of companies if not handled properly. Users also expect their personal data to not be intruded upon and a level of transparency both in using their personal data and applications as well as privacy controls used. Performance and transparency to the user are important as well.

Other Problem Areas

There are a number of other problem areas besides the listed security risks and threats, device management and user experience. Other problem areas that need to be handled include: Reporting capabilities; Scalable architecture; Service; Integration with PC Management; Platform Support; Mobility Infrastructure; Cryptographic Key Management System (CKMS); Overall device performance.
The ability to secure, manage and monitor enterprise portions of a BYOD and allow users to have their personal area of the device is a problem. Information Security and BYOD is the challenge all enterprises, organizations and countries face. The solutions proposed in this paper look to merge these nearly polar opposite concepts.


The technology to have a centralized BYOD mobile device management system that integrates with PC Management is a fast growing sector. There are many approaches various companies provide. The solutions provided in this paper don’t look at any particular vendor or solution, rather looks to provide sets of controls to solve the overarching problem. That is to allow BYOD to work transparently, efficiently, and securely in an international, national, and/or enterprise environment without prohibitive costs.
To solve the myriad of problems and to continuously be vigilant to security, as well as the user experience, a proper life cycle solution needs to be developed. Souppaya & Scarfone (2013, p. 10)(9) stated there are five life cycle phases: Planning; Development; Implementation, Operations and Maintenance; Disposal. The guidelines proposed by Souppaya & Scarfone should be an overarching goal of the overall management of mobile security in an enterprise. Souppaya & Scarfone (2013, Appendix A)(9) discussed supporting NIST SP 800-53 security controls and publications for enterprise mobile devices and need to be part of any BYOD policy, procedures, and standards solution.

Security Policy

There are many components to planning an MDM solution, a critical piece is the security policy (Souppaya & Scarfone,2013), (9). Conklin & White (2013, p. 518-525)(10) stated that the security policy, high level statements by senior management, informs users of the overall security goals and what security means to the organization. The security policy also details a user’s obligations and acceptable use. Privacy is a large concern to all BYOD users. The security policy needs to cover the user’s privacy and rights in great detail and have procedures to allow a dual communication channel so that all users feel involved, thus increasing acceptance and understanding. The security policy includes what platforms are supported and what level of access each device may have. It should include statements for how provisioning and enrollment is handled. It should also cover the administration of the mobile infrastructure. It will also cover policy updates on all endpoint devices, servers and infrastructure. The mobile security policy should work cohesively with the non-mobile security policy. Controls will include layers of security such as those supported in Hoover (2012)(3) “Overall, the NSA's mobile security strategy is one of ‘defense in depth,’ Lange said. ‘We understand that any single piece may have vulnerabilities, but you build in redundancy to increase security.’”.

Threat Modeling

BYOD are exposed to more threats than traditional devices such as desktop computers and doing threat modeling before a design and implementation will increase the likelihood of a secure environment. Failure to do so would have development done without knowing all the possible threats. Rhee, Won, Jang, Chae, & Park (2013)(11) proposed a threat model method that includes and expands upon ISO/IEC TR 13335-1 and ISO/IEC 15408 with five phases:
        • System characterization and analysis of the technical background
        • Identifying threat agents
        • Identifying assets and classification of value
        • Identifying adverse actions and vulnerabilities
        • Defining threats.
Proper threat modeling helps to identify all the security requirements and to design a BYOD solution and then the incorporation of controls needed to meet the security requirements.

Secure Boot

From the moment a device is turned on until OS fully loaded and running is known as the startup process. During the startup process unauthorized operating systems and/or software can be loaded in what is one form of rooting. To prevent this from happening Samsung Electronics Co. (2013, p. 3)(12) discussed a Secure Boot method that requires the device bootloader, the kernel and system software to be signed using X.509 certificates with public keys embedded in the hardware of the device boot loader. Additionally, hardware Read Only Memory (ROM) stores hash of the certificates. Additional support for another layer of root-trust is available that can be required by any national or enterprise level, such as FIPS 140-2 or FIPS 140-3 draft. Securing BYOD devices require a secure boot solution.

Secure Operating System Kernel

Having a trusted startup process then relies on the Operating System kernel to be secure and is the first countermeasure against rooting. The second vulnerability is in the OS Kernel itself. If there is rooting done on the kernel, the entire device is compromised. Shabtai, A., Fledel, Y., Kanonov, U., Elovici, Y., Dolev, S., & Glezer, C. (2010)(13) discussed the countermeasure of including SELinux to prevent root level privileges. It is pointed out that there are certain commands that cannot be blocked out for the OS to properly function and SELinux can only deflect and is not an entire solution. Samsung Electronics Co. (2013, p. 4)(12) explained the introduction of an optimized SELinux for mobile devices called Security Enhanced (SE) for Android, which was developed with the involvement of the NSA, to run in an untrusted zone and Trustzone-based Integrity Measurement Architecture (TIMA) running in a trusted ARM hardware zone. With TIMA monitoring the integrity of the OS Kernel, it can run policies such as powering down the device when integrity violations detected. SE for Android provides more than a first line of defense on the kernel. It also helps protect confidentiality and integrity using Mandatory Access Controls to isolate applications and data into their own contained domains.

Voice over IP (VoIP) Security

    Keromytis (2012)(14) discussed the security of VoIP to be classified into six threat categories as defined by Voice over IP Security Alliance (VoIPSA): Social threats; Eavesdropping, interception, and modification; Denial of Service; Service abuse; Physical access; Interruption of services such as power loss in bad weather. He aggregated and VoIPSA classified 245 academic research publications with solutions to one or more of these problems. As part of a comprehensive security plan, all six threat categories need to be covered in the non-mobile and mobile security policies and counter-measures. For the scope of this paper, this section focuses on eavesdropping, interception and modification.
    National Security Agency (2013, p. 13)(6) described using a FIPS 140-2 certified VPN for the outer layer of encryption with an inner TLS tunnel to a SIP server in the mobile infrastructure and a Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (STRP) inner tunnel to another endpoint to protect real time services media streams. All encryptions need to be using Suite B complaint cryptography with mutual authentication. Performance is an issue pre-4G but needs commercial upgrades to support proper security. Key management in SDES-SRTP is covered with mutual authentication using SIP over TLS.
    Reinforcing the above security controls, Keromytis (2012)(14) discussed in many of the 245 academic papers summaries similar security controls and provides an exhaustive list of control methods researched and their pros and cons.
    Voice should not be allowed over carrier lines when connected to the enterprise or organization. SMS have many known vulnerabilities, such as DoS. Traynor, Enck, Mcdaniel, & La Porta (2008)(15) discussed exploitations in SMS as it relates to DoS and reference many other exploitations. Given the many attack threats of SMS, the device management software should have methods to disable SMS. With BYOD this is a challenge with mobile device owners and one that each organization and enterprise needs to address with the device owners.

Data Protection

The device and its data can have another layer of security using transient authentication. Nicholson & Noble (2006)(16) proposed transient authentication such that if the token and mobile device are separated authentication is broken as constant reauthentication is performed. This doesn’t replace more traditional authentication, but is rather proposed as a layer of security for device and data protection. Transient authentication may be done for parts or all of the data and/or the device depending on the organization security policies. Using transient authentication with geo-fencing and/or time fencing security policies and controls can provide yet another layer of security. Others have expanded on the concept of Nicholson & Noble, such as Syta, Kurkovsky, & Casano (2010, January) (17) proposed RFID-AM with countermeasures for DoS, man-in-the-middle eavesdropping, privacy concerns such as tracking, deletion, and OTA modifications. Nicholson & Noble(2006)(16) also realized wormhole attacks as a problem with no good solution at that time. Dimitriou & Giannetsos (2010)(18) discussed a localized detection and prevention system to help solve those issues.
Secure Data In Transit (DIT). Keeping with the layers of security policy, National Security Agency (2013, p. 13)(6) described the outer FIPS 140-2 compliant VPN has the inner application data encrypted as well with FIPS 140-2 compliant technology such as AES. Additionally mutual authentication should be performed to verify identities to help ensure CIA.
Cellular Carrier Networks. While BYOD is focused on the device in the enterprise, having protection outside the secure perimeter is necessary. Countermeasures against rogue base station threats can be done with mutual authentication in the cellular radio network. Additional security controls can be placed on endpoint authorization and access.
Secure Data At Rest (DAR). Sensitive data is containerized and has AES FIPS 140-2 compliant encryption. Additionally device level encryption should be enforced as well. Examples of DAT include documents, folders, and email attachments.   

Application Level Security

Containerization of applications to access sensitive data is required. Many commercial vendors provide this capability, but all vendor products should be FIPS 140-2 certified. Additionally, data sharing, such as copy/paste, must be prevented or controlled between trusted applications using discussed security controls for DIT and DIR. Application containerization/isolation needs to protect data in memory or process with FIPS 140-2 certified cryptography as well.

Web Based Non-Resident Data

For even greater security, Shariati (2013)(19) discussed a client server model similar to the model of a computer terminal. Using a secured containerized web browser a user would access sensitive data stored only in the enterprise/organization using DIT security controls. National Security Agency (2013, p. 14-15)(6) discussed using the web browser with the outer VPN and inner TLS with mutual authentication and the server side has all the data and the web client on the mobile device is the presentation layer only and the server side would have their authentication controls in place as well with AAA and other means. Both Shariati and NSA described that the web browser cannot store, cache or share any data to help ensure information security.
Other solutions are discussed to be thorough and provide security level options. By incorporating this solution for all sensitive voice and data then only security critical information credentials for authentication to VPN, SIP and Web Server are at risk. If the device is only used for voice and non-resident data applications then there is no sensitive data stored on the device thus mitigating attackers having access to any past voice or data communications. This solution can compliment other solutions depending Security Policy of the enterprise or organization. With this solution a lost or stolen device still has risks that an attacker may be able to gain access but can be further mitigated if using transient authentication and other countermeasures discussed in this paper. Additionally, location ability can be put into the firmware of the device that works with a mobile agent installed at the OS level that can then be located by proper local and federal authorities. Further authentication techniques discussed next can provide additional layers of security.


Li, X., Niu, J., Khurram Khan, M., & Liao, J. (2013) (20) suggested an improved two-factor smart card authentication process that has proposed solutions for registration, login, authentication and password change phases. Also proposed solutions for perfect forward secrecy, known-key security controls, prompt detection of wrong passwords, and a user friendly password change mechanism. Mitigation of stolen smart card devices, insider attacks, replay attacks ,forgery attacks, server-spoofing attacks, and impersonation attacks. Mutual authentication and session key agreement is discussed in the solution.
In the Data Protection section Transient Authentication is discussed as one layer of authentication security. Protecting access to the device and applications also requires the use of two-factor authentication for DoD Directive 8100.2 and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) standards. Using certified smart cards, Secure Element SD or embedded security element chip on the device itself loaded with FIPS 201 certified PIV Applet. This solution can also extend public key infrastructure (PKI) authentication tools. Additionally storing PKI credentials on MicroSD cards or using the transient authentication token.
The proposed solution is to combine the discussed authentication methods to provide layers of authentication and strong multi factor authentication.

Device Tampering

The supply chain for mobile devices could be compromised, introducing another possible backdoor attack avenue. Finnegan (December 2012)(21) discussed Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) proposal for a program for Vetting Commodity IT Software and Firmware. This program would have roadmaps to help mitigate threats of backdoors, malware and other vulnerabilities.
Having a device stolen or lost could introduce unauthorized modifications to the device. National Security Agency (2013, p. 10)(6) discussed there needs to be physical security with tampering seals on all key entry points into the device. Further physical security for sealing removable parts such as memory cards into the mobile device is recommended as well. With BYOD devices there will need to be decisions made in the security policy on the level of physical security to apply to the device.

Other Security Controls

    There are a number of other layers of security that can be done to help mitigate risks on BYOD devices. Those include:
        • Geofencing and time fencing can be another layer of security applied.
        • Signature-based Malware Detection.
        • Bose, A., Hu, X., Shin, K. G., & Park, T. (June 2008) (22) presented behavioral malware detection framework for mobile devices.
        • Firewall

Mobility Infrastructure

The security of the mobility infrastructure is in of itself an entire research area, but it is important to discuss a few of the important security policy goals. National Security Agency (2013, p. 18)(6) discussed five major areas: Perimeter protection such as firewall, IPS/IDS; Layered DIT; Exclusive infrastructure for mobile services; mobile gateways; and Provisioning and Management. The Federal CIO and Department of Homeland Security (2013)(23) discussed recommendations as well for security of the mobility infrastructure. Additionally, their Mobile Security Reference Architecture (MSRA) is an invaluable source for the entire BYOD and MDM life cycle. Given that the layers of security rely heavily on encryption, it is imperative the MDM and infrastructure solution are in accordance with CKMS as discussed in NIST Draft SP 800-130 (April, 2012)(24).

Device Management

Mobile device management software has a number of components that include the security ones discussed, but also monitoring, managing, and support for the devices. The key areas that need to be addressed include the following items.
  • Deployment options to include local, cloud and SaaS.
  • Platform support for as many devices as possible will help a BYOD program succeed. Given many of the solutions proposed, this would require the commercial world to adopt their devices to support proper security controls that are lacking.
  • Besides the security solutions for applications and their data already presented, it is desirable to also have the ability to monitor application inventory and usage. A proper application auditing system should be part of the mobile device management solution.
  • Document and Content Management. If using data resident security solutions then the device needs to integrate with enterprise document and content management software.
  • Network Management to control data usage as to where, when, and if data can be uploaded or downloaded over cellular or Wi-Fi. Roaming cost control would also be part of the network management, as would device diagnostics, usage monitoring and block device access to email or other network access areas if any policy violations occur.
  • Service management monitoring and help desk support management.
  • PC management integration console standalone and 3rd party tools.
  • Reporting system with alerts, response actions to alerts, device and application level analytics. For example, excessive battery drain could be an alert with analytics to determine cause.
  • The ability to whitelist or blacklist applications.
  • The capabilities to remote device wipe or selectively wipe parts of the device.
  • The capabilities to remote lock and locate.
  • Able to manage VPN, APN, proxy and gateway settings.
  • The ability to disable Wi-Fi, carrier data connections, camera and Bluetooth.
  • Manage mobile attached devices such as scanner and printers if physical security allows.
  • Configuration monitoring and auditing.
  • Automated provisioning and enrollment.

Security, Management, and User Experience

Each enterprise will have to make decisions on level of security, management tool capability and user experience. For many problems and necessary capabilities commercial vendors can provide some of the solutions. Gartner (May 2013)(25) researched over 100 companies and developed a Magic Quadrant on 18 qualifying vendors with the following evaluation criteria: product/service; overall viability; sales execution/pricing; market responsiveness and track record; marketing execution; customer experience; and operations. There would need to be the adoption of solutions that don’t currently exist with vendors.


Without a well defined BYOD policy enterprises and organizations at the local, national and international level will be left vulnerable, as well as mobile device users being left with a feeling of mistrust. Commercial products do very well at management and operations and do provide entire suites of security solutions. The challenge is to mash up the best possible solutions to all the problems discussed in this paper and to have the forethought to integrate new solutions as other problems, vulnerabilities and exploitations are encountered. If commercial mobile device vendors and 3rd party service providers do not find a way to work closely together to integrate solutions to the security problems of BYOD then entire nations will be unprepared for an ever growing and constantly evolving cyber threat.


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(2) Campbell, S. (2013, January 22). Study: BYOD brings employee productivity gains. CRN. Retrieved October 4, 2013, from
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(4) Goodrich, M.T. & Tamassia R. (2011). Introduction to computer security. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
(5) Hayes, Bob; Kotwica, Kathleen (2013). Bring your own device (BYOD) to work : Trend report. Retrieved November 6, 2013, from
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(11) Rhee, K., Won, D., Jang, S. W., Chae, S., & Park, S. (2013). Threat modeling of a mobile device management system for secure smart work. Electronic Commerce Research, 1-14.
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(14) Keromytis, A. D. (2012). A comprehensive survey of voice over IP security research. Communications Surveys & Tutorials, IEEE, 14(2), 514-537.
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(24) Barker E. , Smid M., Branstad D. & Chokhani S. (April 2012). A framework for designing cryptographic key management systems (NIST special publication draft 800-130). Retrieved November 4, 2013, from National Institute of Standards and Technology web site
(25) Gartner. (2013, May 23). Magic quadrant for mobile device management software. Retrieved November 23, 2013, from

Appendix A

Figure 1. Bring Your Own Device Mobile Device Management Problems Overview
Figure 1. This diagram provides a quick reference of the problems facing BYOD device management. The security risks and threats problems are provided in separate figures.

Appendix B

Figure 2. BYOD MDM Security Risks
Figure 2. This diagram provides a quick reference of BYOD MDM risks enterprises and organizations face today.

Appendix C

Figure 3. BYOD MDM Security Threats
Figure 3. This diagram provides a quick reference of BYOD MDM threats enterprises and organizations face today.

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