How Secure is Your Mobile Router? How to Ensure Your Organization is Protected!

Do you ever wonder how easy it is to hack a mobile router? Is your fleet or agency at risk? Workers in the field need easy access to mission-critical data, plus a way for supervisors to control and manage vehicle operations, therefore a mobile router is a necessity to create a unique Vehicle Area Network (VAN). The VAN creates a secure, encrypted mobile hotspot, in and around the vehicle, so front line personnel can use a mobile device like a rugged tablet, smartphone or rugged laptop to access secure databanks. Designing and implementing a secure, multi-network setup for public safety professionals to use can be challenging. For instance, police officers work across multiple networks as coverage dictates, and require the hand-offs between networks to be quick, secure, transparent, and seamless to the user.

Managing a VAN means dealing with frequent connects and disconnects, and IP addresses that change regularly. This type of dynamic operating environment makes it harder to partition and segment the network, and makes it harder to protect transmissions. Without the proper security mechanisms in place, the network risks being accessed by unauthorized users and is more vulnerable to various types of attacks. That includes Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which can shut down operations and act as a smokescreen for other malicious activities, such as viruses and ransomware.

Mobile routers and gateways are entry points to an enterprise intranet, so it’s vitally important to implement equipment secure enough to provide the right level of safety. Because there are no specific guidelines or regulations covering the security of in-vehicle networking equipment, the decision of how much or how little protection to offer is, by and large, up to the vendor. Some offer more security features than others, and some have a more comprehensive strategy than others for dealing with security in an in-vehicle environment. Make sure the vendor you choose has been around for a while, comes highly recommended, and has a lot of product in the field —this will make a big difference, especially when problems arise. These points play a heavy role in why public safety officials choose Sierra Wireless time and time again.

When choosing a secure mobile router selection, begin with these questions:

  • Does your vendor have a dedicated department that leads and coordinates security efforts?
  • Do they recognize best practices for security and implement them across all their products and systems?
  • Do they employ subject-matter experts who drive company-wide initiatives for security?
  • Is there a standardized process for identifying, evaluating, and fixing any security
    issues with their products? How do they decide which issues to address first?
  • How good are they at helping IT teams understand what needs to be done? Do they take a proactive approach on security matters, with regular updates, email alerts, and technical bulletins that keep customers aware of the latest security issues?

Your mobile network can involve hundreds of vehicle-mounted gateways, which can create a complex management project for you or your IT staff. With the right partnership, you will be able to deploy the best, most cost-effective network for your needs. Your partner should be capable of covering the entire experience from planning and design, through implementation and test, to full operation and complete project life cycle management, so you can leverage their expertise, as needed, at any point along the way. Contact one of Group Mobile’s mobile technology experts to learn more on secure mobile router implementation and management.

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