Thursday, September 22, 2016

HOWTO : Hardening Mobile Devices with Intrusion Prevention System

The internet security of mobile devices (such as smartphone, tablet and laptop) becomes very important today. How to secure them is a big problem. Since the cost of anti-virus per device is not cheap per month, most users installed free version of such apps (or programs). However, free version protects the devices on demand purpose only. When you have many mobile devices, you will push your hairs out to secure them. Meanwhile, anti-virus apps (or programs) are designed to prevent your devices from being infected by malware only. They cannot protect you from being attacked by web based attacks, such as Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and Phishing attacks.

Not all browsers can protect you from being attacked by XSS and phishing by default or by plugins. Most Unified Management Systems (UTM) (or namely Next Generation Firewall) are equipped with anti-virus, spam blocker, web filter, advertising blocker, firewall, intrusion prevention and phish blocker. However, not all UTMs have a good intrusion prevention system.

Not all Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) can detect XSS, Phishing, spam, virus, advertising and web filtering. If you have a UTM or IPS that have all the mentioned protection, you can secure your mobile devices by installing a VPN server, such as OpenVPN. Some UTMs have VPN but it does not allow users to connect to the internet from it.

Mobile devices connect to your network, which is hardening by UTM or IPS, via VPN. The mobile devices can surf the internet just like inside your network. As a result, the mobile devices are protected by the UTM or IPS as well.

Open Source project, Almond Croissants, is an Intrusion Prevention System that has all the captioned protection. However, it is not a silver bullet. As I always say, "The risk is not your system vulnerable, the risk is you think that your system is secured".

By the way, make sure you disable the sharing function on your mobile device if any.


(1) Almond Croissants - Intrusion Detection and Prevention System
(2) How To Set Up an OpenVPN Server on Ubuntu 16.04

That's all! See you.