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Method and Apparatus of Sensitive Data Protection for Mobile Device Under Unstable Signal

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000215226D
Publication Date: 2012-Feb-22
Document File: 9 page(s) / 245K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This invention implements a system that addresses two shortcomings of existing DLP solutions for mobile devices: It uses multiple redundant communication channels (IP over 3G/4G, SMS/MMS and potentially other communication channels available on the mobile device) to transmit updates in the DLP policy to the mobile device to deal with unstable mobile phone connectivity. In addition the invention uses local processes on the mobile device to implement initial protection policies for data until updated context-specific policies for the data are transferred to the mobile device.

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Method and Apparatus of Sensitive Data Protection for Mobile Device Under Unstable Signal

Mobile data security is a key problem in the area of mobile security. With sharply increasing amounts of data on Mobile devices, the problem is even more acute, because workers are increasingly demanding to use personal devices for business purposes, and companies have no way of controlling the flow of sensitive information to these devices which are at much higher risk of being stolen or lost than laptops.

At the same time, communication with the mobile device (e.g., for policy updates or data removal) depends on stable connectivity. There are three types of connectivity: stable (e.g., with a strongsignal), unstable (weak signal causing frequent communication breakdowns) and no signal. Current solutions can implement protection of data on mobile device if the signal is stable. However, unstable communication situations occur from time to time: in subways or subway stations, behind or inside the buildings and of course in outskirt and mountain areas. Therefore, protecting data on mobile device under unstable signal is a valuable problem to solve, especially in business related settings like urban areas with weak reception causing intermittent problems.

A typical solution for mobile data security in caseof device loss is remote wipe out. In this solution, all data on mobile device will be wiped out by server side command when the device is lost. The main shortage for this solution are that the implementation of wipe out depends on the owner has realized the device is missing and the device is connected to a wireless network, but before the device is wiped out the sensitive data on mobile device may be already leak to others.

For fine-grained DLP control on sensitive data on mobile device, there is a solution named mobile EISM. This solution focuses on controlling the amount of the sensitivity data on mobile device appropriately for the current context (e.g., location) of the mobile device using server-side control of the data synchronization process. The main shortcomings for this solution are that: 1) the DLP control is implemented by data synchronization. When the context of the device changed constantly, frequent data synchronization will happened which highly costs battery life;


2) under unstable signal, the data synchronization will be implemented on asynchronous channel (such as SMS, MMS, etc). However, frequent data synchronization need large number of SMS or MMS exchange which needs unlimited SMS/MMS plan otherwise there is expensive phone bill.

None of the existing technologies offers a satisfying way to enforce fine-grained data protection on mobile device under unstable signal. Also, there is an alternative approach like providing client side protection on mobile device similar as desktop DLP. However, with limited computing capability, mobile device can not deal with data sensitivity analysis and decision-making under complex cont...