Organisations with a solid enterprise mobility strategy significantly improve the way they do business.
When employees have the flexibility to work at any time, from any location, everything from customer service, to workplace productivity improves. And while there are many benefits to a mobile workforce, without the right management, there is also substantial risk.When your employees use a mobile device for both work and personal use, strict guidelines must be followed to protect your organisation’s data. If your mobile ecosystem is compromised - for example, if a device is lost or stolen, or your employees use apps and cloud services that are not approved for company use - the potential for security breaches and data loss is high.
By 2017, Gartner predicts that, "the focus of endpoint breaches will shift to tablets and smartphones and 75 percent of mobile security breaches will be the result of mobile application misconfiguration. The best defense is to keep mobile devices fixed in a safe configuration.”
So how do you keep your mobile technology eco-system safe from harm? Here are some proven tips to help you support and manage your employee’s mobile technology use.
Choose the Right Device
Deciding whether to supply company-owned devices or allow your employees to bring their own is an important consideration. If your team use mobile devices to access non-sensitive data, BYOD could be a good option. Not only can your employees use their favourite mobile device, but you’ll also have less to worry about in terms of upgrades and maintenance.
However, if your employees are accessing and storing highly sensitive company data on their mobiles, tablets or laptops, it’s a good idea to only allow the use of company-approved or supplied devices that are fully managed by you. That way you can apply risk management controls, such as limiting data access, blocking the installation of certain apps to protect your information and limiting the copying of corporate information into consumer grade insecure apps.
Have a Mobile Device Security Policy
If mobile technology is used in your workplace, a mobile device security policy is an absolute must. Whether your devices are company-owned, BYOD, or a combination of both, when you have a policy that clearly outlines the rules and expectations for use, many of the risks are mitigated. Your policy should include, at a minimum, which devices are included (e.g. company and employee owned), technical requirements for devices (OS, password requirements, etc.) and user requirements (e.g. approved software and apps, anti-malware protection, personal and business email use, etc.).
Keep in mind, it’s one thing to ask your employees to do the right thing, but there’s no guarantee they will – which is why you should back up your policy with adequate technical risk management controls. This allows you to pick up on any violations that are committed and take action to enforce your policy.
Consider an Enterprise Mobility Management Solution
If you’re struggling to put together a mobile device security policy or finding it hard to manage and keep track of your organisation’s mobile devices, let alone your employee’s use of them, an enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution could be the answer. A managed mobility service provider (MMSP), can design and deliver an EMM solution that enhances your team’s productivity and keeps track of all your mobile technology – how many devices you have, who the users are, and whether they are using them responsibly – so you don’t have to juggle your workload or stretch your resources to do so.
When you work with a MMSP they’ll tailor an effective mobile device security policy for your organisation, which lays the foundation for educating your employees on the safe use of their mobile devices. You’ll also have the ongoing support of mobile technology experts, who keep up to date with the current threats, so your policy and team can be well-informed both now and in the future.
These days, mobile technology is at the heart of almost every business, and it’s vital that you set your employees up with the right mobility tools to communicate effectively and get the job done. But a common challenge is that many users don’t view mobile devices as a possible source of IT and data security threats, so they don’t apply the same level of protection as they do on their desktop computers.
A well-constructed mobile device security policy alongside ongoing education, training and support in the responsible use of mobile devices will not only help to keep your sensitive information safe, it will also empower your employees – and your business - to get the most out of their devices.
Over to You
Are you looking for an easier way to encourage responsible use of mobile devices within your organisation? Or not sure where to start? Post your questions here, or contact us for advice.