The iPhone changed the world when it was released in 2007, but it’s a glorified doorstop compared to today’s mobile devices. Internet speeds and cloud computing have empowered employees to handle the majority of their work from a phone that fits easily into their pockets. The days of being stuck at an office desk are behind us, and the majority of the workforce is enjoying the new-found freedom that comes with working from home or on the move.
Companies of all sizes, across all sectors are becoming accustomed to letting employees use their own devices to access work files. This approach offers important benefits, such as increased productivity and engagement, plus the added benefits of reduced costs.
However, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies introduce some new IT management challenges into the mix.
Keeping ahead of security
Although there’s no denying the benefits of mobile technology in the workplace, smartphones, tablets, and laptops are also very likely to be lost or stolen. And even when they’re not, most users have no idea how to keep them safe when connecting these devices to unsecured wireless networks or downloading questionable apps.
Unfortunately, corporate data will be exposed if unsecured mobile devices store or transmit it. The best way to resolve this is to give IT administrators a centralized system for complete visibility into an organization’s entire fleet of company- and employee-owned devices, with the ability to control and restrict network access. However, many employees are understandably reluctant to hand over that kind of control, so you may need an alternate approach.
For example, a BYOD device that could only connect to company apps and data via a private corporate network would protect you from numerous cyberattacks every day. Another option is to avoid having any corporate data stored on any mobile device. Instead, you can keep your data in the cloud, where people can view and edit it without downloading it.
There are many options to protect BYOD devices, but the central idea is that you must have the capability to know how and when employees access sensitive company information.
Mobile device management solutions
A mobile device management (MDM) solution boosts security and simplifies administration by providing centralized visibility into company apps and data. MDM solutions also make it easy for employees to enroll in and comply with your BYOD program without getting bogged down by memorizing rules, having technicians regularly check their devices for new vulnerabilities, and any other requirements that slow them down.
More importantly, you need a reliable way to disconnect accounts belonging to employees who leave the company or misplace their devices. It’s essential that administrators retain control over access rights and data when a device is reported lost or stolen. Your policy should clearly state the right retained by the company to remove any access privileges or corporate data from such a device while taking care not to touch the user’s files or app purchases.
On a final note, let’s not forget the importance of regular security awareness training, which is a critical component of any cybersecurity strategy given that over two-thirds of data breaches occur due to human error. In spite of the risks, people often still take a lax approach to mobile security, so you’ll be doing them, as well as your business, a favor by educating them.
XBASE Technologies takes care of cybersecurity so that you don’t have to. We help businesses in and around Toronto with our 30 years of expertise and cutting-edge technology. Call us today to get started.
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