Mobile security in the digital era: Protecting your devices

Today's smartphones and tablets are continually connecting to cloud applications and tools that can act as gateways for criminals. So, how do you make sure you stay protected? This quick guide has everything you need to know…

In today’s mobile world, employees need more freedom than ever before.

If you want your team members to be agile, productive, and satisfied in the workplace, then you need to give them the freedom to use the devices they feel most familiar with.

The improvements in productivity and efficiency that accompany BYOD policies has led countless companies to embrace the benefits of going mobile. However, with any business mobile strategy comes a range of security concerns to consider.

Today’s smartphones and tablets are continually connecting to cloud applications and tools that can act as gateways for criminals. So, how do you make sure you stay protected?

Know why you need mobile data protection

The first step in implementing adequate mobile security for your workforce is understanding how mobile devices can affect your IT infrastructure.

Some of the common risks of BYOD policies include:

  • Stolen or lost devices: Most devices are lightweight and portable – which is part of what makes them so appealing. It’s much easier to work and collaborate on a pocket-sized smartphone than to lug a laptop around with you on-the-go. Unfortunately, small devices are also easier to lose. Once they’re out of employee’s hands, mobile devices can be easy to break into.
  • Employees leaving the company: If a team member leaves your business on bad terms, and they haven’t logged their device out of your network, they’ll still have access to private business information. This could open the door to potential data breaches and leaks.
  • Unsecured Wi-Fi: If your employees use their mobile devices to work on-the-go, then they could be signing into unsecured networks. This means that people could easily jump onto their phone and access data from a distance, without them realising it.

How to ensure mobile security in your business

Although there are dangers to having mobile devices connected to your business network, that doesn’t mean that you should avoid this strategy entirely. 68% of employees say that having the choice to work on the devices that they prefer makes increases productivity.

Rather than avoiding mobile strategies entirely, your best bet is to put a few steps in place that will ensure stronger end-to-end security for you and your team members.

Step 1: Be clear on processes and policies

Code of conduct is critical when maintaining security practices in any business.

Having a clear policy in place regarding how people can and should use their personal devices will ensure that your employees don’t make dangerous and unnecessary mistakes with crucial business data. Before you allow your teams to bring devices to work, make sure that they understand the benefits of data protection with a complete mobile policy.

Your policy might cover:

  • What kind of devices are appropriate for use at work
  • What sort of apps employees can access through the business network
  • How employees should connect to the internet when sharing business data
  • What strategies employees need to follow when setting passwords and usernames
  • Whether two-factor authentication and other security measures are necessary

Step 2: Implement new security standards

The easiest way to improve your security standards when it comes to mobile data protection is to implement an MDM solution. Mobile device management services allow you to manage, secure, and monitor all of the devices on your business network at a distance.

The MDM offerings we provide at Nice Network ensure that today’s companies can remotely control devices, wiping data when a phone is lost, or a tablet is stolen. The same solutions can also provide your teams with access to a 24/7 help desk when they’re struggling with a crucial app or piece of software. Other features of MDM include:

  • Device provisioning for business tools
  • Secure content libraries
  • Location tracking services
  • SOTI MobiControl encryption
  • Disaster protection (uploading information to the cloud)
  • Data backups
  • Two-factor authentication

Step 3: Be transparent with your employees

Finally, mobile data protection requires some level of collaboration between business leaders and their employees. On the one hand, you’re giving your team members the option to use the tools that they feel most comfortable and familiar with. On the other hand, you need to make sure that corporate data remains safe.

In some cases, you may need to monitor your employee’s devices – at least partially, to make sure that you keep on top of your mobile security strategy. Virtual desktop infrastructure management protocols can help with this, ensuring that you’re only monitoring the apps and services that are relevant to your business.

If you do need to monitor any of the devices that your team members are using, transparency will reduce the risk that your employees feel “spied on” at work. This improves the relationships you have with your team.

Ready to discuss mobile data security? Reach out to the team at Nice Network today.