How to Successfully Secure Your Mobile Workforce

Maintaining Security for a Mobile World Part 2:

Security in the mobile workforce is now a top priority for every business with increasing mobile device threats that can result in data loss, security breaches and regulatory compliance violations. You can take a number of steps to keep your data assets secure and to reduce the risks posed by mobility, while addressing related legal, privacy, and security requirements associated with mobile devices. Implementation of robust policy creation, communication about the implication of faulty mobile security practices, risk assessment, use of mobile enterprise technology, and continuous monitoring can help meet the security challenges associated with use of diverse mobile devices. In this article we help you understand how your business can efficiently manage your data in today’s mobile environment and apply rigorous security standards to minimize risks, while ensuring agility, and productivity.

Help Employees Secure Mobile Data

There should be proper documentation, security protocols, and best practices in place for your employees to ensure your mobile data is protected at all times. Every company should have a full policy with regard to usage of mobile devices for work and it should be updated and shared regularly with your staff. Employees need to be educated about the necessity of strong passwords and multilevel access control. All employee smartphones or tablets should be protected with a PIN or access code. Do not allow apps to save passwords, store sensitive information, or use automatic logins. Wherever possible, do add a security layer to the app process, such as two-factor authentication for added account protection, or else you will have to take measures to double up on document protection. It should be mandatory for any device connecting to or holding company data to be encrypted at the disk level. Make your system secure by setting up automatic lock screens for all your mobile devices when it remains idle for a few minutes. Users should download apps only from an authorized app store. All updates should be downloaded as soon as they are available as they often contain security patches.

Protect the Mobile Enterprise

Every new employee-owned device being introduced to the organization gives hackers an easy access route to classified information so direct steps have to be taken to secure the mobile enterprise.  Choosing the right tools for the job is of utmost importance and here are some of the major technologies available in the marketplace to implement BYOD (bring your own device).

  • Enterprise Mobile Device Management (MDM) Systems

Mobile Device Management (MDM) allows you to take control of data in a BYOD environment. make it possible to install remote updates and take remote control over mobile devices, including the ability to wipe a mobile device that is stolen. MDM software automates the policy enforcement of network attached mobile devices that operate inside and outside the firewall and it also supports remote data backup for easy recovery of data in case a device is lost or stolen.

  • Endpoint Mobile Security Solutions

Viruses that spread on mobile devices are a real threat to your sensitive company data. While employees can be educated not to download suspicious software, apps, documents or even click on malicious links, it is critical to install security suites, including antivirus, anti-spyware,  and malware security solutions across all mobile devices. There are intrusion detection and prevention systems, vulnerability scanning and application blocking and data loss prevention software that can be used to protect multiple mobile devices. Enable automatic updates of the software so that the security software remains current on every device to defend against the latest security risks.

  • Network Access Control

NAC tools can inspect mobile devices connected to the network to make sure they are up to date with the latest security patches and download updates automatically, before allowing the device to connect. It is necessary for organizations to track and keep tabs on the locations of all outdated devices that may still have access to data. NAC is important in the onboarding and offboarding of devices from wireless and wired corporate networks. All mobile devices should be wiped clean before donating or getting rid of them.

  • Endpoint Virtualization

It is possible to use a single console to deploy and manage endpoint virtualization solutions for complete separation of personal and work computing on the same device by placing each in its own virtual machine.

  • Enterprise-level Mobile Content Management (MC)

MCM and collaboration solutions help IT staff secure and manage mobile access to an organization’s files and data. An on-premises file synchronization solution can provide users with the ability to share and access company information on the road, while enabling administrative control, and security necessary to keep data assets safe. There should be security protocols for file transfer mechanisms to ensure data is being moved into and outside of the organization securely. Mobile- and web-based transfer tools can help IT departments in enterprises have oversight of data while achieving enhanced productivity.

  • Remote Security Services

Many organizations hire remote security and outside services to support mobile workforce and to facilitate system security, including mobile data access. Remote monitoring services can watch mobile data traffic being delivered through the cloud and guard for suspicious activity or indicators that a handheld device has been hacked or stolen so that intruders can be shut out before they can do real harm.

  • Cloud Technology

The challenge of distribution and perceived lack of control over data stored across multiple mobile devices can be directly addressed by cloud technology. Cloud computing provides enterprises with the capability to store disparate data in a centralized service location while enabling tight security control. Users can leverage any mobile device to access and process their data or perform work on a series of cloud services that have control of the data. A cloud security gateway can enforce corporate policy in cloud applications and data. Check out scalable or private cloud hosting plans from HostLabs .

Mind Your Future

Supporting a mobile workforce can be a real challenge especially with threats from malware, cloud service attacks, and phishing on the rise but the flexibility and productivity benefits of a mobile workforce far outweigh the security risks. Keep to these best practices to ensure a free, flexible, and secure mobile workforce. Mobile engagement is necessary for the future success of organizations, as is taking steps to protect & manage data for users across heterogeneous devices.