Managing mobile devices in the workplace has become a major challenge to businesses. It is practically impossible for IT departments to manage and monitor the unprecedented security risks and threats posed by mobile devices. Given the business benefits of mobility, this is a trend that is here to stay. Here are some considerations for your business when it comes to security management:
Understand the Risks
The risks presented by mobile devices can take many different forms. They range from unauthorized access to company data to local storage of company data on unprotected handheld devices. You will want to factor in the potential breach of privacy of confidential employee or client information as well as the location awareness capabilities of many smart phones that can track the exact location of a user. Your organization should identify which business data it will allow to be accessed and on which mobile devices. This will help determine what needs to be protected and to what degree.
Access to Applications
Your mobile usage policy can take an access-only approach to applications. This policy prevents users from downloading and storing any corporate information on their mobile devices. Instead, mobile devices can access web enabled applications or virtualized Desktops remotely without actually transferring and storing data locally. In addition, you may consider ways to separate corporate and personal data on the devices themselves. In fact, some software companies have recently come to market with products that enable the segregation of data on mobile devices into separately managed containers.
All communication between devices and enterprise systems should be encrypted, period. By implementing (or extending) traditional VPN technology between your core applications and end users’ mobile devices, this can be ensured. Also, ensure that SSL encryption is in place on all your or your provider’s web servers. This will prevent snooping of your data while in transit, regardless of if the particular device is locked down.
As organizations learned over time, particularly with laptops, a good mobile security strategy should be comprised of multiple solutions to provide in-depth security for the mobile user environment. For small and midsized businesses, experts recommend the use of cloud-based application solutions to minimize the footprint of data and the required training of internal IT to properly implement and support security measures in a mobile environment.
There are a tremendous number of solutions and providers in the marketplace claiming to solve any or all of the security issues presented by the new mobile workplace. Your best bet is to clearly understand the risks first (whether internally-assessed or through the assistance of a qualified consultant) and then to apply solutions that address the risks in order from largest to smallest.
For more information about securing your corporate network in a mobile environment, contact Superior Technology Solutions. We look forward to sharing our extensive technology background with your organization. For more information, visit us on the web at www.SuperiorTechnology.com or call us at 845-735-3555.
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