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Enterprise Mobility Management – Steps to Reduce Security Risks

enterprise mobility management
The past few years have seen radical changes in the workplace. Your organization has been probably investing in the cloud more than ever before and the way in which employees traditionally worked is too changed. Employees today need to collaborate better and often complete work on the go with smartphones and tablets.

While this can significantly improve productivity, with the ease of collaboration the way to go forward, this does have its downsides. Enterprise mobility can cause data security problems. The data, for instance, can be misused easily. An Enterprise Mobility Solutions help in offering the required security as well as work-related tools so employees can perform better.

Here are a few simple steps that any business can instantly take to become more secure:

  • Maintain a comprehensive directory

One of the most basic and essential steps, that is often overlooked, is to maintain a comprehensive directory of all the end-users and their privileges. Even if such a directory exists, keeping it up-to-date is a tough job. The most common tool used for this is Active Directory. It is a good tool, but the problem of keeping it updated remains. It requires constant upkeep and attention. Extra care should be paid to this step because it is simple, yet important.

  • Prevent unintentional user errors

According to a study from the Ponemon Institute, out of all data breaches, the second-highest proportion (a whopping 35%) are caused by unintentional user errors. This comes second only to malicious attacks. Obviously, no end-user wants to deliberately cause data breaches, but since they don’t have the necessary knowledge, it happens. The solution to this is effective basic training, which provides an idea of how things can go wrong. In addition, of course, regular and useful updates go a long way in making data mechanisms foolproof to unintentional mistakes.

  • Choose CYOD over BYOD

BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, has all been the rage for the past year, and it is growing fast. It involves allowing the employee to get their own device to the workplace and allowing them to use it for their work. According to Microsoft, 67 percent of workers already use their personal devices at the workplace. Though convenient and considered ‘cool’, it can pose serious security threats. It does offer more flexibility and better productivity, but from the security point of view, a better alternative that has emerged is CYOD, or Choose Your Own Device. This involves the company buying devices for the business, including tablets, laptops, desktops etc. The employees can then choose a device among these, and they are assigned that. They can use this device on as well as off work. The employee can’t make major changes or install software of his own volition, since he is not given administrative rights. The employee is only allowed customization. This goes a long way in helping data protection and stopping breaches, from threats both external and internal.

  • Choose devices wisely when implementing CYOD

Once you have decided to implement CYOD, it is also important to be able to manage and administer it. CYOD involves a lot of central control. If the employee needs to make major settings change or install something, he has to approach the IT Department for this. So when you choose a device vendor for your supply of devices, choose one that has a broad product range. If you end up buying devices from different vendors, it will be that much more difficult to manage them centrally, because the settings and every other control will vary in different brands. It is much easier to pick one vendor and control all devices uniformly.

  • Remember that passwords in this age are easily hacked

Protection of devices is necessarily important. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of protecting a device is a password. But passwords are not enough. Anyone with a little experience can crack passwords easily. Hackers can get into systems easily if all that stops them is a password.

This is why it is important to have two-factor authentication. Picking devices that come pre-equipped with two-factor authentication takes away half the worry about security and data compromise. While picking a vendor for CYOD, keep this in mind. Tablets equipped with fingerprint detection would be a better choice.

  • IT access to user devices

Like it or not, in today’s world, the IT Department of the workplace need to access personal user devices. Though this may seem a little obtrusive at first look, it is a very necessary option. We live in a time of smartphones. They are being used for almost every purpose including work.

Often, work-related information might be stored on the phone. The IT Department needs limited access in case of a problem, the work-related data might be wiped clean. Earlier if such a threat were posed, the whole phone (or whatever the device is) would have to be wiped clean. There should be a selected method for wiping the data. This is necessary because when the device is compromised, this is the only method that can save the device from compromising data. Of course, there is another alternative – using virtualization technology. Nevertheless, no applications support that, so it is not a guaranteed solution.

  • Providing Mobile Data Access

Mobile Data Access has been prevailing in almost all enterprises. With the rise in mobile technology, most of the tasks are done on mobile instead of desktop. Suppose you allow mobile access to use the company’s data that keeps employees efficient and active. However, a company needs to take a backup of all data that is being shared among employees. Moreover, file sharing should be done in a secure environment. If any data breaches, it can cost a considerable amount to a company.

  • Anti-theft technologies 

There should be two-factor authentication and password policies in case of any mobile device loss. Each data and apps should be encrypted; if the device is lost or stolen, the receiver can not intercept the data from a mobile device. Even a full device wipe feature can be enabled if a password of a stolen mobile is accessed with multiple failed login attempts. Anti-theft technologies can save the company’s data from being accessed by any third person.

  • Educate employees on security 

Many organizations do not pay attention to mobile management training. The use of the mobile device in the office premises should be restricted to a specific limit by enforcing policies. Proper education will give greater flexibility and productivity, along with job satisfaction. The training should include browser and internet usage, sharing data policies, and the use of the mobile device. Moreover, BYOD and BYOA protocols should be followed to prevent a data breach in an organization.

Investing in the Right Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy

It is a good idea to invest in IT Support. While user privacy is a concern, your IT team will need at least some access to user devices. Hiring IT support is easy too. The investment wouldn’t be much and you’d be looking at hiring an employee for every 5,000 devices. The right Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy can help you to strategize better and keep organization information secret. Your employees will be able to work their way without worrying about security concerns.

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