Importance of Focusing on Mobile Security

December 14th 2017

Why Businesses Must Focus on Mobile Security

Mobile technology is changing the way that business is done. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have become ubiquitous in the workplace, and have streamlined many previously burdensome processes.

But with the benefits come some severe downsides; the integration of mobile tech into people's work lives has created many new security risks. That is why it has become so important today for every employee and business owner to focus on mobile security.

Threats to Your Mobile Devices

Cybercrime, cyber-vandalism and cyber-terrorism are growingly concerning phenomena right now. Every day, new hacking strategies are devised by criminals around the world, leading to the breaching of mobile security, and loss of money and data. The movement of sensitive data into the cloud has made things even more problematic.

Your devices and your employees' devices not only contain sensitive data, but comprise part of a person and organisation's identity, and can be hijacked for nefarious purposes. Criminals may assume the user's identity, or sell their personal information to black market buyers. The device may become part of a "botnet" used to launch further hacking attacks.

BYOD

Now that almost everyone has a smartphone or mobile tablet device that they use throughout the daily life, businesses have begun to engage in BYOD or "bring your own device", where employees are encouraged to use their own personal mobile technology in the workplace. Nearly half of workers in developed countries say they use their own mobile devices at work, and the figure is even higher in developing countries.

Whilst BYOD comes with a number of advantages such as potential increases in productivity, better employee morale and reduced costs, it also poses a number of risks. There is a greater chance of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands, as employees may lose the phone or forget the wipe the memory when they sell it. They may also be the victim of hacking attacks.

Some business attempt to mitigate the risks by banning employees from bringing their personal devices into work, but this policy is difficult to enforce. It is better to make your data and networks as secure as possible by insisting on data encryption and regular anti-malware updates.

Mobile Device Management

Mobile device management (MDM), a part of enterprise mobility management (EMM), is a strategy that many firms use to make sure that their employees do not use mobile devices in a way that could compromise business security.

The employees' mobile devices are loaded with a software which allows them to be administrated by a central system either on your server or in the cloud. You simply punch commands into the built-in interface, and these commands and transmitted to your employees' devices.

You can control what software employees are allowed to use, track devices, enforce data encryption, enforce password protection and even remotely wipe device memory. MDM is also useful for laptops and will later spread to the internet of things (IoT).

Mobile Application Managment

A perhaps less overbearing solution to mobile security MDM is MAM or mobile application management. With MAM, rather than administrating the employee's entire device, administration occurs by means of certain mobile applications.
Employees are required to have and use certain mobile apps whose security can be guaranteed via monitoring and control from a central server. These apps and their data can then be wiped remotely if need be.

Identity and Access Management

Today, who you are is not just defined by your body and mind, but the aspects of your identity that exist in digital spaces. This applies to workplaces as much as to anything else; this is why firms are making use of identity and access management (IAM). IAM technologies allow you to create, assign and manage digital identities within your organisation's computer network. These identities constrain what different members of your organisation are allowed to do and what kind of data they can access. This mitigates the risk of important data falling into the wrong hands or being misused by an unauthorised person within your firm.

Unified Endpoint Management

Unified Endpoint Management of UEM is a strategy for managing your employees' devices in the workplace from a single, central console. The release of Windows 10 from Microsoft has allowed for much easier UEM to be implemented by many businesses. Blackberry and Apple also support UEM. It should form a part of any firm's robust mobile safety and security plan.

View our webinar on the Threat Landscape for Companies by clicking the link here.

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