The rise of mobile devices has been one of the most important developments in the modern workplace, but with every new technology come both benefits and risks.
On the one hand, a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy can reduce costs while increasing employee satisfaction and productivity. After all, chances are employees will be more comfortable using their own devices than those provided by the business.
On the other hand, to ensure that your confidential business data stays in the right hands, you’ll need to implement additional security and backup measures.
#1. Mobile Device Management (MDM)
By their very nature, mobile devices have a habit of getting lost or stolen. However, far worse than losing the value of the device is having your data end up in the wrong hands. That’s why every business that relies on mobile devices for work, employee-owned or otherwise, needs a centralized platform for managing every device with access to company resources.
Mobile device management platforms are installed on a server and typically hosted in the cloud. This provides IT administrators with complete visibility into their portable devices, including both employee- and business-owned devices. However, MDM is more than just an inventory of devices – it also provides a way to enforce security policies and remotely wipe data from lost or stolen devices.
#2. Virtual Private Networking (VPN)
If the thought of having your employees use public or home wireless networks to do their work makes you nervous, you’re not alone. The obvious problem with such a situation is that you have no control over how secure other networks are. With an unsecured public wireless network, for example, a hacker may be able to intercept communications between employee devices and the internet.
You can prevent this issue by installing something called a VPN on smartphones and tablets. A VPN that’s set up exclusively for your business will allow employees to access the internet safely anywhere by encoding data. You can go a step further, by opting for a hosted VPN solution, which eliminates the need to install special software on mobile devices. Instead, files stored in the cloud will be secured.
#3. Secure Access Controls
Did you know that over a quarter of Americans don’t even use a screen lock or any other security features on their mobile devices? It shouldn’t be hard to see why that presents a recipe for disaster if employees are using those devices for work. You should always implement strict security policies and, more importantly, have the right technology measures in place to enforce them.
For example, many BYOD security risks can be avoided using login procedures that require more than just a username and password (e.g., an SMS sent to your phone). You can further enhance security by using context-aware features that monitor various situational factors, such as geographic location and network type.
#4. Backup and Disaster Recovery
Backing up data used to be relatively simple. Before mobile devices came into the equation, businesses largely relied on their own in-house servers and networked computers. Most, if not all, important business data was kept on the server, making it easier to back everything up. These days, there’s a high chance of having mission-critical data being fragmented over an increasing multitude of devices.
To maintain complete control and visibility into your data and where it’s stored, you need a centralized system for everyday storage, backup and disaster recovery. This is precisely why cloud-hosted apps and data make a perfect match for any business with a BYOD policy. When you have everything stored in a centralized, cloud-hosted environment, there shouldn’t even be any need to store sensitive information on the mobile devices themselves.
Qoverage helps businesses get more out of the constantly evolving technology landscape with IT solutions that are secure, centrally managed, and scalable with demand. Call us today if you’re ready to get connected.