Working from the beach is no longer a dream, it is a reality whether by using your iPad, Laptop or mobile phone. But is it secure?
Mobile Device Management: Do You Really Need it?
Many companies are measuring the benefits of employees working remotely against the logistical issues inherent in developing a mobile device management plan, especially if you are allowing employees bring their own devices (aka BYOD). These issues include:
- Reduced equipment costs
- Increased employee satisfaction and efficiency
- Decreased IT staff burden (since employees maintain their own equipment)
- Reduced office space square footage (as workers are mostly off-site)
- The risk in having a BYOD policy is that these devices can potentially expose security vulnerabilities not directly supervised by IT staff or addressed by corporate antivirus solutions. This is where the need for mobile device management comes in.
New Threats come out every single day
Tablets and smartphones are arguably less secure than desktop PCs and laptops because they lack pre-installed malware protection. Most computers include at least a trial version of an antivirus suite, but for the newest mobile gadgets, individual users and IT managers are on their own to search for and install mobile endpoint security management.
This issue has not escaped the attention of hackers, who unleash creative new threats like SMS text messaged-based attacks on a daily basis. The old-school virus, while still annoying is nothing compared to the damage caused by these new approaches in cybercrime, which include more sophisticated Trojans, keyloggers, phishing attacks and malicious apps than ever before.
How do you maintain security in an efficient way?
Enforcing a ban on these devices is a near impossibility, but there are options for businesses on a tight budget to maintain security:
The first cost-effective step is to immediately establish protocols regarding these devices in the workplace, including guidelines for acceptable use, forbidden applications and how to avoid dangerous activities, such as browsing certain questionable sites while connected to the company’s Wi-Fi.
Next, evaluate your current solutions to see if they can be modified to protect BYOD devices through password enforcement, remote wiping or other protective measures.
If the quantity of devices or sensitivity of data requires a more robust solution, explore whether the use of Mobile Device Management (MDM) software makes sense. MDM provides a centralized platform to manage all BYOD devices and is recommended if IT personnel are spending an inordinate amount of time securing tablets and smartphones – or if the sheer variety of devices and new threats tests their expertise.
Main components of an effective MDM program
How do you choose a Mobile Device Management Solution?
There are many different options but look at these main features as a good starting point:
- Cloud-based, so updates are automatic and painless
- Remote configuration and monitoring
- Passwords, blacklists and other security policies enforcement
- Backup/restore functionality of corporate data
- Logging/reporting for compliance purposes
- Remote disconnection or disabling of unauthorized devices and applications
- Scalable, so new users and increasingly sophisticated devices can be accommodated easily
How OptfinITy can help with Mobile Device Management?
As your trusted technology advisor, OptfinIty offers various levels of mobile device management, including security protection. For more information, complete the form or contact us directly at 703-790-0400.