Companies’ incorporating bring your own device culture and work from home options for employees are fast becoming the norm rather than the exception. And that makes sense. It’s never been easier for us to communicate with one another over vast distances, share information in an instant and collaborate with people effectively no matter where they are in the world.
But the fundamental drawback in all those cases is that more of our data is being transferred from one party to another online which, as always, carries security risk. There are
Not to mention that when your employee brings their own device to work, the onus is on the company to ensure that whatever they’re working on is safe and secure. Limiting all your employees to company provided machines may create a technically safer environment, but at the cost of mobility, flexibility and adaptability that most companies simply can’t afford to make that trade in 2017.
Having said all that, then, what are some of the measures you can take to ensure that you maintain maximum enterprise mobility but without severe sacrifices to security?
Mobile device management software
Mobile device management software (MDM) is one great way to back up any device that your employee will be operating on in the bring-your-own-device model. Many companies in fact institute mandatory requirements for those looking to operate on their personal machines.
But this is by no means a panacea. The biggest drawback of MDMs is that they aren’t designed to manage data. This can obviously be a point of frustration for those looking to find a comprehensive security tool.
But the tools needed to secure data fall under the purview of data loss protection (DLP) applications. MDM works on managing your device, while DLP is focused on the data side of things. DLP can set restrictions for downloads or sharing on specific files, while MDM is more involved in the device itself.
But what MDM can do is quite comprehensive, data shortcomings aside.
Many MDM applications work at the hardware, operating system and application levels. They allow for remote software installation, configuration management, security and asset management, and they also have the added benefit of being able to track the location of a device or wipe its data in the event of a theft or loss. These features are crucial to maintain a secure system despite employees running around with highly sensitive data on their machines.
Another good tool for managing devices across the board for your employees are containers. They allow for users to protect, partition and erase corporate emails, address books, files, application data and any other sensitive piece of information that you may want to wipe in the should the need arise.
Again, like MDM, containers have their drawbacks. The increased need for IT support could rack up costs to you and your company. Another issue is finding the correct type of software to fit your business and your devices.
Ultimately what you’re looking at is more legwork to ensure better security, but also possibly taking on a few headaches and obstacles in the process. For many companies that’s a worthy trade in order to protect their data.
Managing enterprise mobility in the cloud
At the moment, there is no comprehensive solution to monitoring and controlling what data is stored on mobile devices by employees.
Your best bet is preventative care, like education paired with reactive solutions such as remote memory wipes.
The Cloud is a fantastic innovation in a number of areas and is one of the biggest proponents of enterprise mobility by providing that ability to collaborate effectively online. But it also has its issues, and Cloud security in the age of enterprise mobility is one of the top struggles for companies. But in the case of data sharing, the Cloud can be mana from heaven.
If a company opts to store all its data in the Cloud, this grants your IT service complete control and can be configured on the fly to prohibit, restrict or provide access as needed.
Users can access files as if they were operating on a local drive, but of course with the added benefit of being able to access the data from anywhere. It might even be advisable to totally eschew local data storage and opt for Cloud file sharing instead.
While not an ideal solution for everyone, it does fill several holes when it comes to enterprise mobility while also maintaining a high degree of security.
As mentioned above, however, the Cloud does have its own security issues, so while it provides more functionality in some areas, it does create other vulnerabilities.
It’s all a matter of what is the best solution for your company specifically, and in many cases, the Cloud offers the most comprehensive solution with the fewest detriments.
Enterprise mobility 2017
Enterprise mobility is here to stay. Mobile app development agencies are unlikely to revert back to the old mandatory on-site model that dominated businesses for decades. And employees are just as unlikely to revert back to the old model, instead preferring the flexibility and balance of working remotely and on their own devices.
Comfort, functionality, ease of use, all these are drastically improved with enterprise mobility, and alongside them comes increased efficiency. It’s a win-win.
But protecting security is just as important. In the era of Big Data, business intelligence, the Internet of Things, there are so many different ways that data impacts our businesses in 2017 that ensuring that the data is protected is often a prime mandate for most companies.
After all, data loss, breach or theft can be a huge derailment not only for a business’s day to day operations in the short-term, but also potentially having far-reaching consequences depending on the type and importance of the data stolen.
Striking that balance between enterprise mobility and security is crucial to companies in 2017. Some developments, like the Cloud, provide both, while a strong industry has opened up around providing a number of comprehensive solutions.
In any case, while the threats are real, enterprise mobility can still both be a boon to your company’s effectiveness while also maintaining top-notch security protocols.