Mobile Security Threatens Company Data

Mobile Security Threatens Company Data

According to CIO magazine, a Gartner analyst two years ago pointed to the “growing shortage of cybersecurity resources” and how those impending threats to company networks continue to grow:

“Companies are worse off by 100% (with cybersecurity) compared to 10 years ago because the world is more complicated now…Companies have definitely raised the cybersecurity bar, but criminals can keep going higher than the bar.”

BYOD brings security risks to company data

Unfortunately, employees unwittingly connect to Wi-Fi hotspots that are traditionally not safe, from coffee shops and restaurants to airports and hotels. Instead, device users should connect through a virtual private network (VPN), one of the many services an experienced MSP can offer. 

Gartner’s prediction provides that clarion call for businesses with remote, cloud operations to address these ‘new’ security risks, particularly with the incorporation of mobile devices (BYOD) in the workplace.

“When employees connect to public WiFi without using a VPN app, they put their company’s data at risk,” notes the head of Avast Software’s mobile division.

Global survey: More than half of SMBs use in-office/remote employees

 A global survey of IT pros found that “fifty-eight percent of SMBs now have a mix of in-office and remote employees.” What’s more, those employees are working 2 to 3 days a week from home.

Even more reason for SMBs to consider using a management service provider ( MSP) for mobile-device management. MSPs utilize a set of protocols and platforms to mitigate risk associated with the proliferation of BYODs.

In addition, a seasoned-pro, like BluWater, can manage a company’s firewall, antivirus and application upgrades/updates—and even conduct a vulnerability assessment of a company’s, on-premise networks.  

Contact us today. We can help you implement a  BYOD strategy that fits your needs. Companies rely on us to provide them with the security and scalability to make them successful now and into the future. 

IT Decision Makers Are Challenged with Mobile Security and Compliance

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The digital landscape is alive with change, particularly when it comes to the proliferation of mobile devices (BYOD) in the workplace. The dawning of this phenomenon began as far back as 2009, when the phrase first took hold, becoming, as CIO notes, the ‘New Normal’ in 2013:

“CIOs can thank mobile device management vendors for pushing their messages of compliance to business users and, as a result, helping bring IT into the discussion as a BYOD enabler.”

Cisco: More control of the cloud network is needed

In fact, a Cisco survey of 4,000 IT decision-makers worldwide noted the need for more control of the cloud network with the ever-increasing array of mobile devices, smartphones and tablets in the workplace. 

However, along with this general acceptance of BYOD in the workplace, 82 percent of those surveyed were concerned about compliance and security requirements.

Following the ‘moving’ mobile device!

For example, aligning departmental needs with a company’s BYOD policies creates new challenges: If an employee who uses his/her’s own mobile device switches to a new device, how is sensitive info to be tracked and stored? Worse, what happens to that data if the person leaves the company?

Cisco notes savings with BYOD in the workplace

Are these concerns lessened when the economic metric is added in? According to a recent Forbes overview on BYOD devices, Cisco notes a typical savings of $350 annually…per employee.

Still, concerns persist about ‘security’ when it comes to mobile strategies. As Forbes notes:

“Security is one concern for there are undeniable risks in permitting employees’ access to corporate resources from personal devices, and indeed the dangers posed by malicious applications and viruses will discourage many organizations from implementing BYOD.”

Contact us to learn how our managed services can help protect your cloud network. We really focus on your business needs before recommending our managed service options—clients love our proactive approach.

Top 5 Mobile Device Security Protocols for Organizations

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More and more organizations are allowing their staff to rely on portable smart devices in order to conduct official business. With 24 hour, on-the-spot access to key information and business tools, portable devices offer astounding amounts of flexibility and convenience — enabling employers to access their organization from anywhere. That said, the question must be asked, is enough being done to protect all this mission-critical data?

In this post, we will outline 5 tips to consider regarding corporate mobile use.

Updating Security Policies 

Whether an organization writes their own security policies or if they outsource their IT services to a third-party, corporate leaders need to make sure their written security policies address specific issues regarding mobile use. Not only does this force companies to sit down and seriously consider all the ramifications of mobile data access, it also lets staff members know that IT security policies are not just “office-only” policies to follow.

Protect What’s Really Important 

Through updating corporate security policies, it becomes obvious that what businesses are really protecting is the data that employees might access. No one is going to write up a security policy regarding the potential loss of a mobile device that cost a few hundred dollars. From the top on down, everyone needs to clearly understand that following mobile usage policies is about data, not simple device breakage.

Mobile Security  

There is security software specifically available for mobile devices. Companies must ensure that any mobile device their employees use, whether company or personally-owned, has professional security software installed and updated regularly.

Scrambling the Data

Along with mobile security, there are also mechanisms available that will scramble, or encrypt, phone data such as contact lists, emails, text messages, etc. Companies should check with those handling their IT operations to ensure encryption software is installed on all corporate mobile devices.

Consider Bluetooth Access

Many people don’t spend nearly enough time thinking about what it really means to have Bluetooth-enabled devices. They don’t know that:

  • Most new devices come with Bluetooth enabled
  • Anyone nearby could potentially connect to their mobile device
  • Whether using Bluetooth for personal or business reasons, if it’s on, it’s on.

Bluetooth can be a very useful feature that allows one to take hands-free calls, texts, etc. but it is also very difficult to remember to manually turn it off when not in use. Companies need to seriously consider whether to allow their employees to use Bluetooth at all, or at least use security software that addresses Bluetooth use.

If you would like to know more about developing comprehensive security policies regarding employee mobile usage, please contact us.