Enterprise mobility is a major change for modern businesses. The ability to allow employees to work from almost anywhere helps open up new talent pools of qualified people who may not have been able to relocate to be physically close to the business. Even simply allowing one or two “work from home” days each week can help reduce stress and expenses for employees by removing the need to physically commute to work as often. In fact, according to survey data cited by Forbes, “more than two-thirds of managers [reported] an increase in overall productivity from their remote employees.”
Between the increase in available talent and strong potential for productivity improvement, it’s easy to see why enterprise mobility is a major initiative for many businesses. However, enterprise mobility brings with it a strong need for improved enterprise security. Remote workers can be a massive productivity boon—but they can also be a major security risk. Employees using mobile devices without the appropriate security measures may accidentally leave the company exposed to data security breaches.
This begs the question: “How can you improve enterprise mobility and security so you can access more qualified talent without putting the business at risk?” Here are a few suggestions:
Enforce the Use of VPNs for Remote Enterprise Security
Virtual private networks, or VPNs, are a basic staple of enterprise mobility and security. VPNs help to anonymize and encrypt communications between remote workers and the company’s network so hackers can’t intercept them.
Enforcing the use of VPNs for remote workers helps maximize enterprise security and minimize the risk of a data breach. Creating a security setting that rejects connection attempts unless they’re being made through the VPN can help ensure VPN use.
Acquire an Enterprise Mobility Management Solution
Enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions are another staple of remote workforce management. These solutions combine mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM), mobile content management (MCM), and identity and access management (IAM) solutions into a single, centralized dashboard to simplify the management of enterprise mobility and security.
EMM solutions help organizations of all sizes create, deploy, and enforce mobile security settings and applications so that remote workers can operate under the same rules and protections as employees in the office.
Additionally, with centralized dashboards for monitoring mobile device status, enterprise mobility management platforms make it easier to track which devices are protected and which ones are in need of remediation.
Apply a Policy of Least Privilege to Reduce Enterprise Security Risks
A policy of least privilege (POLP) is a security measure that enterprises can use to minimize the damage done by an attack using hijacked credentials (or by employees misusing their user account credentials). The basic gist of a POLP is that each employee is given access to the bare minimum resources they need to complete their primary job function.
For example, accountants would only get access to financial databases and engineers would only have access to design documents and applications. This level of access would allow each employee to do their job while minimizing risks if their user account credentials were ever compromised.
Being able to separate users and their mobile devices by role and approving each for access to only the basic network assets that they need can provide a major boost for enterprise security.
On a side note, whenever the company terminates an employee, it should revoke all of that employee’s access privileges immediately. Allowing an ex-employee continued access to sensitive information is a major problem for enterprise security—even when the employee is leaving on good terms.
Increase Mobile Security by Enabling Remote Device Encryption, Location, and Wiping Features
Using an MDM or EMM tool to remotely track, encrypt, or wipe mobile devices can be a point of contention between employers and employees—especially when employees are using personally-owned mobile devices for work under a “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy.
However, to protect the business’ most sensitive data, such severe mobile security measures are often necessary. After all, consider what might happen if an employee’s smartphone is stolen while they’re out running errands—especially if that mobile device has access to proprietary apps and data that could be used to commit fraud or compromise the company’s intellectual property.
When implementing MDM or EMM solutions that can remotely control device data and apps (or be used to locate devices), it is vital that employees are made aware of this fact and the reasons these mobile security measures are needed. The use of EMM solutions to remotely control devices should not be a surprise to employees.
The above pieces of advice are just a few of the ways that businesses can improve their enterprise mobility and security.
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