Three steps to managing mobile devices in your business

This is a sponsored post by Dimension Data. Find out about the critical gap that exists in enterprise mobility in its Secure Mobility Survey Report.

The sheer uptake of mobile devices in recent years has culminated in mobile devices achieving a state of ubiquity, be it in the form of smartphones or mobile-capable tablets. Even Wi-Fi only devices can get Internet access fairly easily, especially with the up-and-coming Hotspot 2.0 that lets Wi-Fi devices “roam” between disparate public access points without the need to re-authenticate.

And the number of mobile devices is set to get higher too, even for developed regions. Consider Singapore, for example, which has a mobile device penetration of an astounding 1.5 devices per person as of a couple of years ago. Once you factor in the huge interest in tablets over the last two years, and it becomes quickly evident that users with 2 or even more mobile devices is poised to be a common occurrence.

Mobile devices are not going away, and businesses need to establish an effective strategy to properly manage them as employees inevitably use them to access work files. We take a look at some steps that businesses could take to better manage their mobile devices.

Offer basic security training

There is no escaping some amount of security training for companies looking to gain a genuine level of competence on the mobile security front. Though some users may have some idea about mobile security, few are likely to have full knowledge of the latest security threats, or to have considered the full implications of these threats to personal privacy and corporate secrecy.

The risks of lost smartphone and tablets could be highlighted, as well as various measures to mitigate and eliminate them. In addition, it may be worth highlighting the increasing area of risk in the form of mobile malware, especially in situations where default app stores have been deliberately circumvented. Moreover, mobile banking scams have also spilled onto mobile devices as hackers attempt to steal second factor authentication and other data.

[box type=”info” style=”rounded”]…it is up to businesses to define as well as to enforce a baseline security configuration for workers to adhere to. Some of these may include enabling on-board device encryption, the setting of a device password, automatic key lock after a predefined timeout, and enabling of device tracking, to name a few.[/box]

Enforcing of baseline security settings

Of course, knowledge alone isn’t always adequate to bring about an enhanced security posture. In most cases, it is up to businesses to define as well as to enforce a baseline security configuration for workers to adhere to. Some of these may include enabling on-board device encryption, the setting of a device password, automatic key lock after a predefined timeout, and enabling of device tracking, to name a few.

Some collaboration platform such as Microsoft Exchange offers the ability to define some security basic parameters through its Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) protocol. This is probably worth implementing in the absence of other controls, as the popularity and maturity of EAS means that many mobile platforms offer a minimum level of support for it. Policies offered by EAS ranges from mandatory device passwords, the ability to define password complexity, and remote device wipe. Taken together, it offers a relatively robust albeit basic security platform for devices configured to work with Exchange.

Deploy a suitable mobile device management solution

For a business deployment of more than a few devices, it may be a better idea to explore the use of a proper mobile device management (MDM) solution. These typically work by interfacing with existing control mechanism offered by the various mobile platforms; though in some cases may entail the one-time installation of a client app.

Regardless, MDM delivers a cohesive array of both management and security controls that are typically implemented evenly across all supported devices. This makes management substantially easier, and gives the IT department the ability to instantly validate the status of any mobile device.

For example, access rights can be dynamically assigned and revoked too, as devices are reported missing, or workers leave the organization. Finally, management tools also make it easy to remotely manage, or deploy and update requisite line-of-business apps.

This is a sponsored post by Dimension Data. Find out about the critical gap that exists in enterprise mobility in its Secure Mobility Survey Report.

By | 2014-02-26T16:31:04+00:00 February 26th, 2014|Categories: Blog, Sponsored, The Work Lounge|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

About the Author:

One Comment

  1. […] in a way to reap benefits is more than just drafting a set of rules, or even proactively managing them to reduce the security risks. To help you along, we outline a number of suggestions to on how mobile devices may be integrated […]

Comments are closed.