These days, any location can become an office. With mobile devices becoming more of a necessity than a luxury, most companies have had to expand the boundaries within which work can be done. Yet this trend towards mobile workforces comes with its own new set of challenges. The chief one being: how do you protect the devices that contain your most valuable data? We’ll share a few tips on how your team can stay secure while maintaining their sense of freedom and collaboration.
Advantages of A Mobile Workforce
Providing employees with mobile devices has tremendous upsides. If trains are stuck or a car breaks down, your employees can work on their phones or from home, and your business won’t miss a step. Flexibility also leads to a happier workforce. When your employees are free to work from home, and adjust to family or personal needs, they feel taken care of. And in turn, employees who feel inspired to work during off hours have the ability to do so. This is proven to increase productivity and morale and help you retain top talent. But the most enticing bonus is a reduction downtime. Employees who do not typically spend all day at their desk become more reachable with a work phone and can respond to emergencies quicker than ever before.
Understanding the Risks
The benefits of mobile are clear. But before you allow your team to roam, it’s essential to understand the challenges that lay ahead:
- Compatibility issues: Allowing your employees to use mobile devices may mean they are running older operating systems or incompatible versions of popular programs.
- Physical security: Mobile devices aren’t sitting securely in an office most of the time and therefore are at a higher risk of being stolen or broken. Working in public places creates the potential for sensitive info to slip into the wrong hands inadvertently.
- Unsecured networks: When your employees work on mobile, they will no doubt use Wi-Fi networks located in airports, coffee shops, or their homes. These networks may feature little or no protection and are well-known for being a goldmine for hackers.
- Third-party apps: Tablets and cell phones are guaranteed to be full of applications downloaded from a wide variety of developers who may have invasive permissions that allow them to mine company data.
Managing Mobile Securely
To unlock the tremendous advantages of your mobile workforce, you’ll need to make sure everyone is on the same page. Here a few steps you can take to make sure mobile security is top-of-mind:
- Require multi-factor authentication: Two-step authentication requires that your employee have a physical item on them to prove their identity in addition to regular log-in credentials. Implementing it is crucial.
- Use encryption: Have your employees utilize VPN’s to add an extra layer of protection against hackers.
- Create clear policy: No matter what you require of your employees, it’s imperative that you make sure everyone understands what is expected of them. Print out policy forms, get them signed, and schedule future security audits.
- Hold mobile security training sessions: Ensure every employee has the knowledge and IT training they need to combat potential threats. Make sure to continually check-in to update methods for protection and stay in sync.
Because mobile devices in the workforce are so widespread, giant strides are being made every day to make the devices in question more secure. But to be truly safe, you’ll still need to manage the cybersecurity on a wide array of devices in various settings. This is where a Managed Service Provider (MSP) like Net Works can be invaluable. We can be the eye-in-the-sky to help you stay in control while your employees enjoy their freedoms. Contact us to find out how we can help.