Mobile Moves the Security Goalposts

We’re at a critical stage in the development of company mobile security policies. After an initial wave of enthusiasm and a plethora of new tools to manage and support the latest mobile devices within the workplace, it’s easy for complacency to set in. In reality, the mobile trend is still at its infancy and the potential risks for business are still a major consideration.

Don’t believe us? Just listen to the facts. We recently conducted Absolute Software’s second annual report into the changing face of data security, analysing the circumstances of over 13,000 device thefts and the results were startling. At the top level, the amount of data remotely wiped from stolen devices has risen by over 700%, while the quantity of devices recovered is up by 132%.

In a situation where data thefts from businesses has risen by 250% between 2010 and 2012, how do you make sure your business stays secure and steps ahead of potential threats?

One of the most common security concerns is employees working remotely and from home, and the biggest threat here is travel. Within our research, the airport remains the leading location for device theft and it’s clear that when people are on the move, devices are most at risk.

It goes without saying that the further and more frequently you let a device travel outside the workplace, the greater the risk of it going amiss – and therefore requiring data to be wiped and/or the device located and retrieved. However, that’s not to say that you should impose limitations on how widely devices are allowed to be used – there needs to be an element of flexibility.

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One of the biggest misconceptions about managing the influx of mobile devices in the workplace is that the security of your organisation’s devices and data requires strict guidelines. Employees will break the rules every time, either through naivety, ignorance or ingenuity. A file emailed to a personal account to work on while out of office here; a cloud storage account setup to access data on multiple devices there — the opportunities for digital data breaches are broader than ever. Either way, the result is the same: your business and the data within it are not as secure as you thought it was.

When it comes to working on the move and outside of the office, it’s better to find ways to securely enable your employees to work efficiently. By having a better grasp of the devices within your organisation and understanding how your employees want to use them, you can use technology platforms to grant you the visibility and ability to push certain applications directly to devices, safe in the knowledge that you’re in control of how they’re used. When you get it right, it’s as simple as ‘track, manage and secure’ the devices and information within and outside of your organisation.

The goalposts for your organisation’s mobile security are always in motion, but this only makes it more key that you concentrate on making your aim accurate and achievable. In doing so, your team will only get stronger and what was previously a business frustration may quickly become a cause for celebration.

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