Importance of Mobile IT Security Policies with Increasing Use of Mobile Devices at Work
Mobile technology has advanced to the point where some businesses can be entirely run by mobile devices. Smartphones, tablets, and emerging products such as the Superbook and Mirabook, are increasingly making it possible for, at least, small businesses to shed desktop and laptop enterprise systems in favor of exclusively using mobile-powered systems.
An article found on Business.com called: "Can You Run a Business via a Smartphone?", written on July 3rd, 2018 by Brian O'Connell, explains:
"Ask any tech-savvy business owner whether they can run their business from their mobile phone, and you'll likely get 'yes' for an answer. Expect that chorus to grow louder as more advance[d] business-friendly mobile apps hit the marketplace."
The article shares relevant data from ComScore to show the increasing use of mobile devices:
"...mobile digital app use has grown by roughly 50 percent in the past two years, with more than 75 percent of that growth 'directly attributable' to the mobile app. 'Mobile has grown so fast that it's now the leading digital platform, with total activity on smartphones and tablets accounting for 62 percent of digital media time spent, and apps alone now representing the majority of digital media time at 54 percent,' ComScore adds."
While going exclusively mobile isn't the norm, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or issuing company mobile devices for workers is the norm for the majority of modern businesses. This is validated by an article found on TechRepublic called: "80% of IT business leaders believe employees need mobile devices to do their jobs", written on June 20th, 2018 by Mark Kaelin, as he explains:
"...80% of the respondents believe their employees can't do their jobs effectively without a smartphone. In fact, 75% said their mobile devices are essential to their company's business workflows. The successful modern enterprise workforce is a mobile workforce.
...However, while mobile devices offer more convenience and flexibility for the modern workforce, they also bring with them additional risks and support issues."
Security Concerns with Mobile Devices at Work
As mobile devices become ubiquitous within work environments, mobile IT security policies must be created and implemented to ensure cybersecurity, especially, for BYOD work environments. Essentially, employees' mobile devices used at work must be encrypted and have strong authentication protocols.
An article found on Mobile Business Insights called: "The importance of data encryption on employee mobile devices", written on July 5th, 2018 by Rose de Fremery, explains more:
"Once accessed, unencrypted mobile device data can quickly yield a treasure trove of sensitive financial, business or personal information that should be kept from prying eyes.
...Mobile devices should be protected with long alphanumeric passcodes. Enterprises whose BYOD participants access particularly sensitive data might want to implement biometric authentication methods as well."
Developing Mobile Security Policies
With mobile devices becoming more advanced and useful for work environments, businesses will need to consider developing mobile IT security policies that fit their unique situation. The security variables involved include:
private vs. public cloud systems
on-premises vs. cloud enterprise systems
mobile devices vs. desktop/laptop systems
industry's level of customer data sensitivity
- BYOD or company-issued
Hybrid work environments with a mixture of all of these variables are the most common, as cloud and mobile computing technology, increasingly, becomes integrated within modern enterprises.
Whatever the variables may be, mobile IT security policies should comprehensively address and remedy the security risks that mobile devices create. As the Mobile Business Insights article surmises:
"By taking prudent security measures now and educating employees on the importance of protecting their personal devices from unauthorized access, enterprises can maximize the benefits of a robust BYOD program while minimizing their risks."
White Mountain IT Services has witnessed the rise of mobile technology in the workplace since our beginnings in 1985; our comprehensive managed IT services include integrated cloud and mobile solutions to reflect this growing trend. With our experience, expertise, and tools, businesses using mobile devices in the workplace can create and implement effective mobile IT security policies to ensure cybersecurity for their enterprise. If interested in learning more please contact us today.