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Here’s How Businesses Can Manage Mobile Devices And Data Security

A survey conducted by Oxford Economics revealed that 80% of the IT and business leaders believe that their employees need mobile devices to perform their tasks productively. Further, 75% of surveyees agree that smartphones are crucial for an enterprise’s workflow.

This handheld device makes it easier to communicate with staff and exchange necessary information, which helps save time and effort. However, working with smartphones is not as simple as logging into a relevant account and communicating effectively for high business productivity. The exchange of information also possesses some risks, especially related to data sensitivity.

That’s why the organization’s IT administrators need to ensure the utmost safety of the device as well as the data contained in it. If the organization has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, effective management of the device and data security becomes one of the superior objectives of the organization. Below are a few measures for businesses to achieve this objective.

  • Using MDM As First Line Of Defense

Whether the organization offers its own mobile devices or has a BYOD policy, it should consider using MDM (Mobile Device Management) as its first line of defense to elevate the device and data security.

MDM is software that allows the IT admins or managers to monitor, secure and manage the company-owned or employee-owned devices. It helps protect the company data from unauthorized access (including hacking), theft, and loss. It allows the companies to implement security compliance controls on the device. This compliance often includes:

  • Certificate-based authentication
  • Wi-Fi and email configuration
  • PIN code and device encryption
  • DLP (Data loss prevention) configuration
  • Data wipe or reset options

Apart from this, several other compliance settings are available that managers can use to control the data use and elevate its security. For the same purpose, businesses can look for a managed service provider (MSP) who can help with on-site or remote IT support. Partnering with MSP can help entrepreneurs improve their in-house IT capabilities and expand business operations exponentially.

  • Enable Mobile Authentication

PIN code management and multifactor authentication are two effective ways to manage mobile authentication and access. Setting strong passwords or PINs on handheld devices restricts unauthorized access. For elevated safety, organizations can consider implementing a PIN code policy. The PIN should be at least eight digits and comply with the mobile device management system.

Multifactor authentication (MFA) offers comprehensive security to the device when it is out of the “safe” network. Take an example of Google sign-in. Every time a person tries to access their account from an unknown device, Google always sends a verification email to confirm the user’s identity. The same could be done when an unauthorized person tries to access corporate information using a mobile.

  • Create And Implement Data Loss Prevention Policy

Generally, an employee uses several programs and applications on their smartphone to get the work done smoothly and efficiently. That means the chances of corporate data being used at multiple platforms (including untrusted applications) and locations are high. It is likely to make data management challenging while increasing the risk of data leaks.

That’s why IT admins must create and implement DLP (Data Loss Prevention) policy. It will help prevent the use of corporate information on unknown devices and provide administrators authority to restrict data transfer. It will also provide information to the admins about the whereabouts of company-owned devices and how it is being used.

In addition to this, enterprises can also consider implementing “corporate and BYOD remote lock, device wipe” policies. It will help prevent data loss or theft when a device is lost or damaged or an employee leaves the job. Nevertheless, make sure to keep a backup of the data and reset every password or PIN to restrict the device access.

  • Keep Devices Up-To-Date

Know that smartphones and other handheld devices are a growing target of hackers or cyberattacks. Therefore, employees should be well-educated about the secure use of corporate devices and keep the phone system up-to-date.

One of the easiest yet effective ways to minimize the chances of malware attack is to update the device’s system (Android as well as iOS). It helps improve the efficiency of the device and makes it easier to manage the data. IT admins can also use systems that allow them to automatically log out of the email address or restrict access to information. It will help further elevate data safety.


The Bottom Line

Operating without a smartphone or any handheld device is likely to affect the organization’s overall productivity. It can further increase the overall operational cost and influence work efficiency. So, business owners or managers must follow the tips mentioned above to manage the mobile device and keep the company data secure.

Lisa Baker is Group Editor for the Need to See IT Publishing Group. Lisa writes about HR, Technology, Health, the Environment and Business.
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