Protecting your Mobile Workforce from Cyber Attacks

Mobile devices are empowering employees to be more productive than ever before. However, they also expose organisations to cyber attacks by putting massive amounts of company data at risk. Instances such as accessing unsecure Wi-Fi networks with personal devices, ignoring mobile security updates and using unapproved apps and devices open up new opportunities for cyber attacks.

Ponemon Institute’s 2016 Cost of Data Breach report revealed that when it comes to the biggest threats to endpoint security, IT and IT security practitioners point to mobile-related threats. The most frequently cited threat? “Negligent or careless employees who do not follow security policies”. It is thus imperative to devise a cyber security strategy to guard against cyber attacks. Here’s how to get started:

Empower mobile workforce

Good cyber security starts with your employees. Empower your mobile workforce with cyber training relevant to them such as the risks of public Wi-Fi spots and removable media. Instead of relying on administrators, empower employees with direct control over certain activities such as notifying them when they have logged in from a new location, a useful function for workers signing in from different networks.

Set a realistic security strategy

Implement cyber security policies that are strict but also feasible. Should your employees encounter issues or concerns, they are more likely to consult you on how to comply with the policy while getting their job done. It bears repeating but at the very minimum, ensure your employees back up documents on their mobile devices on a daily basis. This is so that mobile workers are always prepared in the event their devices are stolen or misplaced.

Invest in a solution that works for your organisation

With the ever-broadening mobile enterprise, the need to address cyber risks becomes more urgent. It’s not enough to rely on mobile device management (MDM) software to help secure your organisation’s data. While it lets you monitor employee devices for attacks, and remotely locks or wipes data off a stolen or lost device, it has limitations in both functionality and user experience.

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions offer flexibility by implementing policies on both an application and information level. It usually involves a combination of MDM, mobile application management (MAM) and mobile information management (MIM). While MDM focuses on tracking mobile devices, MAM controls who can access those apps, and MIM acts as a gatekeeper that allows only approved apps to access or transmit company data.

Ultimately, your security strategy should be one that fits your mobile workforce. It should encompass the ability to not only manage devices but also apps, enable application and authentication controls and manage information that both employees can access and administrators can transmit to workers.

Source: Fuji Xerox Australia