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Managing A Mobile Workforce

The transition to the pervasive use of mobile devices in and outside of the workplace has been both an advantage and disadvantage for small to medium sized businesses. On the one hand, when employees use their own mobile devices for work, businesses cut drastically on month-to-month device and carrier plan costs. Yet, personal mobile devices pose as a potential security threat to your business. Therefore, it is imperative that your organization devises a mobile device management solution before a security attack.

Keep in mind that security attacks are not limited to external hackers – several studies have shown that data breaches more commonly come from internal sources. Your own employees, whether knowingly or inadvertently, can be a source of a data breach to your organization. Here are three important tips on mobile security:

1. Make a Company-Wide Policy and Educate Your Employees

It is important that you educate your employees using mobile devices for work on the threats and risks of mobile computing. Encourage your employees to keep devices up to date with O/S security updates, anti-virus, and anti-malware. Even better, automate the process so you don’t have to count on busy employees remembering to update software. Write an official company policy that explains what they shall and shall not do on their mobile devices. Employees should store personal data in a separate area from company data on their mobile devices. And, when an employee leaves the company, do not forget to wipe company data from personal mobile devices before they leave.

 2. Use a Mobile Device Management Solution

Choose a mobile device management system that supports multiple platforms – Android, Blackberry, iOS, and Windows and that uses one management console so that you can manage all mobile devices from one point. Many MDM solutions also offer application management and content management, which helps protect your organization’s data tremendously.

3. Use a VPN

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a group of networks grouped together over a public network, i.e. the Internet. VPNs allow your employees to get access to network resources when they are not physically in the office. Most importantly, it guarantees that all of the data your employees are sending and receiving is encrypted and secured.

Does your organization have a mobile device management solution set in place?