Strategies from Mobile Application Management to Mobile Firewalls Help Keep Your Organization Safe
If your organization is responsible for maintaining and tracking assets, it’s likely that many of your employees use mobile devices for enterprise asset management. Whether you work in transportation, retail, healthcare, or any other industry where ensuring the efficient collection and management of data is of the utmost importance, the portability and ease of use of these devices is priceless. But along with an increase in the use of mobile devices for enterprise asset management comes an increase in potential security risks for your business. Here are just some of the risks that you should look out for, and ways in which your organization can mitigate them:
Employees using their own mobile devices for business purposes likely have at least one mobile application to which they’ve granted permission to access their personal data. The problem is, it’s not only personal data that these applications are mining, it’s the corporate data found on your employees’ phones as well. This data is collected and sent to remote servers and advertising networks all over the world, putting it at high risk of being accessed by the wrong people. Employing mobile application management within your company is key to ensuring secure remote access to company data. If there is any risk of compromise, the employee in charge of mobile application management (an IT manager, perhaps) can erase sensitive data remotely, to ensure that a recently-discharged employee no longer has access to it, for example.
Lost or Stolen Devices
Obviously, one of the main benefits of these mobile devices for enterprise asset management is their mobility, and the ability to conduct business from anywhere, at any time. But by virtue of their mobile nature, these devices are at a higher risk of being lost or stolen. Ensure that you provide your employees with proper education about the security risks associated with losing a mobile device with access to corporate data, and the importance of immediately reporting these devices lost or stolen to avoid access of company files.
The broad availability of Wi-Fi in all locations, from Starbucks to even the most basic hotels is a great benefit for business, but it also poses a significant security risk that should be addressed. Most mobile devices do not have firewalls in place, which leaves them open to unauthorized access when connected to public Wi-Fi. A device connected to a public network uses communication ports to do so, and a port that is left unsecured could result in an outsider accessing sensitive information. You should always require that your employees have a firewall installed on any mobile devices used to access company information.
Lack of an Enterprise Asset Management Policy
The single most important thing you can do for your organization is develop a policy for enterprise asset management and mobile devices. This policy should educate your employees about the regulations, risks, and consequences pertaining to their position, and include detailed policies and procedures for the storage and access of information on these devices. Have employees read and sign the policy before they receive their company-issued device, or before you allow them to access company resources with their personal device.
These security risks could pose a major threat to your business if not properly thwarted, so take advantage of mobile application management, mobile firewalls, and company policies to keep your company as secure as possible while taking advantage of the endless possibilities that mobile devices offer.