Mobility is increasing in seemingly every industry, as employees are starting to demand more flexible work schedules and access to cutting-edge technology. This fundamental shift in work culture has disrupted the traditional office environment and has proven to be popular with many C-suite leaders who want to cut costs. Telework and mobile tools increase efficiency, reduce spending on in-office equipment and even help professionals stay more connected to partners and clients.
While these benefits are drawing more organizations to the mobile world, implementing these solutions shouldn't be a thoughtless process. In particular, business leaders need to consider how they plan on securing their mobile business solutions. All connected devices are at the risk of being accessed by malicious outside parties, but simply avoiding the use of these tools isn't practical in the modern corporate environment. As a result, having a robust security plan is an essential task for executives and IT managers.
Create a best practices policy
Most employees don't have a deep understanding of the intricacies of the cybersecurity sector. While many workers might be aware that there are potential threats out there, they may not know exactly what to look out for when browsing the Internet. This is why IT leaders need to develop a strategic security policy for all employees to follow. Such policies should include which networks can be accessed on devices that contain work-related data, what applications are approved for office use and even which devices should and should not be used.
Training employees on how to responsibly use mobile tools is an important task, because workers might be exercising insecure practices without even knowing it. In fact, Joan Goodchild of CSO Online noted that careless use of Wi-Fi is one of the most common security mistakes professionals make. This isn't because they don't value security, it's because they simply don't know that public Wi-Fi presents a risk.
Establish an update schedule
Security threats are constantly evolving and hackers are always looking for new ways to slip through the cyber backdoor, making security an endless battle for the IT team. This means that there is no single solution that can be implemented to keep company data safe forever. Software and applications need to be updated frequently, and it's important for all employees and IT members to stay on top of this initiative. Establishing a regular update and security audit period is a good way to make sure the entire organization's infrastructure is safe. Depending on the complexity and volume of a company's technology, more regular screens might be necessary. For example, a small business with a small IT setup may get away with auditing and updating once a month, while a large corporation might want to review systems at least once per week.
Many in-house tools are connected to employee-owned mobile devices through the cloud, so it's important to keep systems updated in order to protect all smartphone or tablet data workers may generate. In the world of hyper-connectivity, all doors must be securely locked.
Invest in anti-virus software
Anti-virus programs are some of the most effective and simple to install tools for keeping corporate systems safe. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education lists the use of such software as one of the primary ways for teleworkers to keep their data secured. When firewalls and other security tools are put in place to secure mobile solutions, some employees might believe they are immune to threats. However, even the most robust safeguards can be accessed on occasion, which is why anti-virus software is incredibly important. These programs will catch any attacks that slip through the cracks.
Use modern equipment
Legacy systems are more susceptible to data breaches than modern platforms, as hackers have had time to figure out to circumvent certain security systems on older technologies. While it isn't necessary to buy a brand new suite of servers, computers and network tools every year, it is important to make sure all physical systems are still industry grade. This requires close attention to developments in the cyber world, particularly when it comes to data breaches and attacks. IT leaders need to make sure they communicate that latest trends and concerns about security to C-suite members so new equipment can be purchased and installed quickly if a game-changing event arises that might make current technology a prime candidate for an attack.
Communicate with employees
With so many professionals working outside of the office due to mobile solutions, the lines of communication between the staff and IT teams can often become strained. Tech leaders need to make sure they are constantly discussing mobile usage with employees to understand how personnel are using smartphones and tablets for work purposes. Doing so will help them better predict when potential security flaws are based on worker behavior.