Enterprise mobility – keep it secure

Three Business Blog Team
On: 20 Nov 2015
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Enterprise mobility – keep it secure

In the second of our TechBeat Survey blog series on Enterprise Mobility (see the first here), Nicola Mortimer, Head of Business Product, Marketing and Operations at Three Ireland, looks at mobile security and how Irish companies can continue to embrace the flexibility offered by mobile technology without compromising on security.

Our recent survey in association with TechBeat revealed some interesting results on Ireland’s use of mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops in the workplace.

Irish businesses are reaping the benefits of smart devices. The vast majority (85%) are reporting a significant boost to productivity and their employees are making the most of the flexibility they offer with 58.6% reporting the use of mobile devices as their primary work tool.

However, with this increased mobility comes the added risk that the smart devices given to employees for work could be lost or stolen and the data they hold compromised if it falls into the wrong hands. Our research shows that this is a very real concern for 76% of Ireland’s IT professionals.

Added to this, three quarters of survey respondents use their work smartphone for both business and personal use, thereby increasing the amount of time they are likely to be out and about with it. But users of these devices seem blissfully unaware of the data security risk they pose to their organisation if the device or the data held on it were to fall into the wrong hands.

It’s all too easy to leave a device behind on a train or in a taxi and this presents a real challenge for IT departments. A report from Ernst and Young has shown that 22% of the total number of mobile devices produced will be lost or stolen during their lifetime and more than 50% of these will never be recovered.

So with employees walking around with highly sensitive data in their bag or pocket, it is essential that organisations don’t trade the advantages of mobile working for compromised security.

Thankfully, device manufacturers have woken up to this very real risk and many product launches now feature improved security measures. For example iOS 9 recently moved from a four to a six digit passcode, and Samsung devices now feature the Knox security platform. In addition to these built-in security measures, organisations should treat their mobile devices in the same ways as PCs and laptops. As a bare minimum they need to ensure they are password protected, use encryption where possible and that all devices can be accessed remotely so they can be wiped in emergencies.

Respondents to the survey were asked if their IT department has the capacity to manage the security of its mobiles devices and alarmingly, one in three said they didn’t.

Managing the security of mobile devices is a major challenge for IT departments and this is where mobile device management (MDM) solutions can help ensure the necessary systems and policies are in place to protect them. When asked about whether their organisation uses an MDM system, 58% said they didn’t. This is clearly an area that many businesses need to address, especially if their employees are using the same devices for both business and personal use.

The survey’s findings clearly show how important it is that security concerns are taken seriously and that an effective system for managing these devices is put in place.

Don’t leave it to chance, develop your enterprise mobility strategy before it’s too late.

Mobile Device Management