Today’s Mobile Workforce: Don’t Compromise on Cybersecurity

In today’s uncertain working world, it is vital your teams can work anywhere. However, mobile working introduces fresh security challenges.

Before the pandemic, mobile workers accounted for almost 40% of the global workforce and entire businesses went remote, tapping into talent from around the world to drive growth and reduce the operating costs of running large workplaces. It is the future in a world where soulless office cubicles and noisy open office spaces are fast disappearing. It is also a win-win for many employees too: they can find a better work-life balance and be more productive and engaged.

What Are the Security Challenges?

However, there is more to remote work than just giving all your employees a smartphone or introducing a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy. It is a culture change too. The fear business leaders have of losing control is perhaps the biggest blocker, but one most have faced during 2020 without any soft landing.

More use of mobile devices expands attack surfaces substantially, giving cyber-criminals new opportunities to exploit your most valuable asset – data. So what your expensive mobile devices? They have a bad habit of getting lost or stolen. With the number of connected devices currently standing at 3.5 for every person on Earth, information security needs to be scalable, multilayered and centrally managed.

What’s more, there’s another problem: more people connecting to company resources over unsecured home and public networks.

Employees’ Device Use Risks Corporate Security

Let’s face it: many of us are guilty of some pretty appalling mobile security habits. Over a quarter pf mobile users do not even lock smartphone screens, despite devices being used for everything from business email to personal banking. Losing the device itself is nothing compared to hackers or other unauthorized third parties having access to every connected account and file on the device.

With teams who are regularly working remotely, you need to lay down ground rules. A robust BYOD policy is a critical starting point. It should clearly state which devices and apps are allowed, which security measures must be in place and how corporate data can be shared. You probably do not want remote-working employees accessing your data from a jailbroken iPhone or an ancient laptop with a long-obsolete operating system.

Take Control with Mobile Device Management

Having a policy your employees understand is essential, but we all make mistakes. You and your employees do not want to be living in constant fear that a single mistake could leave the whole company open to a data breach.

Today, IT admins need visibility of their digital assets across a constantly expanding array of different devices and operating systems. Mobile device management (MDM) is the technology accompaniment to your BYOD policy to enforce the rules while allowing admins to keep track of their apps and data. MDM lets administrators monitor, manage and secure devices used for work and grant or revoke access rights as needed. If a device is reported lost or stolen, they can remotely wipe it and revoke access rights straight away.

Plug the Leaks with Data Loss Prevention

While the tired stereotype of the hooded hacker lurking in a basement staring at lines of code still reigns supreme, most cyber-criminals do not know much about hacking: 90% of attacks include a social engineering element. Rather than exploiting weaknesses in technology, they play on human ignorance to lure their victims.

Often, it is the easiest thing in the world for a scammer to dupe their victims into giving away confidential information over unsecured channels, especially if they’re impersonating a colleague or a rep from an organization they know. If an employee receives an email from someone masquerading as a technical support agent from a known service provider asking for remote access, there is a good chance someone will fall for it. The attacker can then gain access to your entire business network from one compromised employee-owned laptop.

Cloud Security Can Drive Innovation

Information security need not be a blocker; it can be an enabler of innovation, and today, it’s vital to survive. With business apps and data hosted in the cloud, IT admins can enjoy centralized management and full visibility of their digital assets. Employees have better tools to share data, with less reliance on overloaded email systems. Security priorities shift from endpoint security to securing your data and software in the cloud.

Workforce mobility is not about losing control. Today’s MDM and endpoint security solutions let you maintain full control over the security and compliance of your data, wherever your workers are.

Explore Kaspersky Security Solutions for Enterprise to predict, prevent, detect and respond to cyber-attacks.

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