Planning for Human Error: Optimizing Mobile Devices with Digital Identity

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Enterprise-owned mobile devices are an integral part of modern business operations, especially in mission-critical industries like manufacturing and retail where consumer demands drive the need for greater productivity and flexibility.

Leveraging mobile devices to communicate quicker, take inventory, and conduct routine tasks, employees can seamlessly do their jobs without relying on paper or being tethered to a workstation.

However, employees are also human, and their behaviors can inadvertently compromise the security of the enterprise.

90% of successful cyberattacks and 70% of successful data breaches originate at endpoint devices.

Without an employee-centric mobile strategy to proactively plan for mobile device adoption, even enterprise-owned and shared mobile devices can pose significant security risks, drain IT budget and resources, or be relegated to the drawer or shelf.

It’s estimated that 90% of successful cyberattacks and 70% of successful data breaches originate at endpoint devices, according to a 2023 Verizon Report.

Addressing the human factor of device use is essential to ensuring security and compliance while maximizing mobile investments.

The Human Factor of Mobile Devices

We use mobile phones because they make our lives easier. So, when the device we use in the workplace doesn’t make work easier and makes the simplest task feels like an obstacle, we will find workarounds.

When transitioning traditional workloads to mobile devices, passwords are often the primary cause of friction.

Employees using shared devices are typically responsible for manually logging in and out of the device as well as each individual application, which is time-consuming and burdensome.

This results in devices remaining logged in, increasing the risk of unauthorized access and unintentionally causing security, privacy, and compliance issues. It also stalls processes when users can’t remember passwords, unfortunately leading some organizations to adopt shared user IDs across devices and applications, increasing the likelihood of a breach.

Lack of accountability in device management also leads to higher costs over time. Employees may walk out the door with a device in their pocket and forget to bring it back, leading to lost, stolen or broken devices. This is not only a security and privacy risk, but a drain on already strained IT budgets.

Where Are Your Devices?

IT teams have a responsibility to enable quick access, monitor access activity, and secure the data accessed on enterprise-owned devices. However, asset tracking and inventory management for large device fleets is immensely tedious and burdensome to do manually and when considering shared devices that may be used by multiple individuals or teams, the task becomes near impossible. Without proper management tooling and processes, IT teams will struggle to track the activities, configurations, and security status of these devices.

Manual tracking processes like spreadsheets or paper-based logs are prone to human error, delays in updating information, and lack of real-time visibility, making it challenging to maintain an accurate  record of device locations. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, employees can become the weakest link in an organization's security chain, especially considering that 81% of organizations faced malware, phishing and password attacks last year, which were mainly targeted at users. While balancing usability and security feels like a game of give-and-take between end-users and IT teams, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, organizations today are optimizing the capabilities of enterprise-owned devices to improve productivity, device management, and security by adopting a digital identity strategy.

Optimizing Enterprise-Owned Mobile Devices

Organizations can significantly reduce the risk of human error by eliminating barriers to access and security friction, all while improving monitoring and managing capabilities for IT teams. The demand for personalized, seamless experiences on mobile devices is growing. Enabling this experience with digital identity is key to improving both efficiency and security to optimize IT investments while budgets are stretched thin.

A digital identity strategy optimizes mobile investments and reduces device loss by providing streamlined access to devices. Users can easily log in to devices using their unique digital identity with transparent authentication methods such as a badge or biometric authentication, and then seamlessly access their applications with single sign-on (SSO).

This eliminates the need for remembering multiple passwords and reduces the time spent on logging in to individual apps throughout the day.

By simplifying the login process, users can access any shared device and its applications more efficiently, improving productivity,  promoting accountability and tracking, reducing device loss and driving cost savings. Automated provisioning ensures that devices are configured and personalized for each user, while de-personalization removes user credentials and sensitive data when the session ends. This strategy ensures that no sensitive information persists between users and sessions.

We’re all creatures of habit. Our personal mobile devices operate smoothly, so in the workplace we expect no different. Without a clear strategy, organizations can limit the productivity the device was meant to enable in the first place.

Accounting for human error and focusing on digital identity is critical to streamlining mobile device access and unlocking the cross-functional benefits of mobile investments.

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