Are Corporate Secrets Safe on Mobile Devices?

August 5, 20158:00 am323 views

Many employees of large and medium-sized companies use personal mobile devices for work. However, only one in 10 is seriously concerned about keeping work information safe from notorious cybercriminal thefts that hack into corporate secrets on mobile devices of employees.

According to a survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab in conjunction with B2B International, the findings revealed 36 percent respondents store work files on mobile devices and 34 percent store work related email messages on their mobile.

Sometimes, more confidential information can also be found on users’ devices, such as passwords to corporate email accounts (18%), networks or VPNs (11%). Such information represents a valuable prize for cybercriminals hunting for corporate secrets.

Despite these risks, a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) business model offers many benefits to organisations, even those enterprises that have a great deal of confidential information. For example, easy access to corporate communications and applications alongside personal data and activities means that employees can see and manage tasks faster and more effectively.

See: Contrary Facts to Smartphone Usage in HR

However, to keep the business and any proprietary data secure, the integration of BYOD into the IT infrastructure must be implemented responsibly by employers. Kaspersky Lab’s specialists have several recommendations that should be borne in mind when connecting employees’ personal devices to corporate IT networks:

  • BYOD integration should be regarded as a specific project. This is especially true for large businesses. Every last detail of the integration process should be designed beforehand which should ideally include an infrastructure audit, a design stage and a pilot implementation.
  • To effectively protect mobile devices, it is important to use a comprehensive solution that ensures security across the entire corporate network, not one that focuses only on mobile devices. Without this, compatibility problems may arise and create extra work for system administrators.
  • Managing mobile devices in a large business requires additional skills over and above those demanded by routine system administration.
  • It is worth ensuring that there are appropriately qualified IT security specialists on the team. These can provide centralised management for all mobile devices within the corporate network, to ensure that all mobile applications are installed, removed and/or updated via dedicated corporate portals, and regulate data access levels and employee privileges are monitored.
  • Most importantly, the business needs to develop robust scenarios for how to remove personal devices from the corporate network if they are lost or stolen, or if an employee leaves the organisation. A procedure should be developed to remove confidential corporate data from these employee mobile devices and block access permanently to the corporate network.

By successfully creating and managing a BYOD network, businesses can simplify their IT operations while providing greater flexibility for employees. However, BYOD can potentially create security gaps if not managed effectively.

The best way to make BYOD work for a business is to ensure it is simple to control and easy to maintain without compromising security or performance.

Also read: Employees Changing Expectations Regards Privacy on Mobile Devices

Image credit: flickr.com

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