A mobile office has become an indispensable part of the modern workplace. It is estimated that by 2023, 43% of the global workforce will be mobile. In numbers, that’s about 1.88 billion, and if you think about it, that’s a lot. Companies, both big and small, have to adapt to mobile workforce security standards because valuable work information is subject to various forms of threats and misuse.
If you want to keep your business information secure, regardless of the number of devices and employees who work remotely, you should improve your mobile workforce security. In this article, we’ll show you how exactly you can do that. Without any further ado, let’s get right into it!
What is a Mobile Workforce?
Mobile Workforce is a group of employees who perform their office activities through modern technologies like smartphones, computers, the internet, and other smart devices. Due to the portability of facilities, the physical office is not mandatory. It is the best possible solution to work at home during the COVID situation. Generally, knowledge workers are the main employees of the Mobile Workforce.
How to Ensure Mobile Workforce Security
After the outbreak of Corona Virus diseases (Covid-19), the utilization of the Mobile Workforce increased a lot. But, there is a great concern for Mobile Workforce Security. To ensure the security of the mobile workforce, we found seven techniques.
1. Get Professional Assistance
The security of mobile devices is a complex task. Even if you run a small business, you and your employees may have no time to deal with it, especially with all the duties you have already. That’s why you may consider hiring an outside company to handle it for you.
Vulnerability assessments and penetration testing by Bulletproof or other companies may help your business immensely. You’ll discover which areas of your system require improvement and learn how to protect sensitive data. Getting help from professionals is your best bet to improve mobile workforce security without overloading your employees with new responsibilities. That’s why it’s a smart investment.
2. Apply Multi-Factor Authentication System
Multi-Factor Authentication solutions are practical and easy to implement. There are many apps for mobile devices you can download to achieve that. Regardless of the operating system on your employees’ devices, you’ll find apps that work on Android phones and iPhones, such as Google Authenticator. MFA will prompt your workforce to verify their identity whenever they remotely log into work apps or systems. Only authorized people will have access to such information, so you’ll be able to quickly detect security incidents.
3. Utilize Identity and Access Management (IAM)
IAM allows you to control access at the identity level from a centralized system. If your business relies on a mobile workforce, tracking and disabling their access is more complicated than in the case of office workers. Without a system like IAM, acting on mobile security threats on time is simply impossible.
Consider integrating your HR team with IAM. Your HR employees will be the first to get the news about potential mobile malware or cyberattacks. IAM will help them handle security breaches quickly and efficiently.
4. Track Mobile Assets for Mobile Workforce Security
Employees who use mobile devices for remote work are at risk of getting them lost or stolen. The event of compromising important information due to misplacement or theft is as unpleasant as it is preventable. Installing asset tracking and inventory apps on remote work devices is a great way to detect mobile security threats quickly. They can be pricey, but they’re your best bet to enhance data security, block unwanted access, and possibly allow you to retrieve mobile assets.
5. Educate Your Employees
Mobile security is no joke, especially when the data your remote workforce handles is crucial to keep your business up and to run. Your employees may feel disconnected from your company the longer they work remotely. The home office has numerous advantages; nevertheless, people should be aware of the risks it carries. That’s why you should educate your mobile workforce on matters relevant to them, such as the dangers of using public wi-fi networks and the importance of data security. This way, you’ll ensure everyone is on the same page as you, even if they’re not based in your office.
6. Have a Realistic Security Policy
Having a good security strategy is one thing. However, if your employees don’t know about it or fail to understand how it works and which rules they have to follow, even the best solutions won’t work against mobile security threats. What’s more, if the rules are too rigid and unrealistic, people will ignore them. As such, it aims to come up with a strategy that’s easy to implement and follow and offer alternative solutions whenever a certain policy can’t be applied for a remote work environment.
7. Don’t Forget About a Contingency Plan
Having a contingency plan in case a mobile threat happens is just as important as having a strategy to prevent it. For that, you should focus on two elements: drives and remote device wipes.
Make sure you encrypt your drives; this way, they’ll be unreadable to unauthenticated users. Additionally, you can invest in remote device wipe software, which allows you to delete all data on a compromised mobile system, as soon as it’s reconnected to the internet.
These strategies will work in cases when mobile devices are lost or stolen. Sure, you’ll lose a mobile asset, and that will generate additional costs because you’ll have to buy replacements. However, your data will be intact, which is far more valuable.
Data breaches and information theft can pose a serious threat to the continuity of your business. As more employees are expected to shift into the remote mode of work, it’s more important than ever to establish an efficient strategy that will be easy to understand to all parties involved. Make sure you implement useful, reasonable solutions, and you’ll be able to retain your peace of mind in case of any emergency.
Writer: Julia Łysakowska