Security has always been a key issue for organizations, but today's mobile workforce has heightened the issue to a “red alert.” The explosion of internet-connected mobile devices, combined with the rapid move to cloud-based IT infrastructure and applications, is a security headache of epic proportions for many IT departments.
Many security breaches are unintentional but are serious nonetheless. Employees frequently forward their email and documents to personal webmail accounts, unknowingly undermining IT security and compliance policies. Or they download and install collaboration or other productivity apps that copy documents to web-based repositories. And, of course, there is always the risk of a lost device.
Clearly, the consumerization of IT poses serious security threats at every level. There is no one magic bullet to secure enterprise data in an increasingly cloud-based and mobile world, but at a bare minimum, every mobile enterprise security solution should include precautions.
First is the separation of corporate data on personal devices to prevent leakage to personal apps and services and ensure employees' private information is untouched.
Second is consistent, centralized, policy-driven control, so IT managers can control data flows across all mobile devices, applications and operating systems from one place.
And last is prevention of rogue device network access. Administrators should make sure they can see, manage and control access for every device connecting to the network.
The stakes for securing and controlling the flow of enterprise apps, data and information are high. If one isn't controlling the myriad mobile devices and apps used to access the enterprise network and data, the possibility of data leakage is raised, as is the chance of the business being exposed to financial and reputational damage.