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It’s easy to be mobile, harder to stay secure

Written by Lanware

Thursday, 4 January, 2018

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A guide to managing mobility in the financial services sector

Mobile security in the workplace is an ongoing challenge: how are your employees using their devices for work-related tasks and personal use?
  • Effective Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) enables users to be productive without compromising security
  • Employees often prefer using their personal device for work-related tasks
  • The right balance between mobile security and available features is different for each organisation
  • AirWatch secures corporate data by segregating it from personal data, across any device

Our previous blog post highlighted how EMM allows organisations to balance risk with opportunity, but also flagged that it could not be assumed to be a plug-in solution. Rather it needs to be understood and managed; getting this right is critical in order to realise the return on investment and ensure the required level of mobile security.

The business case for EMM
A company mobile, on the face of it, would appear to give employees flexibility, while being secure because it can be controlled. However, this tactic doesn’t account for the human element. The user may not like the chosen option, or its use may be restricted to work-related tasks for example. In these, and various other scenarios, a personal smartphone will also be carried – with the possibility that it is used instead of the work one, potentially compromising the security of corporate data.

Alternatively, an organisation might opt for a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy in the first place. This gives users the familiarity that can help productivity, but opens the security floodgates.

EMM enables users to access corporate data and documents securely on their own, preferred device, while they are on the move. Previous downtime, such as the journey to a meeting, can now be used constructively without increasing risk.

(Mobile) security is an ongoing challenge
But while it’s easy to be mobile, it’s less straightforward to be secure, and EMM comes with caveats; namely it needs to be understood and managed.

Critical to acknowledge is the sliding scale between the features available and the level of security. A feature-heavy device, that lets users open, edit and save documents for example, creates more opportunities for security breaches, while stronger security reduces the features that can be used (and therefore potentially encourages users to look for a ‘workround’ – which is likely to compromise security). The balance point on this spectrum will vary for each organisation.

At the same time, technology needs to be reinforced by behaviour, which often requires a change in business culture. Leaders at the organisation need to set the example by following the rules to keep corporate data secure. Documents can’t be downloaded from the corporate network, and then uploaded to an electronic mobile-signing app for example.

Good communication is also essential. People are more amenable to abiding by the rules if they understand why they are there and the implications of not following them, rather than viewing them as an edict from the IT security department.

The advantages of AirWatch, the market-leading EMM
Data loss prevention is the key to any mobile security solution, but it has to be within a framework that is straightforward to use.

Having extensively road-tested several of the most popular products on the market, Lanware’s chosen EMM tool is the market-leader, AirWatch from VMware, a company that is focused on raising the bar and empowering users to be productive; all of its products are the best in their markets.

In summary, AirWatch provides a portal that is ‘contained’, so that corporate data is segregated from personal data. In other words it secures work-related apps and data on a personal device, resolving the technology-related challenges outlined above.

Within that, specific advantages include:

  • It is not limited to mobile. The next-generation of device management, Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) is enabled; all devices that connect to the corporate network can be secured, from mobile and desktop to the Internet of Things and wearable technology (smart glasses). This simplifies IT administration and end-user experience.
  • It is flexible and scaleable, and has a structured low-start pricing scheme; users can buy more licences as they require them, rather than second-guessing the number that they will need in a year’s time, for example.
  • It is a cloud-based solution, so the infrastructure on-site is light and investment time is kept to a minimum.
  • Secure log-in is quick and easy due to VMware’s Workspace One putting ID management and app management under one umbrella.
  • Managing apps is straightforward; detailed reporting shows the apps on each device for example and allows apps to be removed remotely if required.
  • It is highly reliable; high levels of security are maintained without draining IT resource.

It’s not just Lanware that’s a fan. Gartner has placed AirWatch as a leader in its EMM Magic Quadrant sector for seven consecutive years, pointing to its ease of setup and intuitive management interface as particular

It’s also a favourite with key technology publications, winning PC Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Award for the past two years. Ease of use and the facility to start slowly and expand as needs grow are highlighted, and the observation made recently that AirWatch has widened its capability lead over other offerings in the market.

Mobility is essential for twenty-first century productivity
At its core, EMM revolves round giving the mobile generation the experience they rely on in their personal lives, but in a secure and manageable way. Enabling flexibility in where and how people work is increasingly important for organisations to maintain and drive up productivity, ensure high levels of customer service and attract the right talent.

To talk to Lanware about how to manage a mobile workforce without compromising corporate data, please contact us

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