Employees with mobile devices can pose a serious security risk to your organization
14 November 2011

Employees with mobile devices can pose a serious security risk to your organization

With the advent of BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device to work-- more and more employees are taking their smartphones and tablets to the office.

This can expose your organization to all sorts of security problems and potential threats.

Mobile devices are easy to lose. There is an additional responsibility of the leadership within the organization to manage the access and resources employees have, and be able to shut down access quickly if a security issue occurs. Having a strategy in place and a way to quickly control access to resources is an important aspect of mobile security planning and maintenance.

IBM recently announced the Hosted Mobile Device Security Management Service. Capabilities in the new mobile security service include:

  • Configuring employee devices to comply with security policies and actively monitoring to help ensure compliance over time
  • Securing data in the event that a device is lost or stolen
  • Helping to find a lost or stolen device – wherever it is
  • Protecting against spyware and viruses
  • Detecting and removing malicious and unapproved applications
  • Monitoring and tracking user activity
  • Enabling more secure connectivity

Mobile security can be solved and is containable. Anyone in IT has a new set of challenges to deal with and rapidly changing technology to keep up with. Many people are familiar with the security and management capabilities of RIM and Blackberries, and they are now asking for the same level of comfort for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.

If you don’t have a security policy in place for mobile devices in your company, you should start putting one together and implementing it now. Think about how many devices will need to be supported, what kinds, to what they will need access in terms of processes and data, and what you need to do when something goes wrong.

An employee need to understand that if he or she wants to use that cool new tablet for company work then he or she will need to abide by the rules and policies set down to protect the organization’s assets. There’s a spectrum of possibilities between “you can’t use your own to device” to “you can do whatever you want.”

As an industry we’re trying to help companies move from the first situation to something in the balanced middle that provides the right level of security while maintaining the convenience, usability, and power of the devices.

Get to know the security settings in your device and start to understand them better. More security tips for mobile devices will be coming over the next few days so stay tuned for more details, recommendations, and suggestions.