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Friday, May 25, 2012

Mobile Working in the Private Sector

Mobile and remote working have become important assets to businesses that are looking to improve productivity, increase flexibility and secure long-term growth.

However, there is an understandable reluctance amongst some organizations in the private sector when it comes to adopting the tools that are necessary to support mobile working. This is largely due to the fact that companies want to ensure that data security is still a paramount concern and that by letting information outside of an internal set-up it is not going to be abused.

High-profile cases of data loss resulting from misplaced laptops and smartphones have made headlines and caused embarrassment for public sector organizations. In the private sector, however, such incidents can be terminal for companies involved.

It is worth noting that remote access to business-critical information is only going to increase in the coming years. The IDC estimates that 70 per cent of employees will be able to get at this kind of data outside the physical constraints of the workplace, but it is important to state that while the formality of the traditional office space may be being eroded, the ability to make this new mobile world a safe place for business data to exist is not out of reach.

Patching Leaks

Almost a third of data leaks occur as a result of meddling from an internal agent, which means that disgruntled or misguided staff with the right kind of access privileges can cause havoc. While this does indicate that there is a need to ensure that the proper security checks are carried out before people are employed, it speaks to a wider need for training and education.

Accidental data loss is just as damaging as malicious breaches, so instructing employees on how best to handle business data when it is remotely accessible will help to prevent disasters.

Device Security

While it is impossible to completely eliminate the loss of devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets, some of the most problematic circumstances arise when it becomes apparent that a business did not properly protect the information stored on these gadgets.

There are a variety of options when it comes to device security that can help make the mobile working environment safe and acceptable. Data encryption is now seen as a basic precaution and there is absolutely no excuse for a lack of adequate password protection for individual devices.

Contemporary smartphone operating systems offer a number of security features that can help give businesses peace of mind if they are lost or stolen. You can remotely wipe information from the integrated memory and SD card of popular handset types like BlackBerry, as well as having the option to track the location of the missing device using GPS so that it can be recovered if necessary.

The value of lost devices will be far lower than that of the data which is stored on them, meaning that money spent on safe, secure devices and platforms will not need to be spent many times over further down the line after loss or theft.

 Access Management

The use of virtualization and the cloud can help to improve the security of the mobile working environment. By running apps and storing data remotely, not to mention making it accessible on a temporary basis from portable devices, you minimize the amount of precious information which is actively held on said devices.

In addition, taking a tiered approach to access, so that employees are granted admission to particular services based not only on their position in the company but also their location and the device they are using, will help with any security concerns. 
Daisy Group plc are leading providers of Unified Communications to private and public sector companies across the UK for over 12 years.  As communications specialists Daisy are able to advise companies on the most secure ways of allowing remote access to business-critical information through cloud services.
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