Mobile workforces are the power behind thousands of successful operations across the UK, embracing technology as a way to keep efficiency high and overheads low. These remote working task forces are (usually) equipped with the latest laptops, tablets and smartphones to do their job on the go, making device management a top priority for businesses that want to protect their tech investment, ensure mobile devices don’t put unnecessary strain on IT resources, and keep the business safe from data security risks.
Our top tips to keep your mobile devices bulletproof:
1. Deploy on a robust security platform
Security will dominate the conversation in 2018 with the GDPR changes coming into effect from May. To keep customer information safe and meet the new data protection obligations, businesses should:
- Ensure they’re deploying mobile tech on a robust security platform and
- Be 100% confident they meet the required standards before any corporate or customer data is added to devices
2. Consider complexity of deployment
Think about how difficult it is to get new devices up and running, apply software, police policies and manage them generally. Many organisations, even SMEs, have a mix of environments and multiple platforms to consider, so it’s a good idea to keep things simple and automate the onboarding process wherever possible.
3. Think about machine management as a service
IT management can be a laborious and time-consuming role for business, so it might make sense to pass the mantle to a professional team who can do it for you for less than it would take to resource it in-house. That way, you can rest assured each device is set up with the software, policies, configurations, and authentication required to keep you safe and compliant. A reputable IT service provider can stay on top of software licences too, and ensure you get the best possible price.
All of this can all be done remotely, and using a cloud-based platform, your IT provider can act as a virtual CTO or CIO to update existing devices, enrol new devices, keep security tight and document everything, so your mobile device management strategy is transparent and controlled.
4. Customise Configurations
Some businesses see benefits in creating an ‘ideal image’, allowing them to deploy devices quickly with a customised configuration that meets all their business and security needs.
This is used a lot in retail and sales environments, where tablets are used to interact with customers - for example, if a sales assistant wanted to show a customer how furniture looks in a different colour or style, or give someone an illustration for finance.
A customised configuration also means devices can be locked down, making them tamper-proof, and enabling you to purge data in the event of a security breach.
5. Encrypt data
Choose your software with encryption in mind, train employees, and automate as much as you can to help prevent the risk of data theft, loss or leak. It’s no longer enough to just encrypt your files – every device, whether it is in the office or in the hands of a team member on the go, needs this security measure in place.
6. Set passwords and auto-lock
It sounds simple, but then most hacks are made possible because of simple slips ups. Every device in your network should be password protected with an auto-lock for extra peace of mind.
7. Invest in antivirus software
Mobile devices represent the fastest-growing frontier in hacking, but a strong antivirus app that’s well maintained will help see off most threats.
8. Back up regularly
The simple habit of regular back-ups of data can make a massive difference when it comes to keeping your devices secure, and make any incident that results in a remote data purge much less painful. You should also think about storing important documents and GDPR-protected data in the cloud to reduce your risk even further.
9. Keep downloads to a minimum
Encourage best practices among your employees and share a whitelist of acceptable apps that can be added to devices, without jeopardising the network.
10. Be careful with WiFi
Open networks are a popular choice for hackers who use company information and customer data for internet fraud. Employees should be educated on the dangers, and encouraged to stick to hot spots they know and trust, and always opt for a secure connection.
Mobile devices have made remote working an effective and efficient way to do business, but with the decentralisation of devices - whether you use a BYOD or CYOD approach – comes the increased risk of security breaches and added IT management headaches.
An outsourced IT service such as pebble.it can help you put the right mobile management strategy in place, and provide the IT support you need to ensure that you can stop worrying about the tech, and start focusing on running your business to its full potential.
Find out how efficient outsourced IT support can help your business with mobile device management and tech maintenance by organising an IT audit with us: