Mobile Device Security Management: Best Practices

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The nature of work has shifted in recent years due to several key trends. The first is the addition of personal mobile technology, like smartphones and laptops, that many bring into the workplace. The second is a pivot toward work-from-home that stemmed from a massive global pandemic. Both changes have led to a shifting security environment as a spread-out device ecosystem highlights the need to protect company resources. That is why many enterprises have introduced mobile device security management plans.

With employees accessing company resources from home and workers bringing devices in from home, IT departments can feel their security is stretched thin. According to the Verizon 2022 Mobile Security Report, 45% of organizations experienced a mobile-related compromise in 2022, nearly double the amount in 2021.

There are a lot of changes companies have had to make to ensure security in the age of mobile workers. Following mobile device security management best practices is an important one. Enterprise mobile security is more important now than ever, and adhering to best practices is vital for data safety. Let’s look at five of the most important mobile device security management best practices that can ensure enterprise mobile security.

Conduct Regular Employee Training

One of the most important components of managing security in mobile phones is creating a policy and communicating it. Mobile device security management isn’t just about integrating applications and upgrading security systems. A key aspect of enterprise mobile security revolves around ensuring employee compliance, which will often come down to communication. Companies must communicate the critical risks of not managing mobile phone security, including malicious apps and websites, phishing, and ransomware. 

Regular meetings and employee training are crucial for enterprises hoping to ensure their future mobile security. This is where enterprises need to communicate their mobile device security policy. Expecting employees to comply without proper training and education is a huge risk. Companies must explain why mobile device management is essential, particularly with a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) company. Coming up with training exercises to drive home the point is essential, and it is a pivotal first step for enterprise mobile security.

Ensure Employees Avoid Public Wifi

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make in its mobile device security management policy is to allow employees to utilize company resources on public wifi. This must be a core part of a security policy and must be explicitly communicated to employees. This is because public wifi is a major cybersecurity risk, and with more employees than ever working from home, the possibility of employees using mobile devices connected to public wifi is a serious concern.

Public wifi is a major target for hackers and bad actors. Public wifi makes it easy for hackers to access data and breach systems, with common tactics like rogue networks, malware, and network snooping making access simple. It has to be communicated to employees that public wifi is not a safe way of working, particularly if they use work devices to access public wifi systems. Employees using public wifi for their work is a risk that can’t be tolerated. 

Integrate Mobile Modern MFA Solutions

Authentication solutions are a key component of security, and Multi-Factor Authentication, or MFA, is one of the many security methods enterprises focus on. Hackers have gotten better at getting past MFA solutions, but modern MFA has improved as well. Modern MFA solutions should use authentication methods that are un-phishable, meaning hackers will not be able to get past them.

Some of the common MFA methods that hackers have managed to work around are One Time Passwords, push notifications, and SMS messages. Modern MFA methods that are much harder to bypass include biometrics, like fingerprint scans or face recognition, or cryptographic keys. To help secure mobile devices that are connecting to company resources, MFA is a must. Companies must be certain that the right people are accessing their resources, and MFA ensures the identity of users. But the typical methods of MFA won’t cut it anymore. For a complex security environment, modern MFA is the solution.

Become a Passwordless Authentication-Powered Business

There are solutions for enterprises that want to remove the risk of password breaches altogether. According to Finances Online, 81% of data breaches result from stolen passwords. In a BYOD workforce, where employees are accessing company resources from many different channels, there are more devices for breaches to occur. That is why passwordless authentication has become popular. It is a way of ensuring only secure devices and system approved can log in and access data.

Passwordless authentication makes security systems less vulnerable to hacks stemming from stolen or forgotten passwords. It is also a way of limiting the number of devices that can be used to access resources. Passwordless authentication is based on inherent aspects of a device or individual rather than something like a password, which can easily be forgotten or stolen. With a passwordless authentication-driven security system, enterprises can ensure only the right people and devices can use resources.

Block Devices Not Following Mobile Security Protocols

Once you have communicated your policies to your team, you must enforce them. Employees not following mobile device security management policies are a threat to enterprise mobile security. If you are running your MDM on a system that allows you to configure these policies, you should ensure that you uphold them by blocking devices that have not implemented the requested changes.

When managing security in mobile phones, compliance with policy should not be a decision. It is something companies need to enforce, and if employees aren’t following protocol on their devices, warn them that their devices could be blocked. This will improve the security of the whole team, as one bad decision by an employee can cause serious damage. Companies should lay out exactly what they need their team to do and not tolerate deviations from the MDM policy. Give employees time to prepare and a fair warning, but if they are putting the company at risk, blocking a device is the security-minded decision. 

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