3 ways to ensure secure mobile file sharing

Oct 14, 2014

2015-02-10 Mobile Security.jpgOrganizations are adopting bring-your-own-device initiatives with more enthusiasm than ever before as the trend’s potential outweighs the potential risks it brings. BYOD offers businesses a means to help employees be more productive, whether they are working from or outside of the office. However, because consumer-grade applications do not have the appropriate capabilities for enterprise use, BYOD and online file sharing programs have raised numerous security concerns over the protection of sensitive documents. While there is reason to be worried about the safety of mission-critical information, by using these best practices, staff members will be able to use their devices and still ensure that data is not compromised:

1) Leverage business-grade features
The main reason for any trepidation over mobile file sharing and BYOD stems from the prevalent use of consumer products. Many of these programs do not have the necessary capabilities most business users would require, but they continue to access these accounts due to their convenience. ITBusinessEdge noted that by giving employees tools that are easy to use and nonrestrictive for their operations, the staff are more likely to use corporate-sponsored solutions. This can include a product like Memeo C1 that enables workers to access their resources from their mobile device at any time while simultaneously allowing IT to have oversight into the location of sensitive files.

2) Create an adaptive policy model
With any BYOD environment, it’s important to establish a policy that details requirements and data best practices. This will ensure that employees understand what is expected of them and how to appropriately leverage file sharing solutions. However, this does not mean that once the strategy is put to paper it is expected to stand until the end of time. For example, Business Spectator contributor DC Cashman noted that secure mobility is substantially different now that it was in 2012. As mobile demands change, the policy will need to be adjusted as well in order to ensure that decision makers are observing current trends and able to support user efforts. This adaptive model will also allow mobilization to scale in response to company capabilities and enable maximum benefits.

“Traditionally, it was about controlling the device with MDM software, which left enterprise data at risk,” Cashman wrote. “Now, it’s about making sure your enterprise mobility solution can securely manage apps, data and devices.”

3) Make BYOD an active part of business operations
While many organizations see mobile devices as a tool for only a few activities, the hardware is becoming much more capable of performing complex processing, allowing employees to do more than ever with their equipment. Some decision makers have outright banned staff from bringing their personal devices to their jobs. But, as eWEEK noted, BYOD should never be seen as a problem, as it is an enabler. It’s true that there are numerous factors that require consideration, such as what hardware to support and which applications will be allowed for enterprise use, but these should not deter organizations from embracing BYOD.

The business may also choose to create its own applications, which would then bring up the debate of what devices to code for and what functions to include. In mobile file sharing, Memeo C1 provides an extensive list of capabilities for employee use as well as data governance. Rather than allowing BYOD and these types of programs in only certain aspects of company operations, rebuild the strategy to include the mobile effort as a key tool for innovating essential processes.

As BYOD becomes more prevalent in the workplace, it will be important to prepare employees for the new initiative. By following mobile best practices, workers will be able to use their devices seamlessly for daily procedures and improve their efficiency.