Concerns linger over mobile access control, security

Oct 09, 2014

2014-10-09 Smartphone.jpgWhile many organizations were initially hesitant to incorporate bring-your-own-device initiatives, more employers are warming up to the trend and the potential benefits it can provide. Business leaders still have concerns over security measures and the safety of their data in online file sharing systems from third party providers. However, by following mobile best practices and providing enterprise-grade protection, companies can ensure that workers are able to access necessary resources and still have governance over their sensitive data.

BYOD is no longer just a buzzword – it’s becoming an essential part of operations and productivity improvement efforts. The number of mobile policies is increasing on a regular basis, however, there are still some firms that aren’t using the right safety approach for their critical files. According to a survey by MobileIron and the Ponemon Institute, 38 percent of CIOs are confident that their systems can handle the potential mobile risks. Half of organizations don’t have an established mobile strategy, even though nearly 50 percent of businesses are expected to have a working BYOD initiative within the next year. This development shows that while mobility is considered an asset, decision-makers are not preparing adequately for it, leaving their IT team to handle potential threats without the right tools like mobile access control.

“Mobility is now a strategic initiative for many financial services CIOs,” MobileIron vice president of strategy Ojas Rege said. “However, mobility also catalyzes a fundamental re-think of existing IT skills and approaches, and it creates an opportunity for the CIO to lead the development of a new model of partnership between the business, IT and end users.”

Mitigating potential mobile risks
Using personal hardware within the business environment can be beneficial for employee efficiency, but it also enhances the chances that mission-critical data is stolen or lost. If users enable untrusted third-party apps to access the sensitive files, it could hurt business and compromise the data. However, there are steps to take to ensure that mobile file sharing is secure. Manufacturing.Net contributor Mika Javanainen noted that there are three areas to consider – content, cloud and audit trails and regulatory compliance. While many companies may try to lock down the device itself, it’s more important to protect the documents themselves throughout their lifecycle, meaning that encryption should be active for both at-rest and in-transit data. Overarching industry compliance and audit needs must also be addressed by any programs being used.

“Collecting evidence that specific processes have been followed is often one of the most challenging aspects of a manufacturer’s quality system,” Javanainen wrote. “Maintaining all content in a single system that has the ability to produce a complete audit trail that details when all pertinent employees and read and/or approved specific documents throughout the entire process, along with electronic signature support, is the key to mitigate this risk.”

Category: Data Security