“It’s now like email and you could not imagine a business world without it. But it brings a lot of challenges. Security might be the obvious one, but there is the core set of requirements in delivering the productivity and collaboration tools to the users in the field. That all has to be controlled, rules for access to data and applications implemented and so on.
“The technology to manage mobility in a workforce has been playing catch up in some respects with the growing and changing demands of business. Once upon a time, you could, as it were, dial straight into the office from your laptop. That was direct and ultra-secure compared to today’s internet connectivity in a cloud and multi-device environment where ‘the office’ is in reality blended with multiple external elements.
“In that constantly evolving context, what we need to protect most securely now is the user and the identity. With most mobile working and managements systems today, the amount of data on the device is limited. But the device and its credentials is an entryway to the corporate systems and data. Data loss prevention, encryption and other techniques are now relatively easily deployed in MDM solutions. The coming GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation] in the EU imposes further obligations to protect any personal data.
“But protecting the individual user is a layer above all of that in a very real way. We all understand that the weakest point in any security structure is the human element. Weak passwords are common because people want it all to be easy. Passwords are all too often shared between colleagues. A senior manager and PA or secretary will often share because it seems an administrative convenience.
“So any organisation has to concentrate on user identity and authentication — two factor should now be the standard — and what that identity is allowed to do or see should be reviewed regularly. For obvious reasons, all of this applies particularly to mobile working where the only security is the user and device verification.”
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