There have been a lot of changes in the workplace, and more so in the last two years than in the decade before. While the digital revolution has undoubtedly softened the blow of COVID, the uptake in mobile devices with access to enterprise resources has exploded.
It isn’t just mobile phones; mobile devices include laptops, tablets, smartphones, printers and more that help employees and employers work remotely. Laptops were the first step in the digital revolution and business development, and the use of smartphones in the workplace is the current trend. It’s become so much easier to access corporate information and share information with others.
This, of course, comes with a risk – mobile devices with Internet connection capabilities can be dangerous, too. Companies must employ mobile device security practices in the workplace (and for those working remotely) to ensure data protection and meet legal requirements.
Essential cons of mobile devices
The last two years has shown us that a higher number of employees prefer working remotely, usually from their homes. Mobile devices are a huge part of this, but not just for work from home – mobile devices allow employees to work from different locations, including home, an airport, and while on business trips.
However, improved availability to access corporate networks can increase the risk for cyber-attacks. For instance, some companies maintain a bring-your-own-device policy in hybrid work models. However, your own mobile devices and the Internet connection can be much more precarious than an office network. Also, employees can use unprotected devices, use public wireless Internet and forget to lock their devices, increasing opportunities for data breaches.
According to the 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, small and large organizations have experienced the same number of cyber-attacks for the first time in this digital age. Based on an analysis of cyber-attack incidents, every fourth employee of both small and big companies has received malicious messages from cyber-criminals.
As stated in the Report, every third company has suffered data breaches related to mobile device use. Cyber-criminals can install malicious programs on mobile devices and influence millions of other users. These incidents have massive consequences, for instance, loss of valuable information, time, money, and experience of reputational damage.
Enterprise VPN – the best solution
A key way way to improve mobile device security and protect the relevant information is to implement enterprise Virtual Private Networks or VPNs. The benefits of using a VPN are tremendous. Enterprise VPN encrypts your activity and protects your data in transit across unsecured networks (e.g. public WiFi hotspots, other people’s homes, etc).
An Enterprise VPN can also restrict who and how people can access corporate resources; e.g. access to a shared drive or database system may be restricted to those who can successfully authenticate to an enterprise VPN server.
There are of course other benefits to a VPN too:
- Circumventing data and bandwidth throttling.
- Obtaining another IP address which may mask where activity is carried out.
- Encrypting data when using unknown or 3rd party WiFi networks to prevent eavesdropping.
VPN services can be the cheapest way to ensure a cyber-safe environment. With a VPN, companies can save money. The average price of VPN services ranges from 2-15 dollars per month. VPN is an easy-to-use measure, too.
In conclusion, a properly developed and maintained VPN creates a secure corporate network for employees and employers to reach all data, protect mobile devices and decrease the possibilities of malicious data breaches.