Mobile security has come a long way, especially considering that the whole technology has only been a serious player in enterprise IT security for about 15 years now. We’ve seen the innovation of better encryption techniques, heartier authentication processes, better monitoring solutions, and improved threat detection methods. Yet we continue to hear the dire warnings from security analysts saying mobile and BYOD is going to be the downfall of us all. What is the next frontier for mobile security and the IT help desk?
The Concept of the ‘Enterprise Without Borders’
Like it or not, accept it or not, approve it or not, BYOD is a fact of life for the enterprise. Some have dubbed the new IT environment the ‘Borderless Enterprise’. The concept highlights the fact that the majority of operations no longer originate or are centralized within the confines of the organization’s facilities. Workflow, operations, communications, and innovations now come from all over, even from sources external to the enterprise, such as the customers, vendors, partners, and mobile or remote workers.
Mobile as a ‘Spoke in the Wheel’ of Enterprise Security
Companies are going to have to rethink their policies regarding security and mobile. It’s time to take your eyes off ‘mobile security’ and begin to focus on overall security, particularly in regards to data (which is the enterprise’s most valuable asset) and applications. Mobile is just one aspect of this new take on security, and it begins with a smart, dynamic BYOD policy that has some teeth in it. Good BYOD policies are smart, because they take into consideration all known factors: dynamic, because they can be altered quickly to address new situations on the fly, and teethy, because there are real consequences for failing to comply.
Security Solutions Can’t Hinder the UX or Productivity
Why is the solution for evolving mobile security shifting away from focusing merely on mobile? Because enterprises cannot afford to sacrifice user experience and productivity in order to provide security. Once the data and apps are secure, the mobile experience can be smooth, seamless, and completely integrated into the IT infrastructure.
Enterprises need to focus on providing scalable solutions that can handle the influx of all the mobile devices accessing their networks, and assuring that all devices are able to be delivered a highly favorable user experience.
This evolution has begun, but there is still a long way to go. For instance, is your help desk software as easy to access via an obscure brand of tablet as it is via an iPhone or Android tablet? Is your website design responsive to accommodate a variety of screen sizes and video capabilities? What about your digital marketing techniques and your self-help portals, are these able to provide the same high quality user experience no matter what device the visitor uses to access the content? Most importantly, do your solutions allow mobile workers to access your systems and maintain a high level of productivity? A poorly designed IT infrastructure makes security so rigid that mobile work slows to a crawl, stunting productivity and lowering employee morale in the process.
Step back from mobile security and focus on data security and locking down those apps. Then you can achieve mobile security while providing a stellar UX at the same time.