Many enterprises today rely on their employees to have connectivity whether they’re in the office or on the road. The rise of remote workers and Bring Your Own Device is opening a new attack vector for hackers to exploit, according to this year’s iPass Mobile Security Report.
Even though many enterprises have implemented BYOD policies to better empower their mobile workers to work anywhere, anytime, 94 percent of enterprises surveyed said that it has increased mobile security risks.
The study found more than half of the enterprises surveyed suspect their mobile workers have been hacked or caused a mobile security issue over the past year. More than 80 percent of respondents blame Wi-Fi related security incidents stemming from workers logging into their servers and applications from coffee shops, airports, hotels, train stations, exhibition centers, and airplane flights.
So what do you do? Do you force workers to only access your systems within your four walls? For many companies, that’s simply not an option. The study found that many companies are trying to take control of where employees are using their BYOD devices, with the majority of those surveyed either already banning or planning to ban the use of free Wi-Fi hotspots.
More companies are also mandating that their employees use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to access their data and systems. The study found that nearly half of the enterprises surveyed are confident their mobile workers are using a VPN every time they go online. That means more than half the time, your mobile workers are accessing your sensitive data and intellectual property through unsecured networks when they’re not working inside your office.
The study finds that this isn’t just a U.S. issue, it’s one that raising its ugly head around the globe. However, building walls around your castle of data and applications can only take you so far. The minute you put up what you think is a high enough wall, hackers find ways to climb over them and continue exploiting your data.
It’s also important to think about your workers. They will find whatever means necessary to get themselves online, no matter how many security policies you put into place. If it’s getting in the way of their productivity, they will find a way around it.
Instead of building walls hackers and your own workers will climb over, put in place a proactive plan to resolve the security problems mobile working brings to the table. Securing connections through VPNs is a great step, but it will only take you so far. It’s a bandaid solution that doesn’t get to the root of the issue mobile working creates with regard to security.
First, understand where your security gaps are through a vulnerability assessment. Vulnerability assessments aren’t an opportunity to play the blame game. It’s an audit of what you have today in order to plan for a more secure tomorrow.
Educate your workers on the importance of mobile security and how it can enable greater connectivity and productivity, not paralyze it. Listen to their feedback and what makes the most sense for them when they are working outside of your office walls. Foster a sense of a shared interest in driving better data security in your enterprise.
Then, look for a managed security services provider like US Cloud with endpoint security services that ensure any device accessing your network won’t be susceptible to hackers trying to penetrate your enterprise’s defenses.
Using our next-generation anti-virus and activity recording for all your endpoints, US Cloud comprehensively monitors and protects your operating systems and infrastructure from cyberthreats. Contact US Cloud and get a quote today to take the next step to enabling your employees to work securely whenever and wherever they need to do so.