March 13, 2017

What you can do to improve mobile device security

Today’s workplace for many people is their home, coffee shop or even a beach. We are never far away from our laptop, smartphone or tablet. In fact, Forrester Research’s U.S. Telecommuting Forecast notes that 34 million Americans work from home. This number is expected to reach a staggering 63 million – or 43 percent of the U.S. workforce – by 2016. But, what challenges does bringing your own device to wherever you are create?

BYOD creates significant benefits for both workers and their employers, but at the same time it does increase risk. BYOD increases employee flexibility by having a familiar personal device always available. Plus, business today is no longer just a matter of getting emails when you are out of the office. It’s about connecting people, no matter where they are, to the applications they need to get their jobs done. For companies, it can mean lower overhead, increased productivity and job satisfaction.

However, BYOD can also increase data loss, whether by employees losing devices or compromising cybersecurity. In a study from Ovum, 17.7 percent of survey respondents who bring their own devices to work claim that their employer’s IT department has no idea about their behavior, and 28.4 percent of IT departments actively ignore BYOD behavior.

Six steps to improve mobile security
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (U.S. Department of Commerce) report “Guidelines for Managing the Security of Mobile Devices in the Enterprise,” organizations should implement the following guidelines to improve the security of their mobile devices:

  1. Have a mobile device security policy 
  2. Develop system threat models for mobile devices and the resources that are accessed through the mobile devices
  3. Consider the merits of each provided security service, determine which services are needed for their environment, and then design and acquire one or more solutions that collectively provide the necessary services 
  4. Implement and test a pilot of mobile device solutions before putting the solution into production
  5. Fully secure each organization-issued mobile device before allowing a user to access it 
  6. Regularly maintain mobile device security

How can Arrow help?
As an Arrow solutions provider, you have many resources available to you to help your customers establish a safe and secure BYOD environment. With Arrow’s security solutions, you have access to proven leading technologies to help protect your customers’ businesses. In addition, Arrow’s Solution Practice Leaders are well versed in the data center security market opportunity and supplier solutions. They can provide the business planning expertise you need to leverage this opportunity and help build your practice.

If you would like more information on helping your customers with their BYOD environments, contact your Arrow representative.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted in June 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness,