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Enterprise mobility can be an asset if risk is mitigated

Enterprise Mobility is definitely on an upward trajectory, but businesses need to ensure their processes are tailored to effectively handle the risks and exploit the advantages.

This is according to Alexei Parfentiev, an analyst at leading IT security firm SearchInform, who highlights remote employee productivity, advent of cloud services and security of corporate data accessible externally as key market drivers.

Parfentiev says enterprise mobility has always been about using personal devices, cloud services and cross-platform applications – and today there is no line between personal and professional use of devices.

“Employees seem to prefer their own smartphones and laptops for business purposes. The mobility actually implies the possibility of communication among employees whenever or wherever they are, that’s why using their own devices seems rational,” he notes.

However, the company warns that remote employees ought to be treated with caution.

Parfentiev says controlling access to corporate information when any gadget is allowed to read it remains a challenge for the companies and exposes business to an increasing level of risk.

“It is important to isolate the private space from the professional. For example, you cannot just block access to information partly – this will restrict business processes,” he adds.

SearchInform’s position is that cloud services is most likely to put a company at risk. “The more business data out in the cloud or allotted to remote employees, the more difficult it is to ensure data security and monitor the efficiency of business processes in general – as well as the productivity of each remote employee in particular,” says Parfentiev.

Many commercially available applications are open to popular cloud services, and employees who use their own devices should remember that all the confidential information stored on them can be exposed any time.

According to SearchInform, while cloud storage is convenient, many organisations choose to create their own servers.

“To have their own infrastructure is much more expensive, but this guarantees data security.

The onus is on businesses to not only protect confidential data, but monitor remote employee efficiency as well,” Parfentiev continues.

The awareness of the control leads to greater productivity and responsibility regarding security regulations. For example, a time management system will detect and minimise negligent attitude to work processes and guarantee smooth interaction between a remote employee and a company.

Alert to the right technologies

Parfentiev says there are many solutions and useful tools to support enterprise mobility. When it comes to integrating solutions, however, the company must be aware it will have to implement the infrastructure for remote work, ensure security and control the efficiency of remote employees.

“This algorithm is popular among small companies that do not have the opportunity to spend money on their own equipment, software and support, as well as among large businesses – most companies are familiar with workplace virtualisation and cloud servers. There are many premium and free instruments on the market, from Google cloud to industry-specific business software,” he adds.

Primarily companies should examine their business processes and analyse which categories risks fall under – either technology or human-related.

“Why? Because the company can use the most modern protection tools, solutions for access control and cryptography, but this would be of little use if disgruntled employees decide to teach their employer a lesson,” Parfentiev explains.

Decision makers need to consider who in the company is responsible for theft, kickbacks etc., who benefit from their position, take bribes, are into espionage, leak data to competitors, who are the source of reputational risks, who are disloyal to the company and allow public negative statements about it, who use company resources for personal enrichment?

“Having studied these risks you will be able to answer the question – which IT solutions can help you to protect your business from such threats,” says Parfentiev.