In this day and age, enterprise mobility is becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. In fact, in a recent survey, the Aberdeen Group found that best-in-class enterprises are three times more likely to tie business workflow to users’ mobile devices.
The challenge that many businesses are facing, though, is security. They are hesitant to implement enterprise mobility and bring your own device (BYOD) strategies because they fear data breaches and loss. However, these businesses have failed to realize that several steps can be taken to strengthen wireless and mobile security.
Why you need security
Enterprise IT and security departments are concerned about sharing a network with diverse mobile devices, especially if these devices are not monitored. A lack of governance over these devices could result in network threats and compliance complications.
When it comes to enterprise mobility, the top security concerns are passcode enforcement, device encryption, data breach, and data loss. Another main threat is uncontrolled data sharing leading to data leakage — because in an enterprise mobility scenario, users can share data across several cloud-connected endpoints.
The time and effort it takes to put a security plan in place is well worth the money that could be saved. For example, many policies include locking or wiping data on stolen or lost devices. Depending on the size of your business and the sensitivity of your files, data loss could cost hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars.
Getting started with a wireless security policy
A formal wireless security policy for your enterprise mobility strategy can help you regulate your wireless network and mobile devices by outlining who will be using the network and what they will be allowed to do on their devices.
Here are a few things your policy should include:
- An activity clause — Explain what is allowed vs. what is prohibited.
- An antivirus clause — Protect viruses against viruses, trojans, etc.
- An identity clause — Determine authorized vs. unauthorized users.
- A password clause — Make sure employees are using strong passwords.
- A remote access clause — Set boundaries for accessing data from home.
Tips for wireless security
With a wireless network, it is necessary to take several approaches to ensure security. The more measures you have taken, the better protected you will be.
- Use strong encryption
Upon installing your wireless network, set up the strongest wireless encryption possible. Encrypting any and all data that passes through the wireless network will help you to secure communication between employees. Also, be sure to authenticate users so you can regulate employee access.
- Change names and passwords
It might sound silly, but changing the name of your wireless network can make it more difficult for hackers to find. Avoid using your company name, phone number, or any information about your business that may be easily found on the internet. This goes for passwords, too. It would be much easier for a hacker to guess your company name than your childhood pet. Your passwords should include numbers, capital letters, and/or symbols.
- Control access
You can use control lists and encryption to restrict unauthorized users access from accessing your wireless network. Pay special attention to management ports and any areas where sensitive data is stored. In the physical sense, you can also control access by hiding or securing mobile devices and access points to prevent loss, damage or tampering.
- Install protection
To protect your wireless network and devices from outside threats,install firewalls, VPNs and antivirus software.
Remember that poor wireless security – of not only your network but your devices – could cost you a significant amount in data loss or breaches due to hackers and unauthorized users.