Common sense says that 2014 will go down as the year of the data security wakeup call for businesses large and small.
My experience tells me otherwise.
Backing up about a dozen years, I was working with Symantec during the very worst of the broad Internet security breaches. It was the time that worms and viruses were taking down computers across the world.
What I remember most is that despite the attacks getting front-page coverage in the likes of Time and Newsweek, the great majority of PC users were either too busy, too confused by it all, or were in classic “head in the sand” position believing that doom wouldn’t happen to them.
As a result, damage was inflicted when it could’ve relatively easily have been avoided with hardware, software, and sensibility.
Fast forward to now when dictators are allegedly determining what movies we can and can’t watch, and companies like Target and Staples have failed to keep our personal information private.
So every mega-firm down to the SMB is making security a top priority, right? And not just for PCs and data, but Enterprise Mobility Management that includes mobile phones, tablets and the machines tied to the Internet of Things.
I wish I could be confident. Maybe it’s a lack of information and solutions.
But it’s all out there.
Here’s some of what IBM’s MaaS360 says we should do to both be productive and safe:
- Be realistic with your policy by supporting multiple device platforms like iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows, and others. Putting all your resources on one operating system platform is foolish given none has complete marketshare.
- Gain insight into who’s mobile and what they’re doing – by using a lightweight reporting and inventory tool, you can keep tabs on how mobile devices are being used and by whom. This ensures, for instance, that you can separate your information and systems when an employee leaves your company.
- Cover the basics with passwords, encryption, and remote wipe. Best practices include requiring a strong password of at least four characters, locking devices after 5-15 minutes of inactivity, and configuring devices to automatically wipe after 10 failed login attempts or if they are reported lost.
- Let end users take care of device management . With employees relying on mobile devices to get their jobs done, you don’t want basic device management issues to get in the way of productivity. You also don’t want users calling the helpdesk with issues they can resolve themselves. Empower end users with a self-service portal that allows them enroll their devices, lock and wipe their devices if think they’ve been stolen, reset their own passcodes, and locate their lost devices.
- Adopt an MDM platform that can also manage PCs and Macs as well as mobile devices. The lines between laptops, tablets, and smartphones will continue to blur in both user functionality and IT operations. A versatile MDM solution will cut down on infrastructure costs, improve operational efficiency, and create a single user view into devices and data for operations and security.
More tips are here - http://www.maas360.com/resources/ebooks/maas360-mdm-ebook/
It will be interesting to see how many businesses learn from history and implement changes. And it will be just as interesting to see how many don’t.
This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM's Midsize Insider. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.