Employee-owned devices are becoming challenging to enterprise mobile security policies however there are a number of ways to control these ever-growing wireless security issues. Two of the most important factors to consider when moderating the security risks of employees’ personally owned devices are what level of support your company is willing to offer associates with non-company-owned devices and how these devices will access data.

There are several different approaches businesses take when dealing with the security of these mobile phones. Many organizations allow their employees to access email on their personally owned devices. Because most smartphones have active sync capabilities, these devices can be easily configured by the end user and the process requests a fairly low level of support. In other organizations, employees are permitted access to additional business data on their wireless devices however they are not provided with technical support through the IT department. Yet another option that businesses offer is full data access with a full level of IT support.

The varying methods of data access may also determine the level of IT support. When employees require a higher level of support, such as client/data server access, businesses may prefer that employees utilize company-owned and supported devices. However, an associate using a web portal on their mobile device to retrieve business data requires a much lower level of support because this system lacks complex software running on the end user’s device. In this situation an employee-owned device may be the appropriate choice.

Though data security is always a challenge with small businesses, understanding your options will help to keep employee-owned devices protected. The development of mobile VPN created the opportunity for simple implementation of mobile security options. Tools such as, device lock as well as lost and stolen phone tracking capabilities, are essential for today’s mobile enterprise security. Utilization of a Microsoft Exchange email server enables the opportunity for password protection, requiring end users to enter a password before accessing their email. This facilitates mobile phone security enforcement through the cloud. In the event that an employee leaves your organization, the Exchange server allows an email account to be easily removed from an employee’s mobile device by eliminating their access to the corporate email account – including all stored mailbox data. Revoking an employee’s credentials upon the severing of the employee relationship will discontinue their ability to login to the company server.

Businesses and organizations, both large and small, are making the transition to employee-owned devices. By making this switch, companies are eliminating the associated mobile phone expenses however they need to be aware of the potential issues that could arise from these personally owned devices. Most importantly, business owners need to establish a mobile security policy that includes password protection for the sensitive data contained within these wireless devices. These steps ensure that if a smartphone or tablet is lost or stolen, the company’s confidential information will remain protected. These devices were designed to increase worker productivity not cause extra stress, so offering employees technical support for their personally owned devices will keep them working efficiently and prevents aggravation with these technologies.

For more information or to view the full story How to Reduce Smartphone Security Risks at http://www.consumerelectronicsnet.com/article/How-to-Reduce-Smartphone-Security-Risks-1773667.

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