How to keep your team safe in a world of constant connection (iPhones, tablets, laptops AND desktops?)

A connected workforce is a more productive workforce. But with that constant connection does come a different risk profile when it comes to data security. Workplace digital security has become a key issue for many businesses. This is especially true as more teams are leveraging their personal devices to stay productive. Remote work or working from home has also shed light on this issue in new ways. Personal devices and apps used for personal entertainment or communication inherently come with increased risk when used to stay productive for work. But as a leader in your industry, there are things you can do to help keep your team (and your business safe). Here are a few things you can do to protect your data security.  

Educate and Enforce 

A big part of your digital security mandate should be the education of employees around what security risks you all manage on a day-to-day basis. Consider creating a regular security newsletter that can help employees stay up to date on the rapidly changing digital landscape. Include tips to help enable them to do their business in a way that is smart and risk-aware. Make sure that all your employees are well trained in the use of their devices and know the data security risks might be more intuitive to your younger staff members. Make sure those who need training, get training.  

Enforcement of strong data security policies (even across multi-device workflows) is another critical step to keeping your employees and your data secure. Make sure you have a thoughtful use policy around personal apps. The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology has guidelines for vetting mobile apps which clearly lay out a process for ensuring that mobile apps comply with an organization’s mobile security requirement. It’s a great starting place for enterprises who require employees to stay connected on the go but recognize that some vulnerable mobile apps are necessary to keep out of their environment. Enforcement is up to you.  

Consider Providing Employees with “Work Only” Devices 

While it can be costly to provide staff with desktop and mobile devices, it may be well worth the investment. Ensuring that employees are able to keep their personal app use to their personal devices provides a certain barrier that can help protect your data. But the inconvenience of managing two sets of devices can make this a challenge for some companies to enforce. But with education around the problem and investment in strong security measures can really make a difference to keep hackers at bay.  

Don’t Blame the Apps or Devices 

Apps or personal devices are often a source of risk. But they are not solely to blame for risky digital behavior. While businesses may expect app makers or software developers to lead the charge when it comes to security processes, the truth is that the responsibility for your business’s data security rests in your hands. Keep in mind that it is developers who are least likely to be damaged by a hack or data security incident. It often falls on the users to take extra precautions around using those apps and programs, devices, and workflows to make sure they are doing their due diligence. And that means that employers need to know and manage what their employees are doing to ensure a high level of digital security in the mobile era.

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