Data Security In The Age Of The Mobile Worker

The brave new world of increased mobility means work is an activity rather than a destination. Employees can work from anywhere in the world using mobile devices: they can even choose, manage, and use their own devices in many cases.

This carries enormous benefits to businesses as employees become more productive and available. However, it also creates risk because these devices and the data that resides on them may not be adequately secured, so sensitive company information may be compromised. Organisations must take measures to protect business information on mobile devices.

Using mobile devices comes with new concerns around securing and protecting company data, especially when it comes to storing and transmitting information. When employees use mobile devices, they often also use public cloud services like Google and Dropbox to store documents and information – and these are often beyond the visibility and control of the IT department. As a result, businesses need to consider ways to ensure maximum security for mobile workers that access, share and collaborate on work and documents over mobile devices.

Traditional security software and systems are adequate for many threats. For example, data in public spaces such as the cloud is easy to track. However, it is much more difficult to control who can access information on employees’ devices. It is even harder to see who could be intercepting information as mobile data is transferred to secure networks and servers.

Firewalls work well for data stored on a corporate server. As long as the data stays put, the risk is very low. However, when employees need to communicate that data and share information with others, companies need to find ways to protect it outside of the firewall.

When employees use mobile devices to transmit the data, organisations need to protect it differently.

Today’s service enterprise file sync and share solutions (EFSS) let geographically-separated employees collaborate securely, so they can work from anywhere in the world without exposing data to the common risks in mail services and public clouds.

Useful and effective EFSS solutions must comply with at least three basic criteria:

  • Usability

If only the IT department can use the solution then it’s useless for mobile employees. Difficult-to-use software usually results in employees using unsanctioned, user-friendly, public cloud platforms such as Dropbox, instead of secure, company-approved solutions.

  • Interoperability

With most companies letting employees bring their own mobile devices, an effective EFSS solution needs to work with any device.

  • Maximum security at different access levels

Many organisations set different access levels for different data: some data is top-secret while other data can be accessed by everyone. At the same time, some employees are allowed to access and share documents but not change them. A good file synch and share solution manages authorisation and access without affecting usability and productivity when it comes to working on documents and collaborating with other employees.

Mobility has become a way of life for many workers and it can help businesses be more productive and competitive. With the right security systems, businesses can let their employees be completely mobile without sacrificing security – and the valuable company data that travel to and from, and reside one mobile devices. Today’s enterprise file, synch and share solutions, such as Acronis Access Advanced, can let employees make the most of a collaborative, mobile work environment without risking the integrity and privacy of company data.


Author:  Lincoln Goldsmith, General Manager ANZ, Acronis