Could this be Your Client’s Weakest Link? Mobile Device Security Matters

Author: Autotask’s Jason Lehr
Author: Autotask's Jason Lehr

There is a lot of buzz these days about cybersecurity and what these threats mean for businesses and their mobile workforce. To cut through some of the noise, here’s a look at 3 of most important things technology service providers can do to help their clients’ businesses protect themselves.

1. Time to Get Serious About Mobile Device Security

A Mobile Device Management solution is critical for protecting a client’s mobile workforce and, more importantly their intellectual property. Providing the ability to remotely locate, lock and wipe mobile devices is essential for establishing a perimeter around their network.

The difficulty arises with the number of providers currently offering solutions in this space. While the feature sets can differ wildly, policy-based security should be a standard feature in the offering you choose or recommend to a client.

Geo-fencing capabilities can generate an alert based on the physical location of the device.  Selective Data Wipe allows for removal of specifically selected information and data such as, sensitive Wi-Fi passwords and corporate documents, and may be better suited for environments where the client does not issue work-specific mobile devices.

2. Accept the Reality that People Can be the Weakest Link in the Security Chain

As secure as mobile devices may be, your clients’ employees are typically the weakest link in cybersecurity efforts. Empowering your clients to be proactive by educating them about how to train their employees to spot phishing attempts, suspicious emails and other security risks decreases the chance that they will compromise their device.

Help your clients to recognize and report questionable content and then encourage them to reward employees when they do not click on that risky link will help to increase overall awareness and makes them a proactive part of the solution. Suggesting that they offer incentives like gift cards or movie passes can be great motivators for gaining compliance. When you turn your clients and their employees into the strongest link, everyone’s data stays safe.

3. Keep Devices Updated

If the recent WannaCry ransomware attack proved anything, it is vitally important to keep software updated. Mobile device software manufacturers like Apple, Google and Microsoft typically do a good job providing security updates to known vulnerabilities, but rely on the mobile device owners to install the updates.

Mobile Device Management solutions can show you whether devices are in patch compliance. Inform your clients that it is important to install updates, but older models and operating systems may no longer be supported. This is an area that will need to be addressed. This is an opportunity for you to develop a plan for your client that shows them what devices are unsupported across their IT estate and counsel them on the very real threat they could pose to their security stance and what to do about in a cost-effective and deliberate way so that their business stays safe.

Jason Lehr is director of technology and infrastructure at Autotask. Read more Autotask blogs here.