Security needs to top mobile working agenda

Security needs to top mobile working agenda

Remote and flexible working has taken a huge step in recent months and years as the proliferation of smartphones and tablets has gained momentum.

A recent report found that businesses in the UK could save as much as £34 billion collectively by allowing greater worker flexibility and limiting the overheads they pay.

While this is obviously a great incentive for firms to implement the bring your own device (BYOD) trend and establish mobile working practices, some experts have warned that they need to be careful when changing the working agenda and concentrate on ensuring security standards are maintained.

Simon Yeoman from Fasthost said that decision makers within firms need to look to the future in a bid to prevent hidden costs associated with taking business critical data off-site, on tablets and smartphones, which has become a lot more common in recent times.

"Despite the subject coming up time and again, staff that have been working out of the office on smartphones and tablets for a while – often off their own back before protocol is introduced – are continually putting business critical data at risk.

"Once there is a breach caused by a lost USB stick or a phone left on a train seat, the costs can be insurmountable, completely rendering the efficiency savings redundant," he explained.

When businesses embrace the use of mobile working they must know that each and every document that leaves the premises has the potential to be lost or stolen, even if they are just being viewed through a mobile device.

The use of mobile device management (MDM) and further education of employees can go a long way to preventing losses and protecting the company should they occur.

Mr Yeoman explained that many employees are expected to determine their own method for transfer corporate data to and from their own devices, which can lead to further problems for the businesses concerned, as staff make up their own ways of working and do not adhere to company policies.