​Are dedicated workplace mobile devices vital to information security?

​Are dedicated workplace mobile devices vital to information security?

The use of mobile devices in the workplace is the new normal for employees of most businesses.

The use of mobile devices in the workplace is the new normal for employees of most businesses.

Personal smartphones or company-issued devices can provide easy communications with staff no matter where they are.

Yet the use of such devices in the workplace has raised a number of organisational risks.

To protect companies from these risks, Ilan Rubin, managing director, Wavelink believes organisations should consider using dedicated workplace mobile devices.

“As soon as a company lets an employee use a standard mobile device for work purposes, sensitive internal information could be at risk,” Rubin adds.

“If that phone is lost or stolen, for example, internal information on mobile-based applications, such as email, can be compromised.

“Additionally, phone-based business applications linked to internal systems can create a weak point through which unauthorised access can be gained to an organisation’s internal networks and obtain confidential or commercially sensitive information.”

Gartner predicts that the security risks presented by smartphones used for business purposes will mean that, by 2017, the focus of endpoint security breaches will shift to mobile devices, rather than internal IT systems.

For Rubin, not all businesses realise they have the option of alternative communications devices that present minimal risks while offering maximum mobility in the workplace.

Such devices, which use dedicated internal workplace networks for staff communications let businesses keep all of their sensitive information safe while providing the mobility offered by external devices.

“Internal voice-over wireless LAN devices that use a company’s private Wi-Fi network provide all the benefits of a smartphone without the security risks of a public network,” Rubin adds.

“Similarly, DECT phones handsets can keep internal communications safe from prying ears.

“These devices have many other benefits that consumer-grade mobile devices do not offer, such as easily interchangeable batteries for longer use-time, completely secure text messaging, little or no network drop out, push-to-talk capabilities, and staff protection functionality such as duress and location tracking.”

Rubin says businesses in sectors as diverse as manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality are already taking advantage of these features.

“Given the rising security issues associated with increasing workplace mobility, dedicated workplace mobile devices are increasingly important for businesses looking to protect themselves and their customers from the risks associated with standard mobile devices,” he adds.

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