Growth Customer Experience Productivity Business IQ Trends Success Stories Tech Solutions Subscribe Tech Enquiry
Productivity

What to consider when providing secure mobile access to corporate resources

Iain Ferguson
Business and Technology Journalist

Iain is a freelance writer and editor with extensive experience in journalism and corporate communications.

Iain Ferguson
Business and Technology Journalist

Iain is a freelance writer and editor with extensive experience in journalism and corporate communications.

While providing mobile access to corporate resources has the power to improve business productivity and performance, reaping these rewards can be compromised if security is not properly addressed.

Your business wants to embrace mobile access to corporate resources to allow your team to work from distant offices or other locations. However, if you do not properly manage and secure the people, devices, data and networks involved in a remote access deployment, you may put your business at risk.

Man sat at desk with computer Security can be a massive issue for businesses who implement remote access technologies.

For example, if a worker accidentally leaves an unsecured corporate-issued smartphone or tablet at a café, the next customer may be able to use the device to access a presentation about a commercial deal at a sensitive stage, or a spreadsheet with lists of customers and their personal details. A person accessing corporate systems over an insecure network may inadvertently be sending in-confidence information to a malicious person who has used malware to ‘listen in’ to communications. 

To help minimise the risk to your business of mobile access to corporate resources, you need to address three questions: 

Learn more about VPNs and why your business needs one.
Find out more

 

  • How am I managing and protecting the mobile devices used to allow workers to access corporate data and applications?

  • How am I protecting the corporate/confidential information that can be accessed via mobile devices?

  • How am I protecting the corporate/confidential information that traverses the internet from mobile (and other) devices to my business?

To protect the smartphones and tablets (and the data they hold) used to access corporate resources, device management is key. When reviewing device management products, look for the following features:

  • The product includes tools that enable your business to enforce policies such as locking all registered mobile devices with PINs that the user must then input to gain access to the device and its functions

  • The product enables administrators to require that certain applications (including antivirus, antispyware and other security software) are installed on the device when it is set up

  • The product includes functions that allow administrators to determine the roles and privileges that each remote access user has. This protects sensitive information and minimises the risk of data leakage

  • The product includes applications that capture and report on how corporate information is used on the remote access device to provide an audit trail and allow the business to comply with regulations and governance rules

  • The product protects data by limiting the ability of employees to cut and paste data from corporate applications into personal systems, or provides access to secure file sharing and syncing

When reviewing products that protect mobile devices, you should look for functionality that enables administrators to remotely lock devices, or wipe devices by deleting data and software they hold.   

This ensures that anyone who picks up a smartphone, tablet or laptop left by a worker on a train, in a café or any other location cannot access any sensitive information (including business data and passwords) on the device.

Businesses also need to consider is how to protect information as it flows between workers’ computers, phones and tablets, and corporate systems. By implementing an internet VPN that provides a secure ‘tunnel’ for information to travel between devices and corporate systems, businesses can stop unauthorised (and potentially malicious) people viewing and potentially stealing or otherwise interfering with that data.

Deploying an internet VPN can also allow businesses to protect their workers and systems without undertaking labour-intensive activities such as configuring manual systems in each remote office they operate.

When determining which internet VPN best suits your business, consider:

  • The ease with which the internet VPN can be set up 

  • Whether the internet VPN allows you to remotely perform configuration changes on demand

  • Whether the internet VPN gives you complete end to end control over and visibility of your service from a central location

  • Whether the internet VPN enables your remote workers to connect securely to your office network (through a virtual firewall)

  • Enables you to set and enforce policies to ensure only authorised traffic enters your private network through a virtual firewall

  • Allows you to monitor and prevent staff access to malicious content and inappropriate web sites through web content filtering

 Enabling remote access through mobile devices can deliver a range of benefits to small-medium businesses. However, these can only be achieved by businesses that are prepared to secure the devices, people, information and networks involved in the process.

5-minute fixes for your cyber security
Business IQ
Business IQ
5-minute fixes for your cyber security

Safeguarding your business requires an approach that is tailored to your needs. This takes an investment of time and money, and assistance from people with the right knowledge ...

A man typing a credit card number into a laptop.
Business IQ
Business IQ
Cyber security: A failure to plan is a plan to fail

How prepared are you when it comes to your businesses’ cyber security? These days we aren’t just protecting against viruses, but against hackers, identity fraud, data theft and...

Two workers in a security call centre looking at a series of computers.
Tech Solutions
Tech Solutions
Protecting your business with tech

Running a business now means protecting yourself, your assets and your store. Telstra’s business grade solution is Business Protect, to help keep your business safe. More than ...

Cyber security firm, Penten, celebrates winning the 2018 Telstra Business of the Year Award.
Success Stories
Success Stories
Prevention through deception Penten’s recipe for success

Canberra-based cyber security company, Penten, is the 2018 Telstra Australian Business of the Year. The business uses cyber deception strategies to protect Australian governmen...