Why businesses can't afford to ignore mobile security

With an increased reliance on devices such as smartphones and tablets, SMEs are reaping the rewards of adopting a mobile-first approach. Benefits such as improved collaboration, access to more information and the ability to work anytime, anywhere are giving SMEs the chance to compete with larger, more established organisations without breaking the bank.

In a recent survey, mobile workers have claimed to be more productive, and businesses reported that mobile working saved money for their companies. Furthermore, 72 per cent of organisations across the financial services, technology, healthcare, government and education sectors now support Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies for all or some employees.

But, although an increased level of mobility offers several great opportunities, it also brings with it some serious threats to businesses of all sizes. As businesses introduce more mobile devices, they risk leaving themselves open to cyber attacks and data breaches, as illustrated by the almost-daily headlines featuring another high-profile company to have suffered an attack.

Recent examples include UK retailer Kiddicare and dating website BeautifulPeople.com, both of which suffered both financial and reputational damage.

However, despite large enterprises traditionally taking the brunt of attacks, cyber criminals have changed the game and are now targeting SMEs in equal measure. Due to the growth of mobile devices in the workplace and the amount of confidential data being collected, the threat is just as high for small businesses, which are actually believed to be disproportionately affected by cybercrime compared to larger firms.

A recent government survey revealed that two thirds of UK businesses have suffered a cyber attack in the last 12 months, following on from a study in 2015 which found that the average cost of online security breaches had more than doubled from 2014, rising to as high as £310,800 for SMEs.

A key factor in staying on top of mobile security is having software in place which keeps mobile devices secure, whilst still giving your employees the control and peace of mind to stay productive. EE with MobileIron Cloud platform enables you to do exactly that.

MobileIron Cloud has a range of features that keep your smartphones and tablets secure without hindering the work of your employees. For example, devices, apps and content can be configured to ensure business-critical data remains protected at all times and the remote wiping tool stops sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands if a device is lost or stolen by allowing an administrator to remotely delete the data on the device.

Specialist consultancy Crossbridge is one example of a company that has benefited from using MobileIron Cloud, helping it to improve communication and security across a mobile and distributed workforce. Managing Partner Tony Clark said: “We operate a bring-your-own-device policy within a strictly regulated environment to ensure our data is completely protected at all times. Security was always a priority, and assured before, but now we have a more systematic approach."

So, by using solutions such as MobileIron Cloud with EE, SMEs can make the most of the 4G network that’s 50 per cent faster than any other and enjoy the benefits of mobile working without sacrificing control and security.

Image source: Shutterstock/wk1003mike