Prep for summer travel with smart mobile security management

June 21, 20184 minute read

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It’s summer, and you know what that means—surf, sand, and employees whose minds are on their next beach trip instead of work. As users take their work on the road this summer, finishing up reports on the plane or checking email from their phones while at the beach, you and your IT team will have to contend with even more mobile security risks than usual.

With just a few strategies for smart mobile security management in place, however, you can keep users committed to securing their workplace technology during the relaxing summer months—and all year round, too.

Freshen up your security training

With traditional security trainings, people often forget what they learn (or don’t pay attention in the first place), which becomes an even bigger challenge as employees’ minds wander in advance of their summer travels. How can you make those security lessons stick?

Part of the reason security trainings don’t stick is that, frankly, they can be a little boring. Try to include real-world, relatable examples and incorporate seasonal topics to make the lessons more memorable. You can even introduce “gamification” to your security trainings by rewarding people for completing certain courses. Another strategy is taking a top-down approach that makes IT security part of the company culture. If workers see their senior managers not following security precautions, they’ll wonder why they should bother. If you can get everyday users to act as ambassadors for IT security, you’re more likely to earn buy-in.

Finally, don’t hesitate to have one-on-one discussions with employees you know will be working away from the office. Make sure they understand that security threats can be higher for remote workers than those in the office and advise them on some mobile security best practices.

Mind your mobile security

Whether it belongs to the company or the user, mobile security management dictates that all devices need to be equipped with some basic security precautions. If employees regularly access company documents while away from the office, provide them with a secure portal, like a VPN, allowing them to do so without compromising security. Before they clock out for vacation, double-check their gadgets for updated security software and appropriate password protection—preferably two-factor authentication.

There’s also the chance at least some of your users will need to print while on the road, and when they do, you want to make sure you are using the latest printing software solutions to keep them secure. To keep traveling employees productive without sacrificing security, a managed print services (MPS) vendor can help you conduct a secure print analysis and put the proper technologies in place.

Get physical—with security

It’s not just software-based security solutions you need to pay attention to: Physical mobile security management is just as important. Don’t believe it? A survey of several hundred IT professionals found 54 percent don’t use physical locks for their computing equipment.

While visible locks won’t deter the most dedicated criminals, using such precautions on laptop bags or laptops themselves might discourage opportunistic thieves who spot an unattended laptop in a hotel lobby. In addition, make sure to inform workers of best practices for working in public, such as being careful when entering passwords or inadvertently displaying data in view of others. Reinforce the importance of always keeping laptops and other devices either with them or locked up in a secure place, like a hotel safe.

Finally, if there is a high likelihood of workers connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots while away from the office, enforce restrictions on what those employees can and cannot view over public connections.

Don’t let users relax too much this summer

Remember: Summer might be for relaxation and carefree attitudes but not when it comes to workplace technology.

Cybercriminals and laptop thieves are always on the lookout for careless individuals and loose security. Now is the time to make sure your employees are covered by effective mobile security management, no matter where they work this summer.

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