Ensuring Mobile Workforce Security in the Year of Enterprise Mobility

Last updated: 16 May 2016

According to many security experts, 2016 is enterprise-mobility-personal-devicesset to be the year of enterprise mobility. For years, we’ve seen record growth in the use of mobile devices in our personal lives and some of the statistics are fascinating.

  • 84 percent of people surveyed in a Time Magazine mobility poll said they couldn’t go a single day without their mobile device
  • A 2015 study sponsored by Bank of America, found 71% of survey respondents indicated that they sleep with their smartphones on or next to their beds.
  • Smartphones outsell personal computers four to one
  • By 2020 approximately 80% of the world’s population will own a mobile phone
  • Nearly 80% of smartphone owners check messages, news, websites or apps within 15 minutes of getting up
  • 90 percent of text messages get read within 3 minutes of delivery

It’s astonishing how dependent we’ve become on our mobile devices. They’re our main source of news and information, our connection to friends and family, and our personal navigator.  Basically, our cellphone has become our personal lifeline and this dependency is spilling over into our work lives. This leaves Enterprise IT with the daunting task of determining the best way to ensure mobile workforce security.

IDC’s (International Data Corporation) newest forecast predicts the number of mobile workers in the U.S. will steadily grow over the next five years, increasing from 96.2 million in 2015 to 105.4 million mobile workers in 2020.  “Mobility has become synonymous with productivity both inside and outside the workplace, and the mass adoption of mobile technology in the United States has cultivated an environment where workers expect to leverage mobile technology at work,” said Bryan Bassett, research analyst, IDC.

It’s becoming increasingly important for enterprise organizations to allow personal, mobile devices in the workplace.  Not only will non-conforming companies miss out on the benefits of increased employee productivity and job satisfaction, but they may be labeled as archaic and unsophisticated by customers and business partners.  Gartner refers to these organizations as “mobility-lagging” and predicts future problems with recruiting and keeping key employees.

Mobility-lagging organizations will suffer negative impacts such as key-employee resignations. Smart and skilled knowledge workers, both in IT and business roles, will become frustrated with their organizations’ failure to provide access to easy-to-use, productivity-enhancing mobile apps. Many of these workers will leave companies in search of a more modern working environment.”

A new Harris Poll report identifies enterprise mobility as the top IT investment of 2016 and much of that expense will go towards mobile workforce security. Enterprise IT must adapt and find methods to bring these mobile devices into the fold of the corporate network, without sacrificing secure mobility for convenience.  Many times security standards are relaxed or ignored for mobile users because solutions are limited for many devices, especially tablets and smartphones that don’t have USB or smart card slots.  Bluetooth Low Energy badge holders and tokens are a viable solution that enterprise IT can easily implement into a current corporate badge ecosystem and address the need for balance between security and mobility.

Ensure secure employee mobility, download Best Practices for Secure Mobility Kit today.

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