A report published in 2008 by Mary Meekins proclaimed that by 2008 “Mobile to overtake fixed Internet access by 2014”.  Now two years beyond that projected date, that prediction hasn’t quite come to fruition, however the up-take in mobile device usage over the last 6 years since that prediction has continued to grow at a rapid rate and will continue to grow over the years ahead. One of the big challenges this throws up for businesses now is how to secure privately owned and corporate mobile devices such as tablets and phones.  One of the ways to assist with this is to create a mobile device usage policy.

Policy

The Main Challenges when Using Mobile Devices at Work

Most users will not recognise that their smart new mobile devices can indeed pose a threat to their company’s IT and data security. It’s this ignorance that can result in them not applying the same security procedures to their mobile devices as they would to more traditional devices such as a desktop computer.

Another way in which IT and data security is challenged when using mobile devices is that when somebody is using their own mobile device, they tend to give greater weight to their own rights as a user, than to the employer’s need for data protection.

Points to Consider When Creating a Mobile Device Usage Policy

Having a mobile device policy will give your business a greater chance of avoiding incidents such as a significant security breach, which could jeopardise your organisations reputation. However, having a mobile device policy that your employees do not understand, or perhaps don’t even know exist, is just the same as not having one at all. You can spend lots of time creating the most comprehensive policy known to man, but if you don’t educate your staff on the policy, then ultimately it means nothing. Along with creating your mobile device policy, you should also plan for effectively communicating it to your employees – this should start within the organisation’s more senior staff – this will show everyone within your company that individuals at the top of the organisation view security as a priority.

Communication of the policy should not be dry and formal; concepts and terms should be broken down into easy-to-understand pieces of information; have additional written instructions that describe in easily understood terms what puts mobile devices at risk and methods of securing them.

Summary

Mobile technology is here to stay and will only grow bigger in the years ahead. If your company allows its employees to access company data on mobile devices, you need a mobile device usage policy. When creating your policy, it needs to be written in a manner that is easily understandable to your staff. Once you have your policy in place, it needs to be supported by senior people within your organisation, and ongoing training on why the policy is needed and how it will be enforced is vital.