Small- and medium-sized businesses, more than ever, are investing in solutions that allow their employees to work from home or on the road. However, as business tasks increasingly move out of the office, companies must take certain steps to ensure data is not exposed or lost.
According to a new study from the Business Journals, 59 percent of surveyed SMBs believe investing in mobility solutions, such as smartphones, tablets and the cloud, is essential to their operations. Accordingly, 71 percent of respondents said they were investing in such technology to enable employees to stay productive when out of the office.
"There’s no doubt that businesses are relying more and more on mobile technology to stay ahead," Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta, told Portfolio.com, which published the study. "Nearly one third of small-business owners tell us that they check their mobile device before they brush their teeth in the morning, which really signals the growing importance of mobile devices for conducting business today."
However, with this increased mobility come new security threats that must be addressed.
This is especially true as more companies allow employees to bring their own mobile devices into the office. As a recent report from IDC and Unisys showed, employee-owned technology accounts for 40.7 percent of devices used at the average company. Without support from IT, employees may be prone to downloading malware that steals corporate information stored on these devices.
Additionally, it is not uncommon for an employee to misplace a mobile device by leaving it in the back of a cab or forgetting it in a coffee shop. Therefore, it is also important that companies implement some type of security measure, such as remote locking or data encryption, for mobile devices.
There is no way to guarantee data security. But experts agree that the benefits of mobile technology outweigh the threats. Therefore, businesses would be well advised to keep mobile security in mind, so they can leverage the true potential of mobile devices.