Mobile Device Safeguards Protect Customer Data

By Sue Minichiello

Mobile_Device_ManagementMobile device usage in business is escalating quickly. In fact, many IT experts predict such devices will displace desktops altogether in small and mid-sized businesses before long. While mobile devices offer a myriad of advantages in the workplace, such as increased employee productivity and customer access, they also pose a host of security threats. Recognizing that, AffinEco has taken steps to ensure the security of its customers’ data and its own with Mobile Device Management (MDM) software.

“Our implementation of MDM was driven by several factors, but first and foremost, we wanted to protect our digital environment to prevent any potential negative impact from our devices on our clients,” AffinEco Managing Partner Michael Diamond said.

Just what kinds of risks are in play? Malware is rampant. According to the Intel Security/McAfee April 2017 trends report, there were approximately 15 million different mobile malware variations–such as Trojans, Keyloggers and Ransomware–at the end of 2016, up from just about eight million the previous year. The use of cloud-based business applications is widespread. Public Wi-Fi hotspots aren’t completely safe. Devices are highly susceptible to theft and loss. All of these factors expose companies to significant risk, making mobile device security an absolute necessity.

MDM solutions can manage data security, network and email connectivity, and mobile device capabilities. The capacities of MDM systems are continually evolving to keep pace with the frequent hardware and software fluxes characteristic of mobile devices. MDM software gives business administrators the power to remotely locate, lock and wipe lost or stolen devices as well as to geofence (i.e., receive alerts when a device goes outside a specified geographical area) and customize active devices.

In January 2017, AffinEco implemented MobileIron MDM on employee iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones company-wide. The software gives AffinEco the visibility and IT controls necessary to securely deploy, manage and retire devices. It allows the company to control and monitor all employee mobile devices that access business critical data, including its own corporate data and that of its customers. What’s more, it enables AffinEco to block apps employees should not be using on a company-owned device, as well as prevent access to risky websites.

“In this digital age, we needed a way to protect our servers and, more importantly, our clients’ IT infrastructure from attack. MobileIron MDM gives us a lot of control over handhelds in the field,” said AffinEco Managing Partner Paul Senecal. “Clients who have updated their internal IT security policies see our implementation of MDM as an additional level of security and a real value-add.”

Diamond also pointed out that MobileIron helps AffinEco control data usage overages, which can be costly. Plus, the company can track where its mobile devices are at any given time with the software’s GPS location services.

“Combined, these benefits help us embrace technology as we control costs and risks for our clients,” Diamond said.

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