Do you know where your data ends up when it gets into your employees’ or colleagues’ hands? Are you sure?
Okay, you might say, your internal security measures are watertight. You have firewalls and data policies and access controls, not to mention an eagle-eyed IT team working hard to prevent against data leaks, breaches or hacker attacks.
All of that is great. Perhaps it works just fine when everyone’s sitting at their desk using their designated laptop and safely under lock and key. But what happens when they don’t?Sometimes, people will need or want to take vital, even sensitive data offsite. Not for malicious reasons – just because they’re visiting a client’s office, or they want to work on it from home over the weekend, or a whole myriad of other reasons. Sometimes, something as innocuous as saving a file onto an USB stick to print it on a different floor, then putting it in your pocket and taking it home could mean that an entire carefully crafted security policy has just gone right out the window.
The thing is, today’s employees naturally work across devices. They’re used to reading on their phones or continuing the same task from one screen to another. They don’t realize how this might compromise your firm’s security – it just comes naturally.
Fighting against it is, in the long run, futile. Instead, if you want to keep your data safe, you’ll need to start exploring ways to facilitate secure mobile workspaces and give your IT team control over mobile device management solutions instead.
Here are the three essential steps to making mobile data management a win-win scenario for your team.
Step One: Control Access and Educate Your Workforce
Talk to your team and find out what they want and need to do their jobs to the best of their ability – to be fully productive and flexible enough to meet the client demands of today’s accountants. Find out what devices they want to use and how mobile they need to be.
Depending on their needs, it could make sense to introduce a mobile workspace solution that means they can access all their work documents and business apps from any device, but is fully encrypted on the cloud. Your IT team would also be able to manage security centrally. Whatever you decide, make sure that everyone’s on board with the new policies and understands how to access their data safely.
Step Two: Enforce Policies to Reduce Attack Surfaces
Hold your team to what they’ve agreed. You must keep enforcing the policies and establishing clear repercussions if people keep breaking the rules.
Most importantly, you need to make sure that you’re keeping the vulnerable spots (attack surfaces) to a minimum to prevent hackers from breaking in. A great way to do that is to use virtualisation to basically shift all your data and business apps into a secure cloud platform and encrypt all data, whether it’s being used, sent, or simply resting.
Step Three: Track Behaviour and Learn from It
As an accountant you handle a LOT of sensitive data, and it’s important to stay vigilant. That means keeping an eye on how people within the business actually use the network. Where and when are they accessing data? What activity is taking place within apps? Don’t settle for meeting basic compliance requirements – make sure you’re pushing everyone to ensure you’re doing your utmost to protect your data and secure against a breach.
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