At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, about 42% of American workers worked from home. As we come out of the other side of the pandemic, remote work is slowly becoming normalized.
As a manager or IT professional, this has to raise security concerns. Your company depends on data and connectivity to operate. A security breach is more likely because you have to maintain devices outside of the workplace.
It’s imperative that you figure out a device management strategy before it’s too late and your organization suffers a cyberattack.
Read on to discover how to develop a business device management strategy for your remote workers.
What Is Device Management?
Device management is the process to implement, install, and maintain all devices across your organization’s network. This is usually pretty easy to do in an office environment because you can control the devices on your local network.
The only major challenge is to manage the mobile devices for employees that spend time on the road.
That all changed over the last year. Once people started to work from home, device management seemed impossible because it is so difficult to maintain control over devices spread out through the network.
Not only that, employees are largely relying on a personal WiFi network, which isn’t likely to have the strict security protocols that your office network has.
In the case of remote workers, device management focuses on security more than installing and configuring devices. These are the steps that you need to follow to conduct a thorough device management strategy.
1. Conduct a Security Audit
The first step is to assess where your organization stands right now. You’ll need to gain the cooperation of your employees to make your audit successful.
Explain that you and your team are working to ensure that all devices on the company’s network is secure. Be sure to mention the harm that a data breach can cause.
You should ask employees how they connect to the network, who else has access to their devices, and whether they take their devices out of the house.
If your business is an industry where compliance is necessary, you want to include compliance measures as part of your audit. These are most common in the financial and healthcare industries.
2. Have a Written Policy
After your audit, you’ll be armed with valuable information. You’ll take your findings and create a written device management policy for everyone to follow.
Without this policy in place, it’s entirely possible that your company is vulnerable to attacks.
A written policy should address the use of personal devices and business devices on the network. It also needs to address thefts, lost devices, and using public and personal WiFi networks.
3. Use a Mobile Device Management Solution
There is one thing that can make your life much easier. You should implement a mobile device management solution to manage your devices.
There are solutions that allow you to connect everything from Linux servers to IoT devices. You can implement them on your network, monitor them, and make sure that they’re secure.
There are a number of solutions that you can choose from. Upswift.io, Rippling, and Fleetsmith are a few examples of mobile device management tools.
4. Train Employees
You can have the best systems and tools in place to keep your network intact. One employee could click on a link and blow everything up.
Since you can’t control what employees do at home, you need their buy-in more than ever. The best way to gain that buy-in is to educate them.
Train them regularly about their responsibilities, the policies in place, and how they can prevent a cyberattack.
You can have one training that addresses suspicious emails. You can have another training on home networks and give them tips to keep their systems secure. You can do another training on password management, so they don’t rely on a password that’s easy to figure out.
5. Have a Detection and Response Plan in Place
Only 42% of organizations think they are able to handle a cyberattack on remote workers effectively. You need to operate under the assumption that your organization will see a cyberattack or data breach.
The best way to prepare for such an event is to have a plan to detect security breaches immediately and fix them. That’s not an easy task, though.
IBM says that it takes more than 200 days to detect a breach. In addition, it takes 73 days to address the breach.
You can take the initiative by auditing your systems on a regular basis. Have your IT team create a checklist of tasks that are performed on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.
There also needs to be a response plan in place. This plan includes who will report the attack to the authorities, insurance, and your customers. There needs to be a plan in place to respond to the different types of attacks, too.
You would respond differently to a ransomware attack than you would a data breach. You’ll then perform another audit to assess how it started and how to prevent it from happening again.
Secure Your Data With a Device Management Strategy
A sound device management strategy gives you peace of mind that you’re doing everything possible to protect your organization from a cyberattack.
It’s a challenging time to manage devices because so many employees are working from home. That increases the likelihood of a data breach. Fortunately, IT managers can regain control of their devices by using a device management solution.
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