Enabling remote work while minimising downtime and disruption to organisational productivity, has been a leadership challenge for organisations, especially over the past 18 months during the global pandemic. Put device security into that mix, and even the largest technology and digital-minded corporations have suffered security breaches and cybersecurity scams.
1. Securing Remote Devices
Due to COVID-19, employees started to work at home (where possible). From then on, they were communicating in an open home environment not intended for corporate usage. Organisations did not have time to plan and adapt to this surge, nor to extend their remote access and IT support to their employees at such a rapid speed.
The good news is that SOTI makes it possible to remotely set up a device staging environment, creating groups of devices for each location and managing those devices in groups with the right software updates, pushing out apps and latest security software patches. With SOTI MobiControl, a simple drag and drop format allows IT and business leaders to be reassured that all devices are running the latest software. This quick and easily automated real-time solution also helps to reduce the risks of relatively insecure home Wi-Fi networks.
Using personal laptops and smartphones as key company communication tools is often not a temporary solution for start-ups and for organisations that embrace Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. Our Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution reduces the exposure of corporate networks and therefore reduces putting sensitive data at risk.
2. Creating a Secure Device Framework of Compliance
Personal devices are often accessing and streaming information that can be restricted – or often classified – within corporate networks. This process is not easy when employees are working remotely. Preventing access to blogs, celebrity news stories, download of certain applications and links to scam sites will massively help to increase network security and reduce the risk of a cyberattack. Restricting access to these services at peak times of the day, such as over the lunch hour, will also help improve network performance and avoid costly cybersecurity scams and phishing links from being sent to the firewall.
Use of personal applications on devices also accessing corporate data are potentially creating an ‘open door’ security risk to the corporate network if not securely managed. Equally, the risk of phishing email scams while working at home can accelerate security risks. 22% of all data breaches in 2020 involved phishing attacks alone. According to a recent Deloitte Report, 47% of individuals fall for phishing scams while working at home.
Alongside an effective security training program, the lockdown feature in SOTI MobiControl ensures control of sites employees should not be visiting on company time, thus reducing data security risks and exposure.
3. Remotely Managing Device Scalability
Scalability of device configuration and deployment is an ongoing task that is often complex and never static. With a huge range of devices available and different device form factors from smartphones to tablets, organisations want to future-proof this solution as much as possible. Alongside device provision, there has also been a fluctuation in employees working and then not working. As an example, some employees in the UK are not working their usual hours and the government created the furlough scheme as an aid during these unprecedented times. This heightens the need to secure and wipe devices, remove devices from the network for extended periods, or even redeploy devices from one staff member to the next. This sensitive handling of corporate data on personal devices (and vice versa) is a necessary part of scaling the workforce.
The hassle of this process is simplified for the IT team with the SOTI drag and drop functionality in a simple folder structure. It makes this easy for any IT team to manage. Equally, lost and stolen devices cause major issues for data protection, especially where employees are in a customer service capacity or handling customer data on their device. Knowing the solution can wipe and clean a device remotely without needing to physically locate it first is huge for peace of mind, reducing legal risk as well.
4. Remotely Supporting Workers to Minimise Downtime and Frustration
When both IT and non-IT employees are at home, it can be a challenge to understand the issue with a device that’s not running properly. IT departments cannot expect employees to know their device operating system, what version they are running, the current software or other device specific areas a support team would naturally request. In addition, they cannot expect an employee to be able to communicate exactly how this is affecting their productivity: the forms it is impacting, the solution speeds and feeds yesterday compared to today. They just know that something is not right or that they suddenly cannot access something they need to compete their job. Often the solution is to come into the office and let IT have a look – but in today’s business world this is not productive nor pandemic-safe. The remote control feature within SOTI Assist offers support to employees when they are experiencing device issues.
SOTI Assist is a mobile-first, diagnostic help desk solution that enables IT support to dial into the user’s device (set up in SOTI MobiControl) and locate the exact user profile and their device. SOTI Assist can establish what software versions are running, when the next updates are due to run, as well as more complex areas such as changes to bespoke in-house apps and forms which may be creating an issue. An example would be a field in a form which is not allowing a user to sign out of an application.
If this issue is more complex, the SOTI Assist plugin can be downloaded to enable richer support diagnostics and troubleshooting. This enables the IT support workers to take notes and photos of the issues and store these in a collaborative environment for other team members to learn from with allocated tickets. With tight integration between SOTI Assist and SOTI MobiControl, users can log in and view device data stored in the platform, to diagnose the problem and avoid devices being returned to the office.
Understanding what employees need to not only be successful, but compliant and safe while working from home, will have a positive impact on any business.
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