IT | Security

Small Business Tips for Securing All Endpoints

By: Absolute Team | 6/23/2014

Small businesses are incredibly empowered by the consumerization of IT. The proliferation of devices options in a variety of price points, the portability of these devices, and the huge increase in apps targeting business owners has created amazing opportunities for small businesses. Merchants can use mobile phones or tablets to collect credit card payments, can quickly respond to customer questions, can be more responsive in the field and can co-ordinate better within teams.

As PC Mag notes, the challenge for small businesses is in managing the security on all of these devices. Many small and medium0sized businesses (SMBs) focus on growth without consideration for security, while others may erroneously believe they are “safe” from threats that only “large” companies may face. Surveys have shown that most SMBs lack many ‘basic’ protections such as upgrading software. When these SMBs have a small, or non-existent, IT staff and a limited budget, it’s no wonder these devices post such a great risk.

PC World contributed their own recommendations for how SMBs can develop a more secure mobile strategy, which we’ll summarize in points with our own insights:

  • Realize that a mobile strategy needs to encompass all endpoints. Any device or service capable of storing data is a risk, from laptops to USB devices to consumer cloud storage services. Whether you know it or not, data is probably being stored and shared across a variety of these endpoints.
  • Wherever possible, offer secure alternatives to high risk apps and devices such as encrypted USBs and corporate cloud storage
  • Grant data and network access only as needed
  • Have a process in place for the whole lifecycle of device, from enrolment to device replacement or employee leaves
  • Use a mobile device management (MDM) solution such as Absolute Manage, looking for key features such as remote management, protecting data after a theft, creation of policies (check, check, check)
  • Write your BYOD policy with a focus on the user not on the device
  • Educate employees, who need a better sense of the value of corporate data, and how to protect it
  • Re-evaluate your data storage practices. Remember: less is more.

Absolute Manage offers a single console to manage and secure all endpoints, as well as manage apps, set security standards, automate patch management, automate employee enrolment and much more. This can have huge cost and time savings, even for SMBs who may think an MDM is “too much” for them. Reach out and we’ll share with you how we’ve helped other SMBs secure and manage their endpoints.